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Newtown twinners get a taste of France

Published date: 10 July 2017 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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NPTC student Kim Riley, Georgina Webster, Alaskia Rogers and Abi Thorn with their tutor Sarah Welch at the standing stones of Carnac. 

A COACHLOAD of enthusiastic travellers set off for France on June 15 for a long-awaited trip to Newtown’s twin town of Les Herbiers in the Vendée.

Many were newcomers to Newtown Twinning Association (NTA), but all were looking forward to a varied weekend of activities with guaranteed wall-to-wall sunshine.

Arriving in Les Herbiers the following day, the group was greeted by the twinning committee and spent the evening with their hosts in their homes, where some interesting conversations took place in a mixture of French, English and ‘Franglais’.

On Saturday, many people went on arranged walks around Les Herbiers, while others were entertained by their hosts, and several others took part in the craft fair that had been arranged by the French twinning committee.

For the NTA, this had been an event a year-long in its organisation and many artists’ work was on display, including that of Sasha Cook, who had made the decision to come too.

Also joining the trip were four students from the Newtown campus on NPTC, whose craftwork had been chosen for this summer’s event after the Global Enterprise week that took place before Christmas.

They had been taking part in a project that was designed to develop their entrepreneurial skills and they were further selected to perform the role of enterprise interns, in a scheme trialling for the first time.

Their trip to France was financed by the Welsh Government and Business Wales, with the Youth Entrepreneurship and Business Support being funded by the European Regional Development Fund. They were accompanied by Sarah Welch, lecturer for enterprise studies, and Pamela Morgan, marketing and communication officer for the Powys campuses of NPTC.

At the fair, they sold their own produce and assisted in selling a consignment of bara brith and Welsh cakes, great favourites with the French. They also met Véronique Béssé, French MP, Mayor and Présidente of the ‘Communauté des Communes de Vendée’, as well as Jean-Luc Godet, mayor of the neighbouring town of Les Epesses.

On Saturday evening, over 100 people enjoyed a gala dinner and dance, in true French style, with speeches and exchange of gifts, a three-course dinner and several hours of dancing.

The following morning were the 40th celebrations of Puy du Fou, with a well guided route around the best shows on offer, covering different aspects of French history. Those who chose not to visit Puy du Fou spent their last day with their hosts, many spinning off to the coast.

NTA’s next event is the Picnic in the Park on Sunday, July 23, where there will be fun and games and shared picnics.

For more information, follow the links on the Newtown town website.

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