Fun & friendship on french twinning trip

Friendships old and new, the D-Day landings, and a slice of Viking history were on the menu for Ilfracombe’s Twinning Association on their visit to Ifs in Normandy last month. After the French visited North Devon last year, it was Ilfracombe’s turn to take the ferry and spend four days as guests of their host families.

Among the highlights were a visit to the British Normandy Memorial at Gold Beach, where the Ilfracombe/Ifs French Twinning Association laid a wreath in memory of the fallen. Terri Woof, whose father Norman Courtney had fought his way up the beach on 6th June, 1944 and survived the war, said: “This was a very special moment for me and my family. It was extremely emotional for us, as my Dad had re-enacted this on a previous Twinning visit.”

Other highlights included visits to Vieux-la-Romaine, a Roman town excavated in the Normandy countryside and Ornavik, a living copy of a Viking settlement, complete with huts, crafts and visitor guides dressed in 10th and 11th century costumes. Terrena Howse, Chair of the Association, said: “It was everything you could wish for from a Twinning exchange. Old friends had the chance to meet up again and our new members from Ilfracombe have made friends with their hosts. As ever, it’s been a wonderful experience for both sides.”

There was warm applause for a speech read on behalf of Ilfracombe Mayor Dan Turton, who underlined how twinning and educational exchanges can break down barriers between people from different communities. Terrana added: “It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves. If you’re interested in making new friends and finding out about France, then our Association is for you.

And it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak French!” Her team will be kept busy in the months ahead with fundraising and preparations for next year’s trip to North Devon. For more information search Ilfracombe Twinning Association on Facebook.

Local News – The Ilfracombe Magazine