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Twinners eye new members

By Peter Harris


Clubs and organisations are being asked to help maintain a 25-year twinning link between Southwell and the French town of Sees.

The future of Southwell Twinning Association still hangs in the balance.

Members fear that if younger people do not become involved the official link could end.

A 60-strong group from Sees was due to visit Southwell in the summer.

Host families could not be found for them so the official visit was cancelled and a smaller, unofficial group travelled to the town in August.

The Advertiser reported then that the twinning link was at risk.

The chairman of the twinning association, Mr Barry Pearson, said their French counterparts understood the accommodation difficulties and those who still wanted to visit made their own arrangements to stay with families as normal.

Mr Pearson said it was clear strong friendships had been formed, which they wanted to continue.

A group of up to 18 people from Southwell are expected to visit Sees from May 23-26 to discuss the long-term future of the link.

“We hope it will cement the relationships we have and, if we have two or three new members, it will be progression,” said Mr Pearson.

He said he hoped clubs, organisations, and possibly the Minster School could become involved.

The association is writing to groups this month to assess interest.

Mr Pearson said association members were willing to work with Southwell organisations to provide contacts for similar groups in Sees.

A French cookery demonstration will take place at the Riverside Church, Southwell, on February 1 at 7.30pm.

There will be an opportunity to sample food prepared by Mr Alasdair Alexander, of Funny Peculiar, King Street, Southwell, and wine and cheese.

Mr Pearson said there would be a chance to speak to association members and find out more about the link.

“Twinning was originally a bit novel but foreign travel is so common and with cheap flights the novelty has worn off,” said Mr Pearson.

“People would rather sit on a beach or they want something more from travel like visiting Disneyland Paris or going skiing.

“It has become more difficult to attract new members.

“Twinning is a way of seeing part of France, meeting French people and being taken in as an extension of their family.

“Although we do attract new members from time to time, existing members are getting older and there will come a point where they are not able to keep travelling. That would be a shame after 25 years.”

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