Wrington Parish Council - Annual Parish Meeting 2014              Wednesday, 7th May, 2014
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Report submitted by retiring Chairman of Wrington Twinning Association - The French Connection The main aim of the Association over the last year has been to encourage individuals, organisations and groups to consider ways in which relations with our twin village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers in the Languedoc region in the South of France might allow them to add a further dimension to their activities. This year the focus will be on fund raising. The main means of publicising the ‘French Connection’ this year has been the publication of a booklet that was delivered by hand to (almost) every house in Wrington and Redhill, which provides an outline of events and projects organised by the Association since its inception in 2010 and gives detail of the aims and potential of twinning. This handsome booklet, produced by Nick Walters, was entirely funded by advertising and we would like to acknowledge the contribution of those local businesses that contributed to the success of this project. In June we held an excellent family ‘Boules and BBQ’ at the Plough. A number of people from Wrington also made individual trips to Villeneuve as part of their holiday and received a friendly welcome with the opportunity to talk over coffee or a meal. The November AGM was preceded by an extremely interesting talk by BBC television producer Cassie Farrell entitled  ‘Behind the Scenes: filming Great Continental Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo in France and across Europe’, giving an insight into the work that goes into preparing and filming this popular television series. The wine tasting planned for the New Year unfortunately had to be postponed. The French conversation group has been increasing in popularity and has been supplemented by an activity based option set up by new members - so some discussion is now available at least once a week (see twinning page on village website for details). We also provided translation for information boards at sits of historic interest in Villeneuve. There was a short pause in our usually frequent communications with Villeneuve during their intense local election campaign. The results at the end of March resulted in the return of the previous administration, led by Jean-Paul Gallonier (see the May edition of the Village Journal for further detail on the elections). On 25th-28th April a group of Wringtonians flew from Bristol to Villeneuve-lès-Béziers. We were warmly welcomed by members of the new administration and representatives of local organisations and across the course of the visit, discussed a number of possible projects that would develop the links between Villeneuve and Wrington. In line with the priority of developing youth and educational contact we visited the school and talked with teachers and others with youth organisation contacts. We also met with the organisers of the rugby and the football teams, both of whom would like to develop links with their opposite numbers on Wrington. Continuing the relations established between the Royal British Legion and the Anciens Combattants association in Villeneuve, we attended a very moving ceremony commemorating those who had been deported from the village during the last war.  We also visited the winery, followed by a dégustation of the excellent local wines -see <www.almacersius.com>, and hope for a visit from their team for a future wine-tasting here.  In sum, this was a very enjoyable and productive visit  - see Steve Samson’s account in the June edition of the Journal and photographs on the village website. Future Events Saturday 7th June is the date for the French Connection Boules fête and family BBQ – a chance to test your boules skills Sunday 28th September will be a French quiz night at the Plough. Wednesday 29th October will be the AGM and fun night, again located at Redhill Club. Other plans are yet ot be finalized but the possibiltites of a French / English Day in both Villeneuve and Wrington are under consideration, with the French attending local events here.