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Plea to strengthen French connection

PUBLISHED: 16:17 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 13:55 21 May 2010

AN appeal has been made for more young families to take part in the twinning link between Beccles and Petit-Couronne in northern France.

It comes as Beccles Twinning Association prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formal link with the Normandy town at Easter.

AN appeal has been made for more young families to take part in the twinning link between Beccles and Petit-Couronne in northern France.

It comes as Beccles Twinning Association prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formal link with the Normandy town at Easter.

During those three decades many hundreds of people of all ages have taken part in educational, cultural and sporting exchanges between the towns, and the annual family visits are still the backbone of the twinning.

However, association chairman Pat Clarke said: "The twinning would benefit from an injection of younger blood, especially young families taking an interest on behalf of the next generation. For them the need to understand and work with our neighbours in other countries will become ever more pressing in the future.

"Through visits to our linked families in France, and by entertaining them in our homes when they visit us, better understanding is achieved and firm friendships are made."

"However, some of the people who became involved in the early years are now grandparents, and our hard working and enthusiastic committee would also appreciate the energy and new ideas which new members could bring."

The 30th anniversary will be celebrated during a visit to Beccles by families from Petit-Couronne over the Easter weekend. The French guests will be in town from Saturday, March 22, until Monday, the 24th.

The weekend programme will include a Saturday night dinner-dance and a visit to Bressingham Steam Museum and Gardens.

About a dozen German visitors will also be in the town that weekend. "Over the past few years an increasingly strong friendship has developed between Beccles and Ahlem, which is Petit-Couronne's twin town near Hanover, " said Mrs Clarke.

"Although we cannot establish a formal twinning link with Ahlem, because of local government changes in Germany, we have become unofficial 'triplets'."

Full details of the 30th anniversary plans will be revealed at Beccles Twinning Association's annual meeting next Friday, January 25, at Beccles Town Hall at 7.30pm. "The meeting is open to everybody and we would welcome new members on the night,' said Mrs Clarke.

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