Valence Twinning Market, Saturday 24 September 2016

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!

At 9.30 on the dot, the Mayor of Valence, Nicolas Daragon came round to greet all the twinners on the market:val3



Our morning was very busy, although for me it was a steep learning curve, trying to remember prices, add them up and give the correct change.val4

Fortunately the others knew what they were doing and very efficiently ensured that we had a very successful event.

val5This picture I took on a more sombre note. It reminded me that we cannot take anything for granted – and in particular our own safety.

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.

val6A huge thank you to Francois, Olivier and Martine and their entire team for making the whole day a huge success – you are truly much appreciated.

We took great pleasure in an evening of convivial company, wonderful food and melodic, Israeli music.

Of course, it was difficult to leave Valence, so we took time on the Sunday to take in the beauty and majesty of this lovely place.val7


Park Jouvet, with its back drop of the Ardèche mountains

And this remarkable bandstand, with the heart displayed on the front … inspirational.val8Writing 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.

Joy Philips