Sleaford and District Twinning Association

Marquette 2019

Last weekend it was time for the first of the twinning meetings which take place between Sleaford, Marquette-lez-Lille and Fredersdorf-Vogelsdorf each year. This first meeting of 2019 was in Marquette and involved forty visitors from here and from Germany and a similar number of French hosts.

Despite some heavy showers, a good time was had by all. A Friday visit to Cassell in deepest Flanders started with an exhibition of paintings of village festivities including several works by Breughel, followed by a picnic lunch and a guided tour of the town. That evening we shared an “Auberge Ch’ti” where all the hosts contributed part of the feast. On Saturday each host family planned something for their guests, ranging from shopping in Lille through what one member described as a bit of a gourmet experience to my own visit to the Vimy WW1 Canadian memorial, its tunnels and its trenches. Saturday evening on these weekends is always “the party” where, after much eating, drinking and dancing, what I suspect will be the first of many “birthday” cakes appeared.

Why a “birthday” cake? 2019 and 2020 are important years in our triangular twinning’s history. In September 1999 a twinning charter was signed in Sleaford between Sleaford and Marquette-lez- Lille. A similar charter was then signed between our two towns in France in 2000. 2000 also saw the signing of a twinning charter between Fredersdorf-Vogelsdorf and Marquette. We took a bit longer to agree to twin with Fredersdorf-Vogelsdorf (Initially, until cheap flights to Berlin suddenly appeared, the distance was too great.) but started travelling there and meeting the people and finally signed our charter with them in September 2009 here in Sleaford and in January 2010 in Germany.

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