Twinning - Q and A
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with answers, for the French twinning of our village of Comberton (near Cambridge, UK)
Q: What is twinning?
A: Twinning is a pairing between two similar locations in different countries. Our twinning charter invokes bonds of friendship through reciprocal visits,
and says that the aim of the twinning is to develop co-operation and understanding between our two nations by fostering friendship between their people.
It's also great fun, and educational!
Q: Where is Comberton twinned with?
A: We're twinned with the village of Le Vaudreuil, near the Seine river, about 17 miles east of Rouen in France, and about 60 miles west of Paris.
See a Google map of location.
Le Vaudreuil was chosen because like Comberton, it is a largish traditional village near a university city with modern developments nearby.
One other reason that it was selected was because it's about as far into France as one can sensibly travel for a weekend.
Q: When are trips to France?
A: We went there 20-22 September 2019. We left by coach at 4pm, crossing by Eurotunnel shuttle, arriving by 11pm British time.
We currently plan that the next major return trip by coach will be in 2022, probably in the Spring. We may also do a smaller-scale outing in Autumn next year, by minibus or shared cars,
to coincide with a French social event - perhaps a literary stroll in the steps of Guy de Maupassant.
Q: What happens when we get to Le Vaudreuil?
A: We are met by our hosts who take us off to their homes for the next two days. There will be a communal event (lunch or dinner) to help make and renew friendships.
The French host family will take you out to interesting places locally, and talk to you (in French or English as you wish) about life in France.
For the millennial visit in 2018, there were processions and sideshows and reenactments and other events to celebrate. For the 2019 visit
the French provided a boat trip on the Seine in Rouen, a musical supper, and a lunch at the Golf. As well we had time doing our own thing with the French host families.
Q: How do we get back?
A: We leave early Sunday afternoon (typically 3:30pm) by coach, crossing back by Eurotunnel shuttle, arriving back in Comberton, usually about 10pm.
Q: When are visits by the French?
A: The French came to Comberton 5-7 April 2019, and we had an excellent weekend including bilingual tours of Cambridge,
and also a celebration lunch at Girton College in honour of our 20th anniversary. We plan to host them again 8-10 May 2020 (the VE Day weekend).
We plan that the French will next come to Comberton in May 2022. More hosting families are very welcome!
Q: What does twinning cost?
A: Annual membership is only £10, under 16s free. Costs when in France are almost zero, as the hosts provide accommodation, meals, and local transport.
In return, it is expected that Comberton hosts will do the same for their French visitors when they come here.
There are costs for the coach and shuttle travel, but these are subsidised - last time it was £60 per adult and £30 for children under 16 years.
Q: What about children?
A: Families with children are particularly welcome.
Q: What happens other than the annual visits?
A: Some personal visits both ways happen at other times, to friends made previously.
Locally, we have fun social events such as a summer BBQ, an annual dinner, and a quiz evening.
Q: What can I do with the French visitors if I host?
A: It's not at all necessary to spend a lot on entertaining. The visitors want to experience life with an English family, doing ordinary English things. In the past people have reported success with:
- A visit to a supermarket, or to Poundland.
- A picnic in Wimpole Hall grounds.
- A visit to the American Cemetery at Madingley (don't miss the new exhibition building, and the chapel with amazing mosaics).
- Visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum, either for their amazing permanent collections or one of their focussed temporary exhibitions.
- Visiting The Museum of Cambridge (former Folk Museum), or the Cheddars Lane Museum of Technology, or the Centre for Computing History, or the Scott Polar museum.
- Or others of the University museums - Archaeology and Anthropology, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Science, the recently renovated Museum of Zoology, or Kettles Yard (when they reopen later in 2017 or early 2018).
- A walk on Granchester Meadows by the river, where Rupert Brooke and Pink Floyd got their inspiration.
- If it's Spring, then a walk in one of our nearby ancient woodlands such as Hayley Wood or Gransden Wood, to see wildflowers.
- If it's Autumn, then a walk round the Iron Age ring and woodland at Wandlebury, to kick leaves and appreciate the autumn colours.
- A trip round the charity shops on and near Burleigh St.
- Visit Kings College Chapel - one of the great buildings of Europe.
- Visit one of the central colleges (Trinity, Johns, Queens). Or avoid the costs of entry fees, and go to one of the outer colleges - Jesus College is interesting, big, free, and open most of the year.
- Go punting.
- Go up the tower of Great St Mary's church and look down on Cambridge
- Walk round Toft, Barrington, or the Eversdens and their many footpaths.
- Visit Anglesey Abbey at Lode (National Trust) gardens and water mill, or if wet pay the extra to visit the house with its snapshot of 1950s life for a wealthy bachelor.
- Go to one of the nearby old towns - Ely (cathedral), St Ives (Norris museum has reopened and is free), Saffron Walden, or Newmarket.
Q: Who do I contact for more information or to join?
A: Contact Paul or Glynis:
|Chairman:||Paul Hardy - tel 263232, email firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Secretary:||Glynis Ellis - tel 262214|
Or see our twinning web site at http://CombertonTwinning.org.uk/, for photos, history, and more background.
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