18:10 04/02/2013 Newsletter - Buckingham Twinning Association
Chairman's Report 2016
Stephanie Scrase

Bonsoir à tous et à toutes,

I am pleased to report on the activities and achievements of the Buckingham Twinning Association in 2015-16 in furtherance of our objects which are:

Hotel de Ville We are delighted to continue to grow our links with our two linked towns: Mouvaux in France and Neukirchen-Vluyn in Germany. We are formally twinned with Mouvaux and have a friendship agreement with their German twin town, Neukirchen-Vluyn. May I thank our colleagues in both towns who have been a great pleasure to work with: Sandrine Ducret , Annie Millecamps, Franjo Terhardt, Gunther Fischer and Christian Berges. Franjo retired this year.

In December 2015 we made our usual trip to Mouvaux’s Marche Noël, where with the hard work of Pat, John, Janet and Henry we sold our entire stock over the two days. The French are already queuing for this year’s market to get their hands on our mince pies and Christmas puddings this coming year. With careful planning and by obtaining our stock and then delivering it in October, we only needed one car so it is now a good fundraising event. As usual it was a very enjoyable (and tiring) weekend. Mouvaux Market in action

Back in Buckingham we took part in the Community Fair. This year we had some old-fashioned games on offer to please young and not so young. The whole occasion proved to be a nice way to talk to local people about the Association.

In January a warm and convivial meal took place at my house where much chatter, both in French and English, took place once again proving the theory that French wine does help to bridge the language barrier.

On February 6th-8th we welcomed a visit from Christian with 10 boys and two girls from Neunkirchen for an exchange with Silverstone technical College.

A week later our popular Coffee and croissant was once again held at the Old Goal: a good way to attract new members and to have a little chat on a cold and windy day.

Later that month we were due to have a visit from the German delegation: Christian, Franjo and Gunter to discuss future plans. However as we were waiting for them with Ron Gleeson, an email arrived: “We have missed our aircraft - because of too much traffic -the motorway was blocked - they have found a British bomb” So much about not mentioning the war!!!!

In April Two of our artists were invited by Mouvaux to attend their annual “salon des artistes”.

Conviviality at best In May we very much enjoyed Cheese and wine organised by Ron Gleeson, which as usual was a popular evening. Food and wine to please all palate was provided. Once again in a very relaxed atmosphere there were lots of laughs and hopefully one has learnt one or two facts about the wine we were tasting. As ever, merci Ron and Muriel.

Bykes galore In July we welcomed a visit from the cycling club of Mouvaux arranged to be at the same time as our annual Boules competition, this year on Friday 15 July. The cyclists dropped off the coach to ride across country in the company of my son, William and myself and, because of a stop or two to sample Britsh pubs, we arrived only just in time to play boules.The other guests arrived more sedately by coach. All arrived in the centre of Buckingham to enjoy and some to play in the Boules. This was the first time we had welcomed players from Mouvaux and, after a tense and tightly fought competetion (we were joined by some experts from Milton Keynes), the final was the French versus the British. L'entente cordiale is safe, because the French won - phew.. Intense competition On Saturday there were outings for the cyclists with Buckingham’s Swan Wheeler’s Club and a visit to Waddesdon for all in the afternoon. On the Saturday evening, Henry and I hosted a meal for host families and guests, around 50. The weather was kind: we had a great evening. The whole weekend would not have gone so well without the tremendous support from so many members so I am grateful to you all.

September was a busy month for twinning for it contained the Civic Visit by Mouvaux to Buckingham. On the Saturday the Mayor and councillors visited Aylesbury Vale District Council and met the Chairman, Cllr Jenny Bloom, to discuss town development plans and our other guests went on a tour of Buckingham.Our visitors then went to Oxford and all were entertained in the evening by their host familiers. I am particularly grateful to Valerie Shaw for a bravura tour on Sunday of Stowe Landscape Gardens, in fluent French, explaining the work of ‘Capability’ Brown in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth. A look at Stowe The Town Council generously hosted the Civic Lunch which brought together all guests and host families. Profuse thanks were expressed to the Mayor Andy Mahi, the Town Clerk Chris Wayman and the Events Co-ordinator, Amanda Brubaker for their help to make the weekend and especially the Civic Lunch such a success. Gifts were exchanged and our visitors left with us all wanting more days to enjoy their company.

In October Neukirchen-Vlyun celebrated their 25th anniversary of their twinning with Mouvaux. We were invited to join them so a small group led by our Deputy Mayor, Paul Hirons, went over with four of our youngsters to take part in debates about immigration. In November BAFA invited two French artists to exhibit 4 paintings once again demonstrating a shared interest between the two towns.

I am pleased to report that we continue to support the youngsters of Buckingham. We presented a prize at the Royal Latin School for the student who showed most improvement in a modern foreign language.

I thank all our members for your support. We are always keen to hear of any new ideas or suggestions you might have: don’t be shy - send me a little line (French not compulsory!)

We also express thanks to Buckingham Town Council and in this respect we greatly value the support we have received from Andi Mahi, the Buckingham Mayor as well Cllrs Paul Hirons, Terry Bloomfield and Ruth Newell as the town representatives on our committee, Cllr Howard Mordue our treasurer, Cllr Christine Strain Clark as our Hon president. Thank you also to the town Clerk and events coordinator. Last but not least a warm thank you to Jane Mordue our secretary: I couldn’t do this job without her invaluable help.

We keep in touch with our members with the newsletter and thanks are due to Ron Gleeson for his super professional work in editing and producing this. A special thanks to Ruth Newell and her daughter Lara who have kept the town informed with regular articles in the Advertiser. The website is masterfully managed by Geoff Shaw, not an easy job. Thank you, Geoff, for your hard work. Thank you to Terry Bloomfield, our membership secretary, who does a wonderful job keeping people informed of events. Subs are due soon; please pick up a leaflet if you would like to join/re join

We meet every other month, first Wednesday at 7.30 pm at the Buckingham Town Council Chamber next to the community centre and opposite Waitrose.

It has been a pleasure to work on so many projects, to forge so many links between our towns. I do believe that Buckingham Twinning is helping our future generations to understand one another in this ever growing world.

Stéphanie Scrase (edited from her speech)