Category Archives: Valence

Valence Market 21st September 2019

Would any TTA member  like to go to Valence for the annual market?

The market is on the 21st of September. The Valence twinners are putting on a celebratory meal on the Friday evening, then the market is on the Saturday, with our twinners being given tickets to go and eat at the Fete de la Gastronomie. This event  is on all weekend and last year when we went it was truly a great experience.

If you would like to join this event as a guest then please contact Joy Phillips as soon as possible.

Valence Market 22 September 2018

This year the International Market in Valence was held on the 22nd of September and the TTA took over the van loaded to the gunwales with products from our area and wider afield. Carol and Bert travelled in the van whilst Adrian and I flew to Grenoble and hired a car.

This is the 3rd year we had had the market on the same weekend as ‘la Fete de la Gastronomie’. Our experience has varied year to year and this time we had a lot more music, with singers and musicians and we drew quite a good crowd. Our stand did well and there were many old friends to chat to and new friends to be made. Carol had done an excellent job of choosing what we would sell, and we made a good hole in our produce. Bert was kept busy in his customary role as ‘sales advisor’ telling all clients what his personal favourite is and convincing people to purchase.

This year we did not take the ingredients to sell English breakfasts. Adrian was kept busy on the stand, taking the money from Bert’s conquests. 

Our photos show that we displayed our children’s work. This was from the end of March in coordination with the Essex Book Festival. One of the schools from Valence contributed, and there was a lot of interest in their replies from ‘What does PEACE mean to you?’ Next year we will be continuing to work with the EBF hopefully with some schools the same and others joining in. Of course the question will be different.

The market is only part of the experience when we get together in Valence. On the Saturday evening we went to eat and dance together with all the other twin towns. It was a lovely meal and a great opportunity to relax and enjoy being a part of Twinning.

On Sunday morning, having been given some tickets, we went to experience ‘la Fete de la Gastronomie’ for ourselves. I’m not sure I can use sufficient superlatives to tell you how wonderful it was! We began by looking around cheese stalls which was great – when suddenly we were attracted to a stand providing Cantal beef with Cantal potatoes. We had never eaten something so delicious! Then we crossed the road into the rest of the Fete and ate three desserts each, got a bottle of lovely fruit juice, drank a beer and watched a top chef cooking. What an unexpectedly wonderful experience! Thank you to those in Valence who gave us the tickets – your generosity was much appreciated.

We flew back on Monday having done the market in Valence, but also having had a great time experiencing so many other things as well!

More photos from our trip are here:

 Joy Phillips, Chairman TTA

Kerith & Teresa visit Valence for the first time….

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.

Message of Friendship from Valence

“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


Francois Richebé


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

Francois Richebé




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


















Rolph School Exchange Visit to Valence – June 2016

Two reports by students at Rolph School:

The first report is by Isaac Raftery, Year 5 – Capture





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 –

oil1 oli 2 oli3 Oli4


Tendring and Valence Schools Exchange Visits Video – June 2016

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.






Valence June 2016 – Speech by Cllr Mark Platt

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.