France/ Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and Bridport have been twinned for 45 years

Published on 20/05/2024 | La rédaction


The twinning arrangement between Bridport (Great Britain) and Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue (Manche) is about to celebrate its 45th anniversary. A record, considering the various twinning arrangements in the Nord Cotentin region are struggling to stay on course.

While many Cotentin communes twinned with English villages are finding it hard to keep their committees going, as in Le Vast and Barfleur, where the former has ceased and the latter seems to be in a bad way, the twinning between Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and Bridport is about to blow out its 45 candles.

A twinning that hasn't aged a bit, on the contrary. "Despite the Brexit and the health crisis, our committees have always been at their best in terms of membership numbers. Whether on this side of the Channel or in the south of England, we have around sixty members," points out Madeleine Pinteaux, who has been president for 27 years.

Fifty English people will be here in September

Exchanges have grown stronger over the years, whether through annual visits or by young people staying with local residents to improve their foreign language skills. "A 17-year-old English girl wants to come to Val-de-Saire in July or August to brush up her language skills. The Saint-Vaastais committee is also offering a €100 grant to a 16-year-old who would like to spend a week in Bridport. "He or she will be staying with an English family. The €100 covers the ferry and part of the accommodation", continues the president, who admits that no young people have come forward since the Covid health crisis.

English friends who will be staying in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue from September 13 to 16, 2024. "What's impressive is that there will be fifty of them, 42 of whom will be staying with families. Among them, seventeen new British members, which proves the strength of the twinning", insists Madeleine Pinteaux, who believes that it is the old members who initiate the new ones. " It's also down to the warm welcome offered on both sides of the Channel," says Pinteaux. "The liaison is permanent all year round. We invite each other outside the usual stays. It's a real friendship that we're preserving."


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