Our eleven French friends arrived at Ashford International railway station from Fougѐres on Thursday evening. They were met by their hosts and taken to the various homes for a well deserved evening meal together after a long day travelling.
On Friday morning, we visited and toured the Singleton Environmental Centre. There, we all had the privilege of meeting in person the Worshipful Mayor of Ashford Cllr Jenny Webb. We enjoyed coffee and cakes and then departed, the majority of us by minibus, to the George and Dragon at Ightham where we all had lunch together. Matthew Forest very kindly drove the minibus. After a splendid meal, we then visited nearby Ightham Mote, a truly magnificent National Trust building, parts of which date back to the twelfth century. In many ways, the building reminded us of a French chateau. The grounds and gardens were beautiful and the weather was lovely, which added to the pleasure of the setting.
That evening, Peter and Philippa entertained at their new home in Capel-le-Ferne all our French friends and their hosts. A happy time was had by all. Peter presented Sue Rowland with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of the immense amount of work she had done in organising this Twinning visit.
On Saturday and Sunday, all of our guests spent the daytime with their hosts visiting local places of interest, shopping and relaxing. On Saturday evening, Aline Hicks and Cllr Mick Burgess held a BBQ at their home which many of us attended. A special thank you to them both for organising this.
On Sunday evening, we all, including other members of Ashford Twinning Association, met for a farewell dinner at the Everest Inn. The food and service were excellent. The guests of honour were the Mayor and her Consort, Mr David Webb. We celebrated our very successful few days together.
We sadly had to bid farewell to our French friends at Ashford International railway station the following morning, bright and early!
We are pleased to be able to report that their journey home was a good one and on time. Thank you Alain for your email to this effect.
We now look forward to our return visit to Fougѐres next year, which will arrive in no time at all.
Story by Peter Cocks