Despite Brexit, the Henley Falaise Twinning Association (HFTA) seems stronger than ever before in its 45 year long history with 48 adults and children visiting from Falaise in France last week.
The group spent time in Henley with their hosts from the HFTA, went on a tour of the Cotswolds including a visit to Burford and ended their visit with a barn dance on Saturday evening at the Christ Church Centre. On Saturday morning a drinks reception was held in the King’s Arms Barn with the Henley Mayor and Deputy Mayor being invited. Denis McCoy, Chair of HFTA welcomed and thanked everyone for coming.
Serge Loock, President of Falaise Twinning Association said, “I must admit that I am short of ideas to make these words smiley and happy. Our two countries are roughly in the same mess – split into two or more between the anti and the pro whether it concerns Europe, Theresa May or Emanuel Macron, Farage or Le Pen, Corbyn or Melanchon! The only thing that can make me smile is to be back here with more than 40 ‘Froggies’ aiming to disturb your routine, know that you are trying hard to make sure that we cannot compete with your hospitality next time you come to Falaise. I promise that we will try harder! Fortunately, I’m not a politician and therefore will not abuse your precious time with insignificant words and I will concentrate my efforts on making sure that our friendship will last for many more years.”
Henley Mayor, Councillor Ken Arlett said, “I think I was one of the first visitors to Falaise with Henley Football Club in 1976. After winning the first match we celebrated by drinking lots and lots of red wine. No surprise, the next day at the second match we got thoroughly beaten! Thank you to both twinning associations for keeping this going for so long.” Afterwards he was presented with a hamper of by Falaise Deputy Mayor, Maurice Ruau.
Elodie Goujon, a french teacher from Falaise said, “I am meeting with Gillotts School this afternoon to see if we can restore the exchange that has not happened for a few years. The students started exchanging letters 3 years ago and hope that we can restart the exchange very soon.”
The Falaise flag was flying in Market Place to mark the group’s visit on Saturday.