Sandhurst and District Twinning Association
What are we? Sandhurst Twinning Association enjoys reciprocal visits with Heuringhem, a village of similar size and make-up and an almost identical distance from the Channel. In between visits, we organise fund raising events in order to entertain our guests when they visit us and to assist with coach fares when we visit them.
One thing should be stressed YOU DO NOT NEED TO SPEAK FRENCH in order to have a terrific time – gestures and a dictionary are how most of us deal with any communication problems.
The aims of Twinning Associations are to promote friendship between families by staying in their homes. When they visit us, for example, they arrive on Saturday morning we give them lunch (doesn’t have to be Cordon Bleu), there is a visit arranged for the afternoon and an evening entertainment. Sunday is for relaxing and either getting together with others for lunch or taking your family on a visit. They depart about 4.00pm Sunday. The following year, a similar program is followed by Heuringhem.
There are many families in Heuringhem with children who would like to form ties with English families and it is a great opportunity for children to try out their language – or just to play! As a result, we are seeking new members from villages in the area.
The Twinning Association has been in existence since 1996 so it is now in its twentieth year.
Sandhurst – Heuringhem Twinning Weekend 7th to 8th May 2016
Saturday 7th May started bright and sunny. Sandhurst Twinning hosts gathered in the village to greet thirty six French ‘Twinners’ who had travelled by coach from Heuringhem for the 2016 Twinning weekend. Each family was driven to their hosts’ house and given lunch with time to catch up on news or to make new friends. Lots of gestures and sign language with a dictionary nearby means that all have a common language and no need to be a fluent French speaker.
After lunch, we gathered again at the coach and went for our Twinning tour, this year to Carr Taylor Vineyard, Westfield. The French ‘Twinners’ were not reluctant to taste some English wines and several bottles were bought to take back to Heuringhem.
In the evening, 83 met at the Old School Hall; hosts and their French guests and some past members of Sandhurst Twinning Association. The Hall was beautifully decorated with red, white and blue bunting and balloons and white fairy lights. This year is a special year – our twentieth anniversary since the Sandhurst and Heuringhem Twinning Associations were formed and the French surprised us with entertainment!! They sang for us both national anthems and then we found ourselves joining in with several well-known English songs, including ‘Singing in the Rain’ complete with umbrellas!
The next day, Sandhurst hosts entertained their Heuringhem friends in a variety of ways, e.g. a walk around the footpaths and lanes of Sandhurst, a walk along the banks of the River Rother, a drive to Hastings, a boat trip on Sovereign Harbour, etc. Some met in The Swan for a typical English Sunday lunch.
Suddenly it was time to return our families to their coach with lots of ‘good byes’ and ‘see you soon’. The weather had been really kind to us all weekend and we felt that our ties with Heuringhem had been strengthened and our friendships extended.
We will be visiting Heuringhem for a Twinning weekend on 20th to 21st May 2017. If you would like some ‘Entente Cordial’, you would be very welcome to join us. Please contact me on telephone: 01580 850623 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org