The Valence Twinners Market was reported comprehensively in the local press – we reproduce the page here:
September 2017 – TTA at the Valence Twinners Market
On a chilly September morning Kerith and I set out on a journey to Valance. Our mode of transport depended on Joy and Adrian Phillips. They had kindly invited us to accompany them on the journey. At this point we would both like to commend Adrian for his sterling efforts to get us to the south of France at the quickest of times, without breaking any land speed records! He was a star. Never complained and made sure that we had enough ‘comfort’ stops, as requested on many occasions. As we drove down towards the south of France, the weather became increasingly warmer – certainly not the temperature that we had left behind!
On our arrival we were introduced to our hosts, Claire and Yves. We couldn’t have asked for a better example of French hospitality than was given to us, by them, throughout our stay. After a lovely meal we retired to our respective rooms for a welcome rest.
The next morning, following a hearty breakfast, we wandered through the town to meet with other twinners at the Valence market. It was such fun! The various nationalities engaged with each other in an extraordinary display of friendship. We feel that this, in essence, is what Twinning is all about, breaking down borders of communication and making new friendships.
The day was a huge success. We were tasked to assist Adrian in producing a typical English breakfast – Bacon and egg sandwiches! Adrian no doubt was a street seller in another life as his talents for sealing a breakfast deal were so impressive! Again the focus was on fun and sellers, producers and customers enjoyed every aspect of it.
Another bonus was the opportunity to have our photograph taken with the Mayor of Valence. He was incredibly supportive of the event and stopped to chat with all stallholders during his visit. Once the breakfasts were finished, we could then sit back and celebrate with a cool German beer – bought from our twinning friends from Biberach.
We then wandered off through the medieval city for a little sightseeing. Valence is a beautiful place, so full of history, set within the backdrop of the Rhône Alps. In the evening we were invited to a twinning event, hosted by our Valence counterparts. We enjoyed meeting new people while conversing over a 5 course meal – which was delicious.
The next day we visited the local park, enjoyed yet another lovely meal, presented to us by our hosts, followed by a trip to see the ruins of the historic Chateau de Crussol.
Early the next day, we thanked our hosts for such a wonderful time and set off for England. Of course we had to take in the delights of a French shopping trip in Calais on the way. Again, Adrian didn’t let us down and we arrived back safely in Tendring, that evening, via the Channel Tunnel. It was a wonderful weekend which we would recommend to anyone contemplating the joys of the Twinning Association.
“What is twinning?” is about the first thing you see on our home page. Twinning is mostly reflected in sharing happy occasions and celebrations between our towns. However, as we all know, life isn’t all about happy events and there are times when we share with our twin towns the sadder things that happen within our twinning families.
Whether that might be a sad loss, or changes and saying goodbye or whether it is part of a bigger, national picture, as the attacks on our country. We have shared with our French friends when they have been shocked by the attacks made on them in Paris and Nice; we have shared with our German friends when they were attacked in Munich and Berlin.
This message has been received from Valence – it shows that twinning is much more than ‘jollies’ but goes deeper so that we also share in each other’s sadness.
Joy Phillips, Chairman TTA
Received from Francois Richebé, Chairman, Twinning Association, Valence, France:
Nous sommes une fois de plus horrifiés par un acte inqualifiable.
Nous partageons la peine de tous ceux qui sont touchés par ces conséquences.
Nous sommes solidaires du peuple anglais dans ces moments tragiques que le peuple français n’a que trop subits.
Bonne fin de journée malgré tout
We are once again more than horrified by such an unimaginable act.
We share the pain of all those touched by its consequences.
We stand in solidarity with the English people in these tragic times that the French people have also suffered.
Enjoy the rest of your day despite everything
With our friendship
This is a one-day market with associated local events. Members are very welcome to come and join the TTA market team and enjoy Valence for a day or two.
If you are thinking of travelling and would like more information about this event please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bert and Carol drove the TTA van and stock to the market, whilst Adrian and I travelled by car: Saturday morning began bright and early with a crisp, autumnal feel: our stand was longer than usual as were not able to do English breakfasts this year. We did, however, manage to fill our stand with a plethora of traditional products.
Carol, Bert, Adrian and I manned the stall – Bert, as can be seen above acted as advisor to our potential clientele – a tactic which clearly paid off!
Fortunately the others knew what they were doing and very efficiently ensured that we had a very successful event.
These soldiers passed behind us as we were serving our customers. Twinning has, at its foundation, a desire for a lasting peace between nations; a tolerance of our differences and an acceptance of each other that enriches each one of our communities. A reminder, if we needed one, of why we were there.
Our early start and busy market was followed by an evening meal put on by the Valence Twinning Association. They worked very hard to make the market a real celebration of twinning and then went the extra mile to provide us with their inimitable Valentinois hospitality.
We took great pleasure in an evening of convivial company, wonderful food and melodic, Israeli music.
Park Jouvet, with its back drop of the Ardèche mountains
And this remarkable bandstand, with the heart displayed on the front … inspirational.Writing this short article about our recent market trip to Valence is a bit of a challenge: this was my first ever experience of doing a market of any sort, so I have nothing to compare it with. Therefore my comments are my own impressions, and not necessarily those of the people who have years of retail experience. I must also apologise for some of the photos – many thanks to our friends in Valence for providing the quality images, my apologies for the rest – taken with my mobile phone.
Two reports by students at Rolph School:
ROLPH’S TRIP TO VALENCE
One of my favourite parts of the trip was definitely going to Valence school and seeing my pen pal Amine K. First we went into year 6 and the year sixes saw their pen pals. Next we went into year 5 and I saw Amine! We played a game where you had to read out a question in your opposite language and your partner had to answer it in the language you said it in. After we painted our hands and splatted them on a big sheet. Both classes also sang two songs for us in French. Then we went out for lunch in their two level concrete playground where I played football with Amine. When we had lunch it was so different to are school lunch. You sat on a table with a teacher and the dinner lady brought out your food for you. There was also a jug of water. There were three courses: starter, main and dessert. For starter there was pizza, for main there was saucisson and mash potato and for dessert there was cream cheese and strawberries. Finally, we went to the town hall with them. When we got there we went into a room full beautiful paintings, vases and lots more. We gave out some English presents to the men and women there including tea cups and shortbread. Then we went into the last room that was where they had meetings with the Valence council. Finally, we headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
By Isaac Raftery Y5
The second report is by Oli Moss, Year 5 –
Students from Rolph school in Tendring who have been penfriends with students at Louise Michel school in Valence, recently visited each other at the occasion of Valence’s 50th anniversary of town twinning.
This video, prepared by our French colleagues, show the many activities enjoyed by the students during their respective visits.
There is commentary in French on some parts of the video and other parts are silent. The full video lasts about 23 minutes. You can watch it in larger format on YouTube by clicking on the logo at the bottom of the screen when it is playing.
This is the speech given by Cllr Mark Platt, Vice-Chairman, Tendring District Council, Saturday 4th June 2016 for the 50 Anniversary of Town Twinning in Valence.
Fellow Mayors, Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you for inviting me to be here today and the warm welcome that I have received in Valence.
I am here, as the Vice Chairman of Tendring District Council, to represent Clacton on Sea and the wider Tendring district.
Valence and Clacton, like many towns and cities have their roots in settlements founded in ancient times. The name of Clacton dates from around 500 AD when the area was settled by Saxons.
Whilst looking into the history of Valence I noted that the name comes from its time as a Roman settlement and is from the Latin ‘valentia’ meaning strength.
This has made me think about what it is that gives strength to our towns and communities.
Of course, given the reason we are all here today, one key aspect is the unity we share through town twinning.
Valence has been twinned with Clacton since 1969 and with the wider Tendring District since 1990.
The opportunity this has given us to share culture, history and heritage is invaluable.
We can learn from each other. From our ancient pasts whether Roman, Saxon, or Celtic we have each been shaped by our geography, our traditions, our economy and our national and local governments.
This has made us each unique, but whilst our uniqueness can be a strength it should not blind us to receiving ideas and influence from others.
Town twinning allows us to take strength from embracing new ideas and different cultures.
One of the key aspects of Town Twinning is the strength of new and enduring friendships that is enhanced by a shared pleasure in learning from each other rather than being divided by distance or language.
Finally, you will all be aware that soon the British people will vote on whether or not to remain part of the European Union. The council must remain impartial in this debate so I will not comment any further on the referendum other than to say that, whatever the result, it is my sincere wish that the relationship and friendship between us remains as strong as ever.
The city of Valence held a series of events between 3rd and 5th of June 2016 to celebrate their 50 years of town twinning.
Tendring was represented by Cllr Mark Platt, Vice-Chairman of Tendring District Council who was accompanied by his family, nine members of the Tendring Twinning Association committee, sixteen children from Rolph Church of England School Thorpe-le-Soken and the Leading Lights Morris group from Harwich.
It was a weekend full of activities and exchanges – including a formal exchange of gifts and a signing of the renewal of the charter of our continuing partnership. Saturday included an unveiling of their ‘totem pole’, a Big Parade and an evening meal with acts from the seven twin towns. Sunday began with an ecumenical service in the magnificent cathedral and ended with a lunch before the delegations began to disperse and go their separate ways.
More news and photos of the event will follow soon, a small selection is shown here (click on image for a larger version):
The Mayor of Valence, Vice-Chair of TDC, Chair of TTA and Chair of Jumelage
Valence will be celebrating 50 years of Town Twinning in 2016.
Valence Town Twinning Association are inviting all their twin towns to take part in the following events:
29 April – 1st June: A weekend of Music – Musicians from all twin towns are invited to take part.
3 – 5 June : The Grand Weekend – An official welcome in the Mairie with grand parade and dance.
1 – 3 July : A weekend of Sport – Sports clubs from twin towns are invited to take part.
Anyone interested in visiting Valence during these events can contact TTA Chairman Paul Sharpe for more information.