Coldstream’s town twinning celebrated its coming of age with a large party of 60 French visitors from their twin town Bennecourt visiting the town in the 21st year of their association.
The twinning arrangement between Coldstream and Bennecourt, 45 miles west of Paris, is one of the most successful in the Borders and it was quite clear from the atmosphere in Coldstream last week that the arrangement continues to be as popular as ever, the enthusiasm from both individuals and the two towns themselves ensuring it has a healthy future.
Helped by the unseasonably good weather, an excellent week was enjoyed by visitors and hosts, starting with the welcome dinner in Coldstream Community Centre, beautifully presented by the catering sub-committee. A big thank you to Greenvale AP who supplied the potatoes.
After a free day on the Sunday the French guests travelled to Edinburgh on Monday where they enjoyed a visit to the superbly renovated Scottish National Museum in Chambers Street which is well worth a visit.
On Tuesday, French guests and hosts were welcomed by Coldstream company Universal Fibre Optics who organised a talk and a very interesting tour round their factory.
It is amazing that such a high tech organisation is operating so successfully right in the heart of the town.
A ‘Great Scottish Bake-In’ was expertly led by Janet Hodge who taught the French guests how to make delights such as tattie scones and fruit scones. The shelves of the shops in Coldstream were emptied of cream of tartar and baking powder within hours! Also on Tuesday, French children and teenagers were welcomed by both Coldstream Primary School and Berwickshire High School. Grateful thanks go to the headteachers and staffs of both schools for their invaluable support.
Wednesday was ‘Art Trail’ day and many of the excellent local arts and crafts businesses and individuals opened their doors for the French visitors to get an insight into their skills and products.
The evening found hosts and guests in Coldstream Community Centre being entertained by talented local musicians Bob Liddle and Rob Bell. An excellent supper was provided by the hosts and a great time was had by all (as can be seen by the photographs!)
On Thursday the group visited the Scottish Museum of Flight at East Fortune where they were enthralled by the British Airways Concorde exhibit.
Afterwards they had the opportunity to walk around North Berwick where families scoured the shops for some “Scottish goodies” to take back home with them.
Friday was the final day in Coldstream before their journey home. In the evening, an excellent ‘Farewell Meal’ was held in the Community Centre.
At around midnight, after many tearful au revoirs, the French coach sped off into the night and another successful twinning visit was over.
John Fulton, chairman of Coldstream Twinning Assocation, said: “What a great week it was for French guests and Coldstream hosts alike - everyone thoroughly enjoyed their week.
“The association wishes to thank everyone who helped in any way, large or small. We couldn’t have done it without you!”