Visit from Gravenchon 2019

Visit from Notre Dame de Gravenchon

6th April - 10th April 2019

44 friends from Gravenchon travelled to Street and there were some new visitors, including children which is fantastic for the continuation of twinning. There were a few hiccups along the way in organising this visit but with great team work by the subcommittee and communication with Sharon in France everything ran smoothly during their stay.

They travelled by Ferry from Calais to Dover and arrived slightly earlier than expected. Each member of the subcommittee had been given a group of hosts and those hosts were made aware of their contact in case of emergencies. This system worked well and enabled hosts to be informed quickly of the new arrival time.

During the day on Sunday and Monday there was time to relax, catch up and time for new hosts and guests to get to know each other. The Dinner and Dance was held at Meadway Hall in Compton Dundon on the Sunday evening. A team of volunteers, including a few French guests, decorated the hall with the theme of a train trip to the beach. There were props of a train, photo frame and accessories that many people enjoyed taking photos with. Everyone was greeted with a glass of Bucks Fizz on arrival. We enjoyed excellent catering by Claire and team and danced to the lovely singing of Sally Vinyl.

Monday evening the Street Parish Council hosted a reception in Crispin Hall. Tasty non-alcoholic beverages and a wonderful ploughman’s supper went down well with both English and French. We enjoyed music by Dylan Thomas and John and Ann Diment. Gifts were exchanged and a plaque celebrating 50 years of twinning was presented by Marie-Francoise Loison, deputy Mayoress of Gravenchon to the Street Parish Council and received by the Chair, Nina Swift. Stars displayed on the plaque were decorated during last year’s visit to Gravenchon and also by local school children during their visit to France. One plaque will be displayed in Street and the other in Gravenchon.

Tuesday was the trip day and a large group of 96 people travelled by coach to Bishops Lydeard and then onto Watchet by Steam train. The Subcommittee were informed with not much time to spare that maintence to the line from Watchet to Minehead had overrun and so would be closed. With quick adjustments made the trip still ran smoothly. West Somerset Railway provided a great service with two train carriages reserved for the twinning and we had a chance to take photos up front with the train driver.

Once in Minehead we walked to the Hairy Dog where we were all seated together and promptly served fish, chips and peas. Some then enjoyed deserts, drinks or a walk along the sea front before catching the coach to Dunster Castle. The drizzly rain didn’t spoil our enjoyment. Many went into the castle, some wandered around the gardens and tried their hand at archery or shooting whilst others ventured into Dunster village. We had a good journey home with a friendly coach driver and a great service provided by Taylors coaches.

Wednesday morning was an early start and time to say goodbye. With long lasting friendships reinforced and new friendships made, twinning is still going strong. We look forward to visiting our friends over in Gravenchon in 2020.

Visit to Isny 2019

Twinning visit to Isny October 28th to November 1st 2019

We have just made our biennial trip to Isny which was a great success. Thirty people were due to travel which is the largest group for sometime. This included 5 new Twinners. At the last minute two people were unable to come due to health/family issues.

We were very lucky this year to once again travel from Bristol to Basel with Easyjet at a very keen ticket price. (£76.27 return + £31 for hold luggage) which was made possible through the generosity of our hosts who were prepared to send a coach to meet us at Basel for the 3 and a half hour trip to Isny. The flight times were excellent with no early starts or late arrivals.

On arrival we were offered snacks on the coach before making a stop at Birnau on Lake Constance, the site of a famous church and monastery, and where we were fed wonderful cakes and coffee in the attached restaurant. We then continued on to Isny and a short reception in the Town Hall before going home with our host families.

The first full day was spent locally with a trip to Dethleffs caravan factory in the morning (starting with coffee and pretzels in the staff canteen). Dethleffs is the largest local industry and we were shown around the impressive production line. Several of us had our eyes on different motor homes by the time we left. We then all had a delicious Thai lunch together in a local school facility cooked by Bo Loose who is one of the German Twinners. In the afternoon there was a guided tour of the town for new Twinners and others had a guided walk on the nearby Rotmoos nature reserve.

The following day we were treated to a full day coach trip to the mountains. We had to imagine some of the peaks that were undoubtedly soaring above us, due to heavy rain and overcast skies. But we didn’t let this dampen our spirits as we packed into the small lift that took us up to the top of the ski jump in Oberstdorf. For some of us just standing at the top of the jump imagining launching ourselves into the air, was enough of a thrill, but others put on virtual reality headsets and made the jump themselves!. We then drove on to the Breitachklamm gorge and walked up the spectacular narrow gorge. At an afternoon coffee stop in Sulzberg, Austria, we were again served enormous slices of cake and it didn’t feel long after that, that we stopped at a traditional restaurant/brewery for another meal all together before a late return to Isny.

Our last day was spent with our host families and we enjoyed a wide range of activities before all meeting up for a final dinner. This was another very convivial evening where we were entertained by a local dance group in their national costumes and by a trio of Alpenhorn players. There were speeches from the local mayor and Twinners on both sides and we presented our gift of Xmas aprons and decorations for their December Xmas market stall which was very well received.

Our few days had passed very quickly and the next day we were off by 9am for our return trip to the airport. From talking to our group on the return journey it seemed that the trip had been a great success. The new Twinners had gelled with their host families, we had all been made very welcome and they had organised a full programme for us which made the time pass very quickly. People commented on how they had enjoyed spending more time with the whole group as we had a communal meal at some stage each day. The only thing that would have made the trip even better would have been less rain as it rained at some stage every day.

Minutes of the 2019 AGM

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in the Crispin Community Centre

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in the Crispin Community Centre

 on Wednesday 23rd October 2019. The meeting started at 7.30 pm.

 

 

1.       Present:  David and Veronica Brunt, Tom Winn, Marina Richards, Paul Badman, Jacqui, Francis, Isobel and Emily Knight, Claire Axten, David and Catherine Atkins, Trevor Skinner, Barbara and Martin Cowell, Julia Welch, Kay Strain, Gabbie and Martyn Butler, Ann Diment, Peter and Barbara Fry, Reg Alford, Sally Wood, John and Maureen Parfitt, Gill Davey, Brian Read, Sheila Urwin, Viv Squire, Sue Genge, David and Hilary Mozley.

 

Apologies: Kay Winn, Pauline and John Saunders, Grace and Bernard Squire, Chris Puddy, Helen and Tim Phillips, Avril and William Berry, Mark and Jenny Lewis, Katrina Dumontrotty

 

David Brunt welcomed everyone to the meeting and checked that everyone had read the minutes from the AGM in Oct 2018.

No matters arising.

 

2.      Chairman’s report: Please see report attached below.

 

3.      Treasurers Report and presentation and acceptance of the annual accounts:

Marina presented the accounts for the financial year to 31st Aug 2019, as checked by the accountant. The accounts were accepted unanimously by all members.

 

Please see accounts attached below.

 

Current account balance £3,780.70   

            Deposit account balance £8,047.50

           

A reminder that membership payments are now due. £15 per adult and free for children under 18. As stated in the constitution these payments are due to be paid within 2 calendar months of the date of the AGM.

 

            We then moved onto item 5 on the Agenda before coming back to item 4.

 

4.      The proposed new constitution:

 

In addition to the revisions already circulated to members Catherine Atkins proposed that a paragraph was to be inserted under item 7 - Money and Assets – after d) Cheques must be signed by 2 authorised members. New e) The treasurer is authorised to undertake internet banking on behalf of the Association. All payments must be notified to the chairman and secretary by e-mail prior to the actual payment.

 

There were a few questions from members:

 

1.       Would this hold up payments? No, Marina doesn’t need to wait for a reply it is just a notification of what payments are going out.

2.       Is Marina happy to do this? Yes

3.       As with cheque payments, should there be two people from the committee with access to the bank account in case Marina is not available? Marina stated that this is not possible. It is linked to her personal accounts and so cannot have more than one person access it. Marina stated that there is a contingency plan set up in case anything was to happen to her, Paul (her partner) would have access to the account and arrangements would then be made for access to be passed to the next treasurer.

 

David Atkins thanked the team who had reviewed the constitution – Tom, Marina and Catherine.

 

The new constitution was voted on by a show of hands and the vote was unanimous for it to be put in place. Please find attached the updated version.

 

5.      Voting to elect the chairman:

 

The nominations for chairman were received by the deadline of 9th October.

 

David Atkins for Chairman

 

David Atkins left the room whilst the vote took place by a show of hands. The vote was unanimous for David to become the new chairman. 

 

David Brunt then gave a speech as he stood down as chairman:

 

Veronica and I first joined the Twinning Association and went to Gravenchon in 1994. I was invited to join the committee the following year. For some years I was the assistant to the treasurer. This usually meant that I collected the ticket money at our fund raising events. After several years I stood down from the committee as I had other interests.

The following year I had a phone call from Grace asking me to re-join the committee and take on the job of treasurer. I continued in this position until Marina took over from me.

Bernard our previous chairman retired two years ago and I was elected to replace him. During those two years I have been supported by a dedicated team who have worked hard to promote the best interests of our association.

I now think that the time has come for me to stand down from the committee and allow them to continue the good work under new leadership.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you join me in thanking your committee for all their hard work and dedication and to welcome David, your newly elected chairman.

 

David Brunt then presented David Atkins with the chain of office. David Atkins thanked David and Veronica for all their hard work over the years. Jacqui presented David Brunt with a gardening gift voucher from the committee and a thank you card signed by the committee and members of the association.

 

 

6.      Voting to elect Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary:

 

The following nominations were received by the deadline of 9th October.

 

Tom Winn for Vice Chairman

Marina Richards for treasurer

Jacqui Knight for secretary

 

Candidates were asked to leave the room and the vote taken by a show of hands. The votes were unanimous for all three to be elected.

 

David Atkins then gave a speech as the new Chairman:

 

Thank you for entrusting me with the chair of the Street Twinning Association. Whilst a relative newcomer I have had the experience of twinning for 25years with another organisation of which I am a member.

Twinning is a great opportunity to learn a little about other cultures/countries and to share experiences. Perhaps its role is more important than ever as we live in an international environment and need more and more to be tolerant of others.

As chairman I will have a simple approach and in no way suggest this has not been the case in the past but is just the way I operate:

To be inclusive

To be respectful

To be loyal

To inject energy

To enjoy myself

 

We have an obligation to grow the Association, especially after a number of long serving members have “retired”, and to make it fit for the next generation. So I will be looking for members to help us search out families who might like to experience twinning.

At the first committee meeting I will be sharing some thoughts and asking questions as to how we can work a bit “smarter”. I feel we need to spread the load a little more across members and to get more clarity and ownership of tasks to make life easier and less onerous.

 

7.      Members invited to volunteer to serve on the management committee with a target of at least 10 members:

 

David Atkins gave a brief outline of what the role of a committee member entails including that they help to run the association and meet up ten times a year, not including the AGM.

Members volunteering to serve on the committee for the coming year are:

 

Kay Strain, Francis Knight, Catherine Atkins, Barbara Fry, Peter Fry, Gabbie Butler, Trevor Skinner, Paul Badman, Sally Wood and Claire Axten

 

Barbara Cowell and Katrina Dumontrotty are stepping down from the committee. The Chairman thanked them for all they have done for Street Twinning over the years.

 

8.      Lottery:

 

£20   no. 15   Veronica Brunt

£10   no. 32   Helen Phillips

£5     no. 30   Claire Brunt

 

Tom Winn is happy to run the lottery for another year and David thanked Tom for taking on this role again.

Marina stated that if anyone would like to be paid by BACS for lottery winnings, please contact her for this to be arranged.

 

9.      AOB:

 

1.       Isny visit: Please leave plenty of time for travel. There are road works/traffic lights in Coxley and Walton will be closed. Also closures in Wedmore.

 

2.       Gravenchon visit: A recent email was sent out with further information about costs. There are still spaces available and there maybe the facility to add more once it is booked.

 

3.       Bric-a-brac: Street Market Thurs 7thNov. Tom has kindly arranged this. Members were asked if anyone had any bric a brac for the stall and there was a good show of hands and so we will have plenty of items. Francis offered to help set up the stall at 8am ready for the stall to open at 9am. Usually the market goes on until 4pm. Peter offered to help at the end of the day to pack away. Barbara Fry said people are welcome to drop off items at their house but not until Monday 4th November. An email will follow shortly and a rota will be sent out. Members that volunteered: Claire Axten, Sally Wood (afternoon), Trevor Skinner (morning), Sue Genge (morning), Viv Squire (morning), Catherine Atkins, David Atkins, Sheila Urwin, Tom Winn.

 

4.       Christmas Cracker: Francis is happy to organise this and an email will go out at the beginning of November. It is just going to be the water or wine stall this year. Donations of wine would be gratefully received. There are plenty of empties left over from Merriman park as long as the people who took them still have them in garages etc.

 

5.       Christmas Dinner: David Atkins suggested a social non fund-raiser get together for Christmas. Open to all members. A show of hands proved that this was a popular idea and January was suggested as everyone less busy. More details to follow.

 

6.       Quiz: Trevor has kindly arranged this for Fri 8th Nov at the Victoria club Start 7.30pm. Entrance fee £2.50 per person. Teams of up to 4 people. Booking is preferred so to book please contact Trevor 01749 689199 OR 07739 817136. Jacqui has offered to do the raffle for this event so any donations of prizes would be gratefully received. 

 

 

David Thanked:          Claire, helped by Julia, for the tea, coffee and biscuits

                                    Tom for searching out the venue for the AGM

                                    Jacqui and Peter for circulating all the information for tonight’s AGM

Thank you all for attending.

 

 

The meeting closed at 8.20pm and everyone was invited to stay for refreshments.

 

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 27th Nov at 7.30 pm

in The Mullions breakfast room.

 

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT October 2018 to October 2019

 

As the years have passed, we have lost members due to illness and age related complaints. Sadly, some of our friends have died. But they have all contributed to the foundation of our present day association. As they have left us we have been joined by new members and so, with minor fluctuations, our numbers have been more or less maintained.

This year however, we have more members than usual who are retiring from twinning and this has depleted our numbers. To ensure the future of twinning in Street we need to recruit more new members. So please, if you know of anybody, be it family friends or neighbours etc., who might be interested, please put them in touch or tell a committee member.

 

Last year I reported that we had been running at a deficit for several years. I am pleased to report that this no longer the case. This is due to the hard work and generosity of committee and other members.

 

Following last year’s AGM, our first activity was the “Get to Know Your Community” event, organised by Street Parish Council in the Crispin Hall.

All of our local organisations were invited to have a stall to publicise themselves and their activities. It was a success, in that quite a few people showed an interest and looked at information regarding both Gravenchon and Isny. In spite of our existence for over fifty years, quite a few Street residents had never heard of us.

 

We had arranged for a bric-a-brac stall for the 8th November. But this was cancelled due to a poor weather forecast

 

Street Christmas Cracker was held on 1st December. We had two gazeboes situated outside Crispin Hall. It was a very hectic day as we were running a Water or Wine stall, a children’s game and a bric-a-brac stall as well as a tombola.

Members put a lot of work into organising and bottle wrapping as well as preparing and manning the stall. We actually sold out of bottles, which made it a very successful day.

Our friends from Gravenchon arrived for their biennial visit on Saturday 6th April. We organised dinner /dance for the Sunday evening. The delicious evening meal was provided by Claire and friends and the music by Sally Vinyl and her disco.

Street Parish Council held a reception for our French visitors on the Monday evening. This was held in the Crispin Hall, where members of the council provided refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks.

Tuesday saw a journey by coach and train to Minehead where there was free time and a fish and chip lunch in the Hairy Dog. On the return journey, the coach stopped for a visit to Dunster Castle. A good time was had by all.

Our Gravenchon friends departed from Strode College early on the Wednesday morning.

On Friday 8th February, Trevor and Sheila organised a quiz at the Victoria Sports and Social Club. It was a successful evening and quite well attended. Although we would have liked to see a few more members. 

On Friday 17th May, Tina and Tony hosted a Cheese & Wine Evening. It was a very enjoyable social evening with games, delicious food, wine and lots of chatter.

In June, Street Library building was closed for repairs and the library was relocated in the Parish Rooms. This meant that our committee had to find another venue for our monthly meetings. We were fortunate that the Mullions Hotel offered us the use of their Breakfast Room, where we now meet.

When a class of children from Gravenchon visited Elmhurst School, we donated £150 towards the costs of meals during their stay.

The Elmhurst school fete, called “Elmfest” was held on July 13th. We had a stall in order to publicise our association. We handed out flyers, talked to parents and families and ran a couple of games for the children. 

Next Monday thirty of our members will depart from Bristol Airport en route to Isny. We wish them a very enjoyable visit.

Altogether it has been quite a busy year with events for fund raising and publicity as well as the visit from our Gravenchon friends.

This has meant a lot of hard work for your committee in organising, setting up and manning stalls as well as catering, clerical administration, various sub-committees, many emails, ‘phone calls, transport etc. Not forgetting all those other members who have helped us in many ways.

So a big thank you to everyone who helped us and been so generous with their time as well as donations of wine, raffle prizes etc. throughout the year.

 


 

Minutes August 2019







Minutes of the committee meeting held in The Mullions breakfast room.

Wednesday 28th August 2019. The meeting started at 7.30 pm.


  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence


PRESENT: David Brunt (chairman) DB, Tom Winn (vice chairman) TW, Jacqui Knight (secretary) JK, Peter Fry PF, Trevor Skinner TS, Francis Knight FK, Gabbie Butler GB, Sally Wood SW, Kay Strain KS, Fiona White, David Mozley and Hilary Mozley.


APOLOGIES: Marina Richards, Paul Badman, Barbara Cowell, Barbara Fry, Claire Axten, Catherine Atkins, David Atkins, Katrina Dumontroty, Rebecca Wells, Simon Carswell.


  1. Minutes of the July meeting: A couple of amendments to the July minutes: FK was instructed to buy 4 tables and not 3. Four tables have been delivered and they are perfect for the next twinning stall. KS also represented Street Twinning at Viv Richards’s funeral. DB to sign the amended July minutes as a true record.


  1. Matters Arising: The Street Twinning flyer is displayed on the notice board outside Crispin Hall. JK checked Elmhurst School website and Newsletter and there is no mention of Street Twinning following the donation to the school, this is very disappointing. JK will be writing to local schools in the near future as stated in previous minutes with reference to looking for new twinning members and setting up a meeting with the head teachers.


  1. Revised Constitution: Tom, Marina and Catherine have been looking at the financial procedures in the constitution. TW reported back that they took a look at the whole constitution and have made some amendments. This was discussed at the meeting in length and some further adjustments were suggested which will be incorporated in the constitution before it is issued. The revised constitution will be sent to all members along with the calling notice issued to members 28days before the AGM. Members are invited to read through the constitution and reply with any queries so as TW and the working group can then deal with any queries before the AGM. It will be an agenda point at the AGM.


  1. Treasurers Report: Please see the attached financial report. FK pointed out that it has been a satisfactory fundraising year as we have just met our target of £3,400 for the year.


Current account balance £3,335.75

Deposit account balance £8,044.81


  1. Visit to Gravenchon 2020: JK has had some responses, but not many, to her request for a show of interest for the Gravenchon trip next year. An email will shortly go out to all members with a form to fill in with names and ages of children who would like to go. The email will include a rough idea of costs based on our last visit. We need to know numbers so as we can work out prices and look at booking. We will request that forms are returned before the AGM. At this point it does not commit you to going on the trip it is more of a show of interest but we need to have a clearer idea of expected numbers. We will be leaving Street early on Wed 15th April and returning late on Sun 19th April. We hope there will be no unforeseen circumstances of change but we will not know this for certain until the coaches and ferries are booked.

Sharon has French families etc. waiting to twin and so if you have never been part of the Gravenchon twinning before or know of someone who would like to join then there is still time.


  1. Visit to Isny 2019: A meeting at Barbara and Peter Fry’s house has been arranged for the Isny group. There will be 30 twinners travelling to Isny from Bristol Airport on Mon 28th Oct and returning from Basel Airport on Fri 1st Nov.


  1. Publicity / recruitment of new members: JK reports that there has been a show of interest from a family of four who are looking to hopefully join the Gravenchon twinning. JK asked the committee if she could update the membership pack to state the new membership fee of £15 a year for members over the age of 18yrs as this was agreed at the last AGM. It was agreed and members are reminded of this change ready for their renewals in October. No charge for under 18’s.


  1. Fundraising for 2019:


  1. Bric a brac market stall: No date set


  1. Merriman Park Fun Day: Saturday 7th September. There will be the usual water or wine and also a children’s card game with prizes and Street shopping bags to sell.

  1. SW offered to source the paper for wrapping the water and wine bottles.

  2. DA has bought 48 bottles of wine in France and the Twinning has 15 bottles.

  3. TW and Kay offered the use of their house for the wrapping evening on Thurs 5th Sept at 7pm. Any member is welcome to come along and help with this as it is very time consuming with hopefully 360 bottles to wrap. Please bring sellotape.

  4. KS has sticky labels with sad face and do not drink.

  5. JK will provide information laminates for the stall with prices, Quiz night and general info including a sign saying “Enjoy the wine but don’t drink the water”.

  6. KS has bought some plastic wine carriers and people have been collecting the free cardboard wine carriers for easier transporting on the day. More would be helpful.

  7. JK has the wooden wine display boxes from last year’s stall.

  8. DB has offered the use of his gazeebo with weights.

  9. DB has the float.

  10. Members: We are hoping for 300 empty screw top wine bottles. To check we have enough please could members drop their collections off at TW house (16 Seeley Crescent, Street, BA16 0RN) by Wednesday 4th preferably already filled with water. Please also drop off any donations of bottles of wine. If you do not have transport please contact a committee member and I am sure we can arrange collection from you.

  11. JK will send out the rota to the volunteers. We now have 12 volunteers for the stall. Cars are allowed on site from 10am until 12. At the end we will need to transport all the empties off site but keep them as we will need to refill them ready for the Christmas Cracker, cars are not allowed back on site until 4.30pm.


  1. Choir: No date set


  1. Autumn Quiz: Fri 8th Nov at the Victoria Club 7.30pm startTS has organised this event. Committee members were given posters to display around Street and the local area. JK offered to do the raffle and has raffle books. Please contact JK if you would like to donate a raffle prize and need it collecting, or if you would like to donate you can take it on the night if you are taking part. £2.50 per person with teams of up to 4 people. Booking is preferred so to book please contact Trevor Skinner 01749 689199 or 07739 817136.


  1. Pizza fundraiser: Fiona White spoke about a fundraiser that she had been involved with. They bought pizzas and made puddings. People would bring their own alcohol. Easy fundraiser and a nice sociable event. Roughly £10 a ticket. Would need to find a venue though, maybe at a member’s home?


  1. Baltonsborough Show – Aug 2020


  1. Website & Facebook: All being kept up to date


  1. Lottery winners this month:


1st Prize no.12 Francesco Della Valle £20

2nd Prize no.40 Gill Davey £10

3rd Prize no.8 Tina Della Valle £5


  1. AOB: None



Date of next meeting: Wednesday 25th September at 7.30 pm

in The Mullions breakfast room.



Minutes July 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes of the committee meeting held in The Mullions breakfast room.

Wednesday 24th July 2019. The meeting started at 7.30 pm.

 

 

  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence

 

PRESENT:  David Brunt (chairman) DB, Tom Winn (vice chairman) TW, Marina Richards (treasurer) MR, Jacqui Knight (secretary) JK, Peter Fry PF, Trevor Skinner TS, Francis Knight FK, Gabbie Butler GB, Catherine Atkins Ca.A, Paul Badman PB, Katrina Dumontroty KD, David Atkins DA

 

APOLOGIES:  Kay Strain, Rebecca Wells, Barbara Fry and Simon Carswell

 

  1. Minutes of the June meeting: DB checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and signed them as a true record

 

  1. Matters Arising:

 

a)    The Mullions has now been booked for every 4th Wednesday of the month and informed that there is no meeting in December.

b)   FK has looked at purchasing some sturdy tables for future Twinning events which are strong enough to hold the water and wine bottles. It was agreed to purchase 3 tables costing £28 each 180cm x 30cm.  

 

  1. Treasurers Report: Please see attached financial report

 

            Current account balance £3,520.48

Deposit account balance £8,043.36

 

FK brought to the committees attention that in the Street Parish Councils 2006 policy they agreed to give Street Twinning a grant each year. We do still need to apply for it and MR stated that she receives an email with a reminder to submit the application. DB stated that the amount received does vary but it could be added to the yearly budget.

 

Committee members queried if anyone had heard from Elmhurst School with reference to receipt of the Twinning’s £150 donation. This was towards their costs of hosting children from the Schweitzer School in Gravenchon. JK will check the Elmhurst School Newsletter.

 

  1. Visit to Gravenchon: Wed 15th April to Sun 19th April 2020 (provisional until booked)

 

Please see the attached spreadsheet from MR which shows various coach options. DA and Ca.A recently travelled on the DFDS crossing from Newhaven – Dieppe. Not up to the standard of Brittany Ferries but a good crossing with cabins, recliner seating, large bar and large eating area. TS had a suggestion of travelling down the night before and all staying in a Travel Lodge or similar. DB agreed that we would arrive more refreshed but this would increase the coach price and there would be no saving doing it this way. KD stated that the Portsmouth to Le Harve ferry is not a very nice boat and we wouldn’t get back until 3am Monday morning which would not suit those who have to return to work that day.   

DA suggested and TW seconded that we stick to using Taylors coaches as we know and trust them and they know us. MR also stated that Taylors are happy to arrange the ferry crossing as well which would work out cheaper than booking separately. This was thought a good idea by all.

 

  1. Visit to Isny 2019: Nothing more to report at this time

 

  1. Publicity / recruitment of new members:

 

a)    Elmfest report – Sat 13th July: JK reported that Street Twinning had a stall with games gratefully loaned by David Atkins and The Lions. At 20p a go this wasn’t a fundraiser but more about publicity for the twinning and another chance to be part of a community event. We handed out flyers and spoke to various people about twinning along with having fun with pick a stick and play your cards right. Thank you to our volunteers the Knight family, David Brunt, the Wells family, Barbara and Peter Fry, Kay Strain and Tom Winn. The pitch cost £10 and prizes cost £8.43. We took £25.35 on the games and sold one Street shopping bag at £1.50. This gave us a profit for the day of £8.42

b)   Updated flyer – Rebecca Wells had very kindly organised the new twinning flyer at very short notice. We have 500 printed. They look great and with no dates on them they can be used for all twinning events. If anyone knows of somewhere they could be displayed i.e. notice boards etc. then please contact Jacqui. Suggestions from the committee were the library, Strode Theatre, notice board outside Crispin Hall and inside the Community Centre. JK will enquire at these places.

c)    Greeting card – Kay Strain sent the completed greeting card to DB and he will bring one to the next meeting. He said it is very nice with all the relevant information on it.

A big thank you to both Rebecca and Kay for their work and please don’t forget to give Marina any receipts for costs so as you can be reimbursed.

 

  1. Fundraising:

 

a)    Bric a brac market stallDA stated still aiming for stall in Aug. Communication will be through email as there won’t be another meeting until the end of Aug. We will keep members informed if we need any volunteers for the stall.

b)   Merriman Park Fun Day – Saturday 7th September. DA will bring back wine for this on his next trip to France. Possibly bottle wrapping on Thursday 5th Sept but to be confirmed at the next meeting. JK will organise a rota for volunteers on the stall. MR will re-order prizes and give DB a float before the event. Ca.A said that there are windmills from the dinner dance which could be sold for 20p each or given as prizes.

c)    Choir. Carried over to the autumn

d)   Quiz – Fri 8TH Nov at the Victoria Club: TS is organising this and will ask for any help needed nearer the time. It was suggested that we should have a poster or some flyers advertising this at the Merriman Park Fun Day.

e)    Pizza fund raiser – Carried over to next meeting

f)     Baltonsborough Show – Aug 2020 – This will stay on the Agenda so as we don’t forget but nothing more to discuss at this point.

 

  1. Website / Facebook / Twitter: All being kept up to date

 

  1. Congratulations to the July lottery winners:

 

1st Prize no.55 Bernard Squire

2nd Prize no.46 Helen Phillips

3rd Prize no.15 Veronica Brunt

 

  1. AOB:

 

a)    DB had received the very sad news that Viv Richards, a long standing member of Street Twinning, had recently passed away. TW will represent the Twinning at Viv’s funeral.

b)   JK had received an email from Bernard Squire to say that he and Grace enjoy being kept up to date with news about the Twinning. They send their best wishes to everyone.

c)    Yvonne and Denys Jones have decided to retire from twining after 26yrs. They wish everyone well and will be added to the supporters emailing list as they would like to stay in touch and be informed about future twinning events.

d)   MR will contact the United Reform Church and book Wed 23rd Oct for the Twinning AGM. PF will prepare the emails for re-elections. JK will email the Mullions to say there will be no meeting in October due to the AGM.

e)    The Street Parish Council has stated that the representatives for 2019/2020 are Cllr. Simon Carswell and Cllr. Andy Leafe. They along with Jenny Marshfield the Assistant Clerk will be informed of committee meeting dates and agendas.

 

 

 

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 28th August at 7.30 pm

in The Mullions breakfast room.

 

Minutes June 2019

Minutes of the committee meeting held in The Mullions breakfast room.

Wednesday 26th June 2019. The meeting started at 7.50 pm.

 

  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence:

 

PRESENT: David Brunt (chairman) DB, Tom Winn (vice chairman) TW,  Marina Richards (treasurer) MR, Jacqui Knight (secretary) JK, Francis Knight FK, Paul Badman PB, Catherine Atkins Ca.A, Kay Strain KS, David Atkins DA, Rebecca Wells RW

 

APOLOGIES: Claire Axten, Barbara Fry, Peter Fry, Sally Wood, Trevor Skinner, Gabbie Butler, Katrina Dumontroty, Barbara Cowell.

 

  1. Minutes of the May meeting: DB checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and signed them as a true record.

 

  1. Matters Arising: Everyone agreed The Mullions breakfast room is suitable and will be the venue for future committee meetings. JK will book the room for the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7.30pm; apart from in December when there is no committee meeting.

 

  1. Treasurers Report:    Current account balance £3,685.48

    Deposit account balance £8,042.13

 

MR reported that it has been clarified that the £1000 paid by BACS into the Street Twinning bank account was the grant from the Street Parish Council. DB will send a thank you to the Street Parish Council.

 

a)    Bric a brac market stall – Thursday 23rd May. Joint stall with Meriman Park community group and proceeds were split in half giving Street Twinning a total of £55.35.

b)    Parish Council grant applicationMR has put in the application for 2020.

c)    Elmhurst School donation – Back in Nov 2018 Street Twinning had been asked by Elmhurst School and the Gravenchon Twinning Association if it would be possible for us to help by paying for the French children’s meals when they visited Elmhurst School this year. It was agreed by a majority of committee members, through email, that Street Twinning would donate £150. The French children have recently been staying in Street and the £150 cheque has been paid to Elmhurst School.

MR informed the committee that in the Parish Council application it states we support local schools. In 2018 we donated £100 to Elmhurst School which helped fund a BBQ for the French children. On that occasion we attended the BBQ to promote Street Twinning and we hope to do this for other local schools in the future.

 

  1. Visit to Gravenchon 2020: Please find attached a spreadsheet from KD which shows various ferry crossing options. The committee discussed this and DB stated that overnight travel with an early arrival time is not favoured by our Gravenchon hosts. The Euro tunnel was ruled out due to the long coach trip. DA and Ca.A will check out the DFDS crossing and report back at the next committee meeting. DA also suggested that we could do one way and then travel back on a different service if it offered better options. It was stated that previously the twinning had travelled by coach to the port and then travelled as foot passengers on the ferry, there is no financial saving in doing this and so thought not a good idea.

MR has asked for new quotes from coach companies to compare with the ferry options. DB said that after a recent trip he felt that Aston coaches are not preferable. KS suggested Bakers in Yeovil (different from Baker Dolphin) and MR will contact them. MR stated that some coach companies offer package deals that include the ferry crossing and she will enquire.

 

DB has not yet approached the U3A reference joining us on the exchange to play a boule match. It was decided to wait until we had more of an idea on how many members are interested in next year’s trip to Gravenchon. Please remember to contact JK if you maybe interested in travelling to Gravenchon next year. She is compiling a show of interest list of members. Provisional dates are Wed 15th April to Sun 19th April 2020. This coincides with school holidays both in England and France.

 

  1. Visit to Isny 2019: Nothing more to report at this stage

 

  1. Publicity / recruitment of new members:

 

a)    Mendip TimesJK sent an article about the visit from Gravenchon to Mendip Times and it was published in the June edition.

b)    Letter to schools - JK, DA, FK and Ca.A had got together to discuss a membership drive at local schools. It would be best to wait until the autumn to contact the schools as they are now nearing the end of term. A letter to each school will be prepared with a view to arranging a meeting with the head.

c)    Elmfest – Saturday 13th July at Elmhurst School. 2pm til 6pm, setting up at 1pm. It was agreed that having a stall at Elmfest would be a great opportunity for local parents to find out about twinning. It was agreed to have one stall with a few games for children to play and win prizes. On the stall will also be the usual photos and information plus the twinning flyers and forms for people to fill in if they are interested.

DB has a table and gazebo with weights that we can use. DA will lend us a couple games from The Lions. FK asked if the twinning would consider buying some tables to use on the various stalls. They need to be strong enough to hold the water and wine bottles. It was agreed that MR, FK and KS would source some. JK will contact members and arrange a rota of helpers on the day.

d)    Updating flyerRW is happy to source the printing of a new flyer.

e)    Greeting cardKS showed the committee a sample of the twinning greeting card. Kay will print 50 and it can also be adapted to a Christmas card.

f)     Updated membership packJK has updated this and sent to the new family. It consists of the twinning document, membership form and lottery information. At the AGM it was proposed that the membership fee should increase to £15 per adult effective from the 2019 AGM. This had received unanimous support at the time and in light of this it was agreed that no membership fees will be collected from new members until the AGM this year so as everyone pays the same yearly fee.

 

  1. Fundraising for 2019:

 

a)    Baltonsborough ShowDB stated that the twinning used to have a stall at this event and it takes place in August. It was thought by all a good idea but to perhaps do this next year. A human fruit machine was a popular idea where twinning members would hold up a piece of fruit in a partitioned gap, or window, like a slot machine and people would win a prize for 3 in a row or a certain sequence.

b)    Bric a brac stall – We have more stock and DA has contacted Val Appleby and a stall will be arranged in August.  

c)    Merriman Park Fun DaySaturday 7th September. The pitch fee has been paid. DB asked if we could source some plastic boxes to store the wine. We need to be able to store and transport them easily as normal cardboard boxes aren’t strong enough and if a lot of bottles are in them they become very heavy. JK will email all members when sending out the minutes to start collecting the following items; wine boxes which are free from Supermarkets and screw top wine bottles, please fill with water. Donations of bottles of wine will be gratefully received. Please hold onto these items for now. DA is happy to bring back 48 bottles of wine from France. The twinning have 15 bottles is storage.

d)    Choir – Nothing further to report.

e)    Quiz – Fri 8th Nov at the Victoria Club. All booked and more details will follow nearer the time.

f)     KS suggested a pizza fund raising evening. She knew of one that had taken place which was a good fundraiser. Carried forward to the next meeting.

 

  1. Website / Facebook  / Twitter: All being kept up to date

 

  1. Lottery winners this month:

 

1st  no.66  Trevor skinner

2nd no.73  Bobbie Lockyer

3rd  no.7    David Mozley

 

11. AOB: JK has compiled a supporters email list and will forward an updated members list to MR.

 

Minutes May 2019

Minutes of the committee meeting held in the Victoria Club Skittle Alley.
Wednesday 22nd May 2019.
The meeting started at 7.30 pm.
  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence
    PRESENT: David Brunt (chairman) DB, Marina Richards MR, Jacqui Knight JK, Tom Winn TW, Peter Fry PF, Barbara Fry BF, Trevor Skinner TS, Francis Knight FK, Kay Strain KS, Gabbie Butler GB, Catherine Atkins Ca.A, David Atkins DA, Barbara Cowell BC, Rebecca Wells RW, Sally Wood SW, Paul Badman PB
    APOLOGIES: Claire Axten Cl.A, Katrina Dumontrotty KD
  2. Minutes of the April meeting:
    DB checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and signed them as a true record
  3. Matters Arising:
    a) New venue for meetings as from June: Upstairs Parish room £8.50per hour but no lift. Strode Theatre £30per hour and not suitable during holidays as extra cost. Members houses discussed but not favoured. United Reform Church £15 for 3hrs and 10% off if 5 sessions booked. Mullions Hotel breakfast room is free if some bought drinks. It was agreed that TS would book the Mullions for the 4th Wednesday of the month from 7.30pm.
    b) Investiture: A very enjoyable evening and Nina Swift mentioned how wonderful Street Twinning is in her speech.
    c) Twinning Greeting Card: KS showed a draft A5 size folded card with the possibility of Street Twinning and logo on the front and blank inside costing 10-15p per copy. JK was keen for the email, website and Facebook address to be included and SW suggested a collage of 3 photos. KS agreed to get some quotes for different designs.
  4. Treasurers Report: Current account £3,389.11. Reserve account £8,040.76
    MR stated that a BACS payment of £1000 had been paid into the account but she does not know who it is from.
    Cheese and Wine Report: Please see attached report. Profit £373.67
    A well-attended event with lots of wine and food including many different cheeses. Thank you to Tina and Tony for their great hospitality and also to Gabbie and Martyn Butler for providing the games. TW said what a lovely evening it had been and was very happy to see Hazel and Ivor Russel at the event. It was agreed that JK will keep a Supporters email list so as non-members can be informed of any future fundraising events. If anyone knows of any non-members who would like to support such events please contact Jacqui with their email address so as they can be added to the list.
  5. Record of wine:
    DB has stock of 12 red and 3 white wine for future events
  6. Visit to Gravenchon: Wed 15th April to Sun 19th April 2020 (provisional until booked)
    KD contacted Brittany Ferries reference sailing from Portsmouth to Caen. They don’t have pricing yet and we can’t book until late Aug/Sept. A discussion followed about other possible crossings. Key points were time of travel and availability of day time cabins. An overnight crossing and a Dover to Calais crossing was not favoured. Other possible options of New Haven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Harve were discussed and so JK will contact KD to see if she would be happy to look into these other options. MR had contacted some coach companies for quotes:
    Taylors Coaches 55 seater executive coach £3,450.00 (£3,300.00 last year), Bakers Coaches £2,250.00, SMC coach hire £3,000.00 Coach and Ferry travel carried over to the next meeting.
  7. Visit to Isny:
    Mon 28th Oct to Fri 1st Nov 2019 (booked) nothing further to report.
    Since the meeting it has been confirmed that the new family travelling to Isny now have a host family.
  8. Publicity / recruitment of new members:
    FK said it is important to follow up with people who show interest in the twinning. He mentioned a parish councillor who had attended a previous meeting as a potential new member. DA offered to contact him.
    Since the meeting we are in the June edition of Local Reach.
  9. Fundraising for 2019:
    a) Quiz: Fri 8TH Nov at the Victoria Club. More details will follow nearer the time.
    b) Bric a brac market stall: Val Appleby asked if we would help do a stall on Thurs 23rd May and split the profit 50/50. JK, FK, DB, GB volunteered.
    c) Strawberry Tea: Sunday 23rd June from 3pm at Avril and William Berry’s in Street. Cake and raffle prize donations please but no strawberry and cream cakes. Tickets are available from any committee member £7 adult £4 child (aged 5-14) Raffle and possibly a game of boule. Please take own chairs and picnic table if needed. Payments by BACS or cash/cheque to DB.
    d) Choir: DA is working on this idea. Carried over.
  10. Website / Facebook /Twitter:
    All being kept up to date
  11. Congratulations to the May lottery winners
    1st no. 56 Sandy Baird £20
    2nd no. 8 Tina Della Valle £10
    3rd no.14 Martyn Butler £5
  12. AOB
    RW asked if there could be a thank you letter sent to Millfield Security for allowing us to park the French Coach at Millfield during their stay. DB is happy to do this along with sending a thank you to Tina and Tony for hosting the Cheese and Wine.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 26th June at 7.30 pm
Venue: The Mullions Hotel breakfast room.
51 High Street, Street.

Minutes April 2019

  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence
  2. PRESENT: David Brunt (chairman) DB, Marina Richards MR, Jacqui Knight JK, Tom Winn TW, Peter Fry PF, Barbara Fry BF, Claire Axten Cl.A, Francis Knight FK, Kay Strain KS, Catherine Atkins Ca.A, David Atkins DA, Paul Badman PB, Sally Wood SW, Katrina Dumontroty KD
    APOLOGIES: Gabbie Butler, Barbara Cowell and Trevor Skinner. Since the meeting Rebecca has sent her apologies
  3. Minutes of the January meeting
    DB checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and signed them as a true record
  4. Matters Arising
    a) Numbers for the Investiture: David and Veronica Brunt, Jacqui and Francis Knight, Barbara and Martin Cowell, Tom Winn, Gabbie and Martyn Butler. Since the meeting the numbers have been confirmed with the Street Parish Council.
    b) New Venue for meeting as from May: DA reported that The Bear charge £100. TW reported that there would be no charge for The Victoria Club. It is not available on a Wed but we could use the skittle alley short term. DB reported that the community centre charge £12 an hour and it is available every Wed. KD suggested Brookside School and will enquire. The Legion may charge but are booked every Wed. Ca.A asked if we could meet on a different night, the committee would be happy but not on Tues. TW will book the Victoria Club skittle alley for our May meeting.
    Since the meeting TW has booked the skittle alley for Wed 22nd May but the function room is now booked every night and so The Victoria Club is not an option for future meetings.
  5. Treasurers Report See attachment.
    Current account balance £1,283.25
    Reserve account balance £8,039.35
    DB questioned the refunds. A few hosts due to unforeseen circumstances either couldn’t host at the last minute or couldn’t attend the trip. As the visit had come in under budget it was felt by the subcommittee that it was possible to refund moneys paid by these members.
    DA pointed out that this year for various reasons the visit had been very good value for money but in the future the costs could be higher.
    TW formally thanked Cl.A and her team for such a great meal and service at the Dinner Dance. Cl.A replied saying she had enjoyed the event and that it had ran very smoothly.
  6. Visit from Gravenchon 2019
    JK read out the report for the Visit from Gravenchon. See attachment.
    Along with the agenda JK had asked hosts for any constructive feedback. William and Avril Berry had sent DB an email thanking everyone for their hard work and especially thanking Claire and her team. Sharon had sent an email from France, which DB had forwarded onto all members thanking everyone and said how much the French had enjoyed this year’s visit.
    JK reported that she has sent great reviews to Sally Vinyl, the Hairy Dog, West Somerset Railway, Dunster Castle and Taylors Coaches on behalf of Street Twinning.
    JK has sent a report along with a couple of photos to Local Reach and Central Somerset Gazette. Since the meeting JK has sent a report to the Mendip Times. We hope all of these reports will be printed soon.
    TW asked if a letter of thanks will be sent to the Parish Council for their event and it was agreed that DB will do this.
  7. Visit to Gravenchon 2020: Wed 15th April to Sun 19th April
    The dates which would suit the French are from Wed 15th April to Sunday 19th April 2020. Both French and English children are on school holidays during these dates which will enable hosts and guests to spend time together. Last year many families couldn’t travel to Paris as their children were at school.
    The dates were agreed by the committee with no objections.
    KD offered to look at ferry dates and prices with Brittany Ferries including the possibility of sailing to Le Harve. MR offered to contact Taylors coaches.
    Sharon has suggested a friendly boule match when we visit Gravenchon. DB suggested we could invite the U3A boule team. The committee then discussed the idea. Some concerns were raised i.e. extra travel arrangements and extra costs plus finding accommodation. DA said that this could attract more members and with carful budgeting it shouldn’t affect the overall cost to members. DB said that Sharon was keen for this to happen and would arrange accommodation and if possible find hosts. It was agreed that it would be a fun activity that all ages would enjoy and there is plenty of time to make arrangements before the next visit. DB will write to Peter Lander of the U3A boule team with an idea of cost and what the trip would involve. It would be nice if the team joined us for the whole exchange including the Dinner and Dance and any trips.
  8. Visit to Isny 2019: Mon 28th October to Fri 1st November
    BF reported that all members travelling to Isny have been contacted by email. Flights have been booked with Easy Jet from Bristol on Mon 28th Oct to Basel with a return flight on Fri 1st Nov 2019. The group of 30 people include a couple of new twinners and their two daughters. BF has received a lovely email from Isny stating that the town of Isny support the twinning which makes it possible to pick the group up from any airport no matter the distance. This made it easier to book the most convenient flights at a good price.
  9. Publicity / recruitment of new members
    With the new family travelling to Isny we are slowly gaining more members but there still needs to be a drive for new members as for various reasons quite a few members have left in recent years.
    JK asked DA for his assistance in coordinating a membership drive at local schools, as discussed at a previous meeting. It was agreed they would meet and formulate a plan.
  10. Fundraising for 2019
    a) Quiz: CHANGE OF DATE TO FRI 8TH NOV at the Victoria Club. More details will follow nearer the time.
    b) Bric a Brac market stall: BF and PF stated they were misquoted and would be happy to do the stall again. DA had checked with the Merriman Park Committee group and they have said yes to a joint event and for the proceeds to be split down the middle. PB asked for best sellers so as we can start collecting items, BF stated that children’s items and china sells well.
    c) Cheese and Wine: Fri 17th May at Tina and Tony Della Valle’s house from 7pm. Tickets £8.50 under 18’s £4.00. DA has 20 red and 6 white bottles of wine from France. Tina will organise food and put in expenses. The twinning glasses can be used. DB will liaise with Tina to see what is needed and will check if she needs raffle donations. Tickets are available from any committee member and payments should be sent to DB or paid by BACS.
    d) Strawberry TEA: Sunday 23rd June at Avril and William Berry’s house. MR will liaise with Avril to see what is needed. Ticket prices to follow shortly.
    (For both the above events JK will check with hosts before posting on FB. The twinning has enough raffle tickets in stock for both events.)
    e) Choir No update.
  11. Website / Facebook /Twitter
    JK reported that the Gravenchon posts have been very popular with lots of likes and shares. We have 118 followers including people in Isny and Gravenchon. The #sallyvinyl post reached 3500 people.
  12. Lottery winners this month
    1st prize no.25 Yvonne Jones
    2nd prize no.13 Tony Della Valle
    3rd prize no.21 Catherine Atkins
  13. AOB
    a) Notre Dame Cathedral: DB had received a suggestion from a member that the Association should give a cash donation to the fund for repairs to the Cathedral. He stated that having looked into the matter our constitution doesn’t allow us to make such donations. He suggested that those members who wish to donate can go online. There is a donation website don.fondation-patrimoine.org or members can google Notre Dame Cathedral for more details.
    b) JK and FK suggested a greeting card for Street Twinning which can be sent to say thank you or for condolences etc. There could be photos on the front with the Street Twinning logo and our contact details and it could be signed by the Chairman. This was agreed by the committee and JK and KS will work together to design one and get a quote for printing.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 22nd May at 7.30 pm
in the Victoria Club skittle alley.

Visit from Notre Dame de Gravenchon 2019

6th April – 10TH April 2019

44 friends from Gravenchon travelled to Street and there were some new visitors, including children which is fantastic for the continuation of twinning. There were a few hiccups along the way in organising this visit but with great team work by the subcommittee and communication with Sharon in France everything ran smoothly during their stay.

They travelled by Ferry from Calais to Dover and arrived slightly earlier than expected. Each member of the subcommittee had been given a group of hosts and those hosts were made aware of their contact in case of emergencies. This system worked well and enabled hosts to be informed quickly of the new arrival time.

During the day on Sunday and Monday there was time to relax, catch up and time for new hosts and guests to get to know each other. The Dinner and Dance was held at Meadway Hall in Compton Dundon on the Sunday evening. A team of volunteers, including a few French guests, decorated the hall with the theme of a train trip to the beach. There were props of a train, photo frame and accessories that many people enjoyed taking photos with. Everyone was greeted with a glass of Bucks Fizz on arrival. We enjoyed excellent catering by Claire and team and danced to the lovely singing of Sally Vinyl.

evening the Street Parish Council hosted a reception in Crispin Hall. Tasty non-alcoholic beverages and a wonderful ploughman’s supper went down well with both English and French. We enjoyed music by Dylan Thomas and John and Ann Diment. Gifts were exchanged and a plaque celebrating 50 years of twinning was presented by Marie-Francoise Loison, deputy Mayoress of Gravenchon to the Street Parish Council and received by the Chair, Nina Swift. Stars displayed on the plaque were decorated during last year’s visit to Gravenchon and also by local school children during their visit to France. One plaque will be displayed in Street and the other in Gravenchon.

Tuesday was the trip day and a large group of 96 people travelled by coach to Bishops Lydeard and then onto Watchet by Steam train. The Subcommittee were informed with not much time to spare that maintence to the line from Watchet to Minehead had overrun and so would be closed. With quick adjustments made the trip still ran smoothly. West Somerset Railway provided a great service with two train carriages reserved for the twinning and we had a chance to take photos up front with the train driver.

Once in Minehead we walked to the Hairy Dog where we were all seated together and promptly served fish, chips and peas. Some then enjoyed deserts, drinks or a walk along the sea front before catching the coach to Dunster Castle. The drizzly rain didn’t spoil our enjoyment. Many went into the castle, some wandered around the gardens and tried their hand at archery or shooting whilst others ventured into Dunster village. We had a good journey home with a friendly coach driver and a great service provided by Taylors coaches.

Wednesday morning was an early start and time to say goodbye. With long lasting friendships reinforced and new friendships made, twinning is still going strong. We look forward to visiting our friends over in Gravenchon in 2020.