Southborough and Lambersart celebrate their ‘entente cordiale’

SOUTHBOROUGH’S residents welcomed their ‘twins’ from Lambersart in northeast France last week, celebrating 30 years of their Amitiés Internationales.

Southborough and District Overseas Friendship Association (SHDOFA) celebrates its twinning with Lambersart, near Lille, every five years, renewing the aims of their founding charter.

SHDOFA and Southborough’s Mayor Dianne Hill welcomed the Amitiés Internationales led by Lambersart’s new Mayor Nicolas Bouche, on the weekend of October 22-23.

The French visitors toured the Civic Centre, revisiting gifts given by the people of Lambersart to the people of Southborough over the past 30 years.

Among the residents networking over a ploughman’s lunch of local produce, John Francis of Tunbridge Wells Youth Football Club was eager to discuss facilitating some youth matches against Lambersart teams.

Also at the lunch was Simon Miller of Southborough & District Wheelers, who had cycled to Lambersart earlier this year with a view to extending their relationship with Cyclo Club de Lambersart.

The evening saw the official re-signing ceremony and exchanges of gifts, culminating in the gala dinner at the Masonic Hall.

Entertainment laid on by the local hosts included local singer and musician Michele Roszak, who played for the residents and visitors, and the musician and Southborough theatre group member Edd Price, who performed after the gala dinner.

SHDOFA hosted all the foreign guests overnight, before sightseeing and entertainment by Nell Price of Southborough’s Arty Farty Retreat on Sunday, followed by a final carvery lunch at the Masonic Hall.

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