This issue of the Jumelage is being produced between two computers - one is sick and the other tries to archive everything - so apologies for the delay.
We have had two events since the last issue, the first being the highly enjoyable Soirée Française and the second the trip to the Battle of Hastings site. If you missed out on either, or both, you really should try to attend some of the future events, all of which promise to be highly enjoyable. (Good company is always a contributory factor, of course.) The next two events will be the AGM closely followed by the visit to BNM for which the French look to have planned a superb weekend.
Vice Chairman's Message
As your Chairman is currently enjoying a three week sailing trip with a friend it falls to me to say a few words in his place.
It really is important that we start to build up our funds to enable us to extend the same level of hospitality to our French friends next year as they are planning for us this September. Our bank balance is fairly healthy but we need you all to support the various events which are planned during the year to help us uncrease our funds.
On a different note, those of you who know Mike and Pam Savage and did not come to Hastings will be interested to hear that we met usp with them at the Abbey. It was great to see them and we hope to meet them again at one of our events.
Plonk & Pétanque
Those of you who supported this event last year will know that despite the weather we all had a lot of fun. Nothing too serious and, using Geoff's rather original rules, just a nice sociable afternoon. So we are repeating this event on August 18th and we hope that those of you who could not make it last time will come this year.
The venue will be the Duke of Cumberland in Barham, and we will meet at 2·0pm with the barbeque starting at 4·0pm. Perhaps the weather will be kinder to us this year, but no matter - the Duke has a marquee.
There will be a raffle during the course of the afternoon, so any raffle prizes would be gratefully received.
Please let Pauline Davis know by August 10th if you are coming (if you haven't filled in a form already). Pauline's details are at the bottom of this page. See you there!
When the proposed day trip to Boulogne had to be abandoned due to its high cost, an alternative plan for a more modest summer outing was mooted: a visit to the famous site of the Battle of Hastings. As every schoolboy knows, this is where in 1066 the Anglo-Saxons under King Harold II were decisively defeated by the Normans under William "the Conquerer." Since this was the last successful invasion of Britain by a foreign power it is arguably the most important event in our history – it certainly changed the course of Britain's history for ever.
So on the last day of June, in glorious sunshine, a dozen EVTA members boarded a minibus and set off for Battle, some six miles northwest of Hastings. By chance, as we arrived, Battle's annual carnival was just starting and we watched the noisy and colourful procession set off. Since our guided tour was not due to start for another couple of hours, most of the party headed for a folk museum called "Yesterday’s World", with reconstructed street scenes from different ages and shops containing a fascinating collection of everyday articles, many of which brought back vivid recollections from our younger days!
After a bite of lunch we gathered at the impressive gatehouse to Battle Abbey, built by William as an act of reconciliation a few years later on the spot where Harold fell, to meet our official English Heritage guide. His enthusiasm was infectious, and in particular his detailed description of the battle itself caught everyone's imagination as we envisaged the
mixture of bravery and carnage of that fateful day.
Feeling in need of some refreshment, we reboarded the bus for the drive to Rye and a welcome tea stop and brief stroll round this delightful little town, with its own colourful history of smuggling and raids by the French.
And so we returned home to the Elham Valley after a most enjoyable day and a refresher course on this crucial episode in England's long and varied common destiny with France.
Twenty members attended the fun evening at St Mary's. Upon arrival Andree immediately stuck a post-it note on our backs, bearing the name of a famous French man or woman, the idea being to ask questions of everyone to establish who you were. Most of us managed this - eventually! Around the walls were posters which comprised the picture quiz; everyone took part, entering theur answers on a form. A little later, fortified by some French wine, cheese, olives and pâté on freshly baked bread, the answers were revealed. Some questions had been very easy, others rather more difficult. The winners were Geoff and Sheila Macdonald. Geoff modestly insisted that their success was mainly due to Sheila, and they were presented with their prize of a bottle of brandy.
I think everyone present would be in agreement that the highlight of the evening was the "Café de Paris" atmosphere created by Doug Inkpen with his wonderful medley of well-known French accordion music which he played with great expertise. He then played tunes and aksed us to name them - we didn't do as wellas we would have liked! He also had the ability to "play be ear" various songs that were requested. After some amusing recollections of French encounters, the evening was rounded off with a clip from Jacques Tati's classic "Monsieur Hulot's Holiday". Beaucoup de bonheur!
Visit to BNM, 21st-23rd September
Hervé Couard, President of "Elham en Beaujolais", has sent the programme for this weekend, below. Those of you travelling by train will have received an email with the train times (if you haven't, please let Pauline know). The main thing is that you should be at Ashford International at least one hour before the departure time - that means being there by 6·28am!!
Those of you travelling independently will need to be at the Town Hall, Rivolet, on the Friday evening at about 5·0pm.
If you require travel insurance, you can obtain this from Rupert Sladden. Let him know you are a member of EVTA when you phone him on 01227 786555.
There have been some changes to the things you are legally required to carry when driving in France. Nowadays you must have the following:
- GB plate or Euro flag number plate
- Headlamp converters
- Warning triangle
- High-visibility waistcoat, one for each person in the car. These must be stored in the car (NOT in the boot) and must be put on before getting out of the car in an emergency
- Spare bulbs
- Breathalyser - a legal requirement since July 1st, and it must be NF approved
- Strongly recommended: a First Aid kit and a Fire Extinguisher. European law requires every driver to stop and provide assistance when encountering an accident or incident if it is safe to do so.
Programme for your French trip in the Beaujolais
Liergues le 14/06/12
Friday 21 September
After welcoming you at Villefranche station at about 5pm, we have an aperitif at Rivolet’s town hall until 7.30 pm, then you will go to your host family house for dinner.
Saturday 22 September
Meeting at Lacenas’s car park at 9.30am to start "the Lamartine tour" at 9.45am
|If everybody is ready at 9.45am we can have a quick look en route at the castle at Berzé le Chatel|
|We have a visit to le Château Saint Point at 11.30am, price €8|
|We book a restaurant - L'Auberge de la Pierre Sauvage - at le Col des Enceints - price €25·50|
|We have a 1½-hour visit with a wine tasting at Pierreclos castle - price €6·50|
Then free time until 7.30pm when we offer you dinner all together in Rivolet's town hall.
Sunday 23 September
Morning and lunch free with your family before going back to the station
Total expenses: If everybody is OK for the global programme the total cost is €40 per person
It will be very nice if Geoff can collect for us the total amount of the costs.
|Plonk & Pétanque||Saturday 18th August at 2pm at the Duke of Cumberland, Barham. The cost will be £12·50 per person|
|A.G.M.||Wednesday 12th September at The Barn, Kingston at 7·30pm. It will be followed by music from Doug Inkpen.|
|Visit to BNM||21st to 23rd September - more details here|
|Treasure Hunt||Sunday 7th October - details to follow|
|Film Night||Friday 9th November - details to follow|
|Christmas Lunch||Saturday 8th December, at the Rose & Crown, Elham, 12·30pm|
Editor: Pauline Davis, 24 Hog Green, Elham, Canterbury CT4 6TU. Tel: 01303 840367 e-mail: paulinedavis42[at]yahoo.co.uk