Unfortunately Covid-19 put paid to every activity we had planned for 2020. Our friends in Laon had invited us to visit in June, but before any arrangements could be made we were all put in 'confinement' or Lockdown. We do hope that a visit can be organised soon, but at the time of writing (30 December 2020) the situation is not looking good...

In October 2020 we should have held our AGM but it was not possible to do so. As soon as the situation improves, and we feel that we are able to organise any activities, we will be contacting present and prospective members of the Association. In the meantime we hope you are all keeping well and staying safe.

Twinning Association Celebrates 25 Years

In 2019 it was the turn of the French group from the Winchester, Laon Twinning Association to visit Winchester. Forty nine visitors stayed with ‘twinners’ in the city and surrounding area. A packed programme was organised with Saturday spent in Oxford where guided tours were given in English and French and were followed by an impressive afternoon tea. Sunday was spent with hosts and the climax of the visit was a party and buffet supper in the evening. A spectacular cake bearing the heraldic badges of both cities took pride of place.

The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Eleanor Bell, gave a speech in perfect French, to the great delight of the visitors. Speeches were also made by Philippe Mozin, Deputy Mayor of Laon, and by Thierry De Nitto and Roger Malhomme, respective Presidents of the Winchester and Laon groups. The firm intention to continue the friendship between the two cities was expressed, together with the hope that the Association will in due course celebrate its golden anniversary! The two mayors then cut the cake.

Laon is situated some 50km from Reims and 130km from Paris. Our two cities have much in common: spectacular cathedrals; remnants of city walls with gates, populations of similar size and a range of cultural activities.

Throughout the year a number of social evenings are held in Winchester, usually with a French flavour, for example: the Fête des Rois (Feast of the Kings) in January. New members are always welcome. It is not necessary to speak French. Some of the French speak no English. Guests can usually be matched with hosts who speak their language.