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June 5 2012.

Newhaven Councillor Rod Main writes:

Our friends from our twin town of La Chapelle Saint Mesmin paid us a return visit this weekend to see the Fish Festival and witness the jubilee celebrations.

On arrival, the French party gathered with their Newhaven host families at the entrance to the Port to unveil a new welcome sign. In the picture, Norman Hopson (Chair of the Newhaven Twinning Assocation), Nicholas Bonneau (Mayor of La Chapelle Saint Mesmin), Graham Amy (Mayor of Newhaven) and Annie Lefebvre (President of La Chapelle Twinning Committee).

After visiting the Fish Festival there was some free time to visit places of interest in the neighbourhood, before meeting up again in the evening at a marquee on Huggetts Green for a hog-raost and a Barn Dance.

On Sunday, several of the French party visited Brighton to pick up Jubilee souvenirs, while others watched the Queen's progress down the Thames on TV. Sunday was also Newhaven Fort day and some took the opportunity to see the Fort and listen to the commentaries in the various exhibits. The fact that these were in French was commented on and impressed the visitors.

On Sunday evening, a farewell gathering and evening meal was arranged in the Tavern at Telscombe. Thanks must go to the staff who served some great food and wine and managed to put with some raucous, (if not to say
bawdy), singing of French songs.

All in all, a great weekend. Perhaps it was a little too short, but our French friends do not have the same bank holidays, (let alone extended ones), that we have.

All were gathered on the rear of the ferry as she backed out of port  as we waved and wished them bon voyage.

Newhaven Twinning Association is paying a return visit for Bastille Day on July 14th, and anyone wishing to join in this visit should contact Jacky Cole at

Rod Main