2019 marks 25 years of our enduring twinning links with Le Vésinet in France.

A party of 29 delegates from Le Vésinet came over to Worcester at the beginning of May to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

On Saturday morning the 28 visitors from Le Vésinet and their deputy Mayor, Fréderic Gozlan, were warmly welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Worcester in the Mayor's Parlour. After a light lunch in Worcester the visitors were taken to Hanbury Hall.

A short introduction talk was given in French by Guide, Paul Lewis, after which the Vésigondins were free to look around the house, gardens and Exhibition of paintings by local artist David Birtwhistle. All members of Worcester Twinning Association were invited to a celebration 25th Anniversary dinner at The Ketch on Saturday evening, giving them a chance to renew old acquaintances and make new friends.

On Sunday there was an opportunity to take part in the Eucharist service at the Cathedral and Anne-Marie Laurent, former President of Le Vésinet Twinning Association read out a passage from the New Testament in French. A delicious High Tea comprising sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and cakes was served at Besford, near Pershore, and then 15 members of the Worcestershire Ukulele Band provided outstanding entertainment, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.The 25th anniversary cake was ceremoniously cut by the Chair of Worcester Twinning Association, Liz Smith and the President of Le Vésinet Twinning Association, Anne-Marie Borderie followed by toast to the next 25 years of Twinning with Le Vésinet.

A full day excursion to Cardiff took place on Monday. In the morning the visitors went to "The Firing Line" at Cardiff Castle to learn about the history of Cardiff through an informative demonstration of weapons used by the military, given by servicemen from  1st the Queens Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh Regiment. The visitors were then taken to Cardiff Bay, where they watched a short film in the Pierhead Building before enjoying a delicious lunch in the Millennium Centre. They were also given a behind-the-scenes tour of this iconic building. After free time to admire the architecture of the Senedd, visit the petty little Norwegian Church where Roald Dahl once worshipped or simply take in the atmosphere of this amazing place, the tired, but happy passengers were whisked back to Worcester on the coach to spend their last evening with their host families.

In June our members set off by coach from Worcester to celebrate 25 years of twinning in Le Vésinet. 

On Friday morning, our coach driver, Simon, drove us to Chantilly. We enjoyed an interesting visit to the Chateau, which had been entirely rebuilt between 1875 and 1882 by the Duke of Aumale, Henri d'Orléans. Sitting on the grass in the sunshine, we ate our delicious picnic, thoughtfully provided by the host families, visited the gardens and the exhibition about the Mona Lisa at the Jeu de Paume and walked around the stables. We then watched the horse training showing the Museum of the Horse before returning to Le Vésinet in the coach. We had an invitation for drinks at the theatre, which was followed by a beautiful buffet dinner and speeches by some of the students, who had taken part in exchange visits to twin towns. Our Vice Chair gave a speech in French and English and presented Le Vésinet Twinning Association with a picture of Hanbury Hall.

On Saturday morning we all assembled at the side of the Town all for the special 25th anniversary ceremony and listened to speeches given by the Mayor of Le Vésinet, the Deputy Mayor of Worcester and the Présidente of Le Vésinet Twinning Association. We gladly took the opportunity to chat to old friends and new, while enjoying drinks and a buffet lunch provided by the town council. In the afternoon we watched a fashion show in the town centre before attending an Elgar concert at 4.30pm. The Dîner en Blanc took place in the evening by the lake. All attendees, suitably dressed in white, were thrilled by the magical, chic but relaxed atmosphere, enhanced by the twinkling candles and lamps.  Once again the delicious food was provided by our incredibly hard working host families.

The parishes of St Marguerite and St Pauline invited us to attend open air Mass on Sunday morning followed by an aperitif. Our host families then organised another excellent picnic for us at the Garden Party beside the lake. The theme of the Fête de la Marguerite was inspired by a comedy film called The big Day (1949), which starred Jacques Tati. 

On Monday morning we witnessed the start of Caryl and Lyndon's sponsored bike ride in aid of Alzheimers and Dementia before boarding the coach for our excursion to Honfleur. Unfortunately the weather was a little dull and it drizzled with rain, but we all enjoyed the guided tour of the town and the lunch at "Le Chat qui Pêche". Sadly we had to set off at 3.30pm to ensure that we arrived at the Eurotunnel in time for our return to Worcester. A huge thank you to our friends in Le Vésinet for a fantastic 25th anniversary and to our host families who looked after us so well.