THE 30th Anniversary of the Twinning of Crediton and Avranches in France was celebrated in Crediton with a visit by 31 guests from Avranches.

They arrived in the town at 10pm on Friday, May 26, having travelled in a coach from Avranches via Roscoff and Plymouth.

Their hosts were waiting for them and looked after them during the weekend.

On the Saturday a reception was held in the Boniface Centre at 10.30am, hosted by the Mayor of Crediton, Cllr Liz Brookes-Hocking, supported by Cllrs Joyce Harris and Steve Huxtable, with refreshment organised by Town Council Clerk, Mrs Rachel Avery.

Approximately 70 people were present and brief speeches were made by Cllr Liz Brookes-Hocking and Christian Cossec as well as a few words from the three people who signed the Original Twinning Charter in April 1993, Mrs Francine Powell (formerly Francine Richer) Crediton Town Council Chairman, André Bazin, former President of the Avranches Twinning Commission and Senior Deputy Mayor and by Peter Brewer, Chairman of Crediton Twinning Association.  

Peter Brewer explained that among the guests from Avranches were 17 members of a choir call Vocal’in who, in the afternoon, met and rehearsed with local Choir, the Crediton Singers in preparation for a free entry joint Concert in the Parish Church at 7pm.

Peter continued: "The concert was well attended (approximately 100 people) who thoroughly enjoyed the event.

"Included in the programme were several pieces sung by both choirs together including the Ukrainian National Anthem, when the audience all stood up.

"Grateful thanks to the Reverend Prebendary Matthew Tregenza for allowing the Church to be a perfect venue for the event."

On the Sunday the guests were entertained by their hosts, including trips to Buckfast Abbey, Rosemoor Gardens, Fingle Bridge and Dawlish, to name a few.

Peter continued: "In the afternoon the French Choir sang to residents at Hillbrow Care Home before everyone, hosts and visitors, gathered for a wonderful meal provided and served by Vanessa Nuthall and her team in the Boniface Centre.

"Wine served was a gift from the French visitors, courtesy of Odile Morel Presidente of CAP (Cities Avranches Partenaire) and Christian Cossec Deputy Mayor of Avranches.

"Flags of Crediton, both countries plus Ukraine were displayed and, once again, the visiting choir sang to all.

"Brief speeches were made by Jenni Pitts, Chairman of Crediton Twinning Association and Odile Morel."

During the Sunday evening celebration meal Mr Brewer showed, on a projector and screen, 100 or so photographs he had covering the Twinning between the years of 1989 to 2022.

The French visitors were so pleased to see them that a copy was sent back to France as an historical record.

On the Monday morning the group gathered to join their coach for a journey to Portsmouth for the return crossing to France.

Mr Brewer concluded: "It was a very successful weekend with new friendships made.

"A similar celebration is taking place in Avranches in September."