CHAIRMAN'S REPORTS

Guten Abend und herzlich Willkommen

I am pleased to report on the activities and achievements of the Buckingham Twinning Association in 2018/2019
The Association has the following aims:

To bring about friendships and to create a shared sense of community between the people of Buckingham and those of towns of different countries.

To encourage the understanding of other peoples’ ways of life.

To open up the horizons of the young to prepare them for the increasingly global future.

To share knowledge and enthusiasm for the arts, sports and business.

To experience each other’s history, culture and crafts.

We are delighted to continue to grow our links with our twin towns: Mouvaux in France and Neukirchen-Vluyn in Germany. We are formally twinned with Mouvaux and have recently reached an agreement for a full twinning with Neukirchen-Vluyn, with whom we previously had a friendship agreement. I would like to thank our colleagues in both towns who have been a great pleasure to work with: Annie Millecamps, Günter Fischer and Christian Berges, and also their respective twinning committees.

Here is a brief review of our activities over the past year:

December 1st - 2nd 2018
Marche de noel in Mouvaux. This was my first visit to a very popular event in the French calendar and it was very enjoyable. With careful planning and having stock delivered in October, we have reduced the amount  we need to take over for the actual event. Thank you to Pat, Derek, Stephanie and Jo for their help. Thanks also to Stephanie’s parents, who allow us to store our goods at their house.

December 10th 2018
Community Fair. The bagatelle set proved very popular again. A very relaxed way to talk to local people about the association. Thank you to Pat, Jane and all the helpers.

February 2nd 2019
Coffee, croissants and Gugelhupf. Our popular coffee, croissant and German cake event were once again held at the Community centre. It is a good way to attract new members and have a chat on a cold day. It was really nice to have more room so we could accommodate more people. We have decided to hold it there again next year. Thanks to Ruth, Howard and the other helpers who made everything run so smoothly.

March 29th - April 7th
Salon des Peintres, Mouvaux. Three Buckingham artists submitted 8 paintings to the annual art exhibition in Mouvaux. Sadly none of them were sold this time.

July 12th
Bastille Day Boules Tournament. A very popular event and we had good weather too – we are always a little worried if rain is forecast! It possibly wasn’t quite as well attended as last year but even so, a good time was had by all.

The barbecue proved popular and we had an ice-cream van this year. The gentleman running this has already asked to come next year.

Thank you to all the helpers: Valerie, Muriel and Molly, Jane and Howard, the Le Pelletier family, the Witter family and Steve Haines and anybody else I have forgotten!

August 18th
A really nice little BBQ held by John Murray in his most charming and well-kept garden.

September 14th
Erntedankfest in Neukirchen Vluyn . A small group went to sell English products to the Germans. This visit was combined with attending a meeting of the local square dance group in a nearby town. Most of the stock was sold including some English wine and gin, and the homemade marmalade proved popular.

October 3rd - 5th
A group of 8 people visited Buckingham from Neukirchen Vluyn. They enjoyed tours of Bletchley Park and Oxford including a visit to the Ashmolean.

October 12th
Europafest in Neukirchen Vluyn. This was a concert organised to include acts from each of their twin towns. Rory Evans represented Buckingham and apparently made a big impression on the audience.

October 31st to November 4th
Small-group visit to Mouvaux. Four members including myself spent a very enjoyable long weekend with host families there. We visited a weaving museum and D-day museum and also went on a very informative walking tour of old Lille.

November 15th – 16th
Buckingham Art for All exhibition. 2 paintings have been submitted by an artist from Mouvaux, thus continuing the artistic link between our two towns.

Forthcoming Events:
December 6th to 8th - Marche de Noel in Mouvaux

December 14th - Stall with Tombola at the charity fayre after the Christmas parade

Early next year - reciprocal visits to sign the Twinning agreements between Buckingham and Neukirchen Vluyn

February 8th - quiz at Maids Moreton Village Hall

February - date to be confirmed –coffee, croissants and Gugelhupf at the Community Centre

May or possibly June 2019 - coach trip to see the wigwam at the garden show in a town near Neukirchen Vluyn. This has been constructed from 300 knitted squares from each of Neukirchen Vluyn’s twin towns and was sewn together over there in November 2018. We are hoping to take all the knitters from Buckingham who took part in the project so they can see the finished masterpiece.

We continue to support the youngsters of Buckingham. We presented a prize at the Royal Latin School for the student who showed the most improvement in a modern foreign language. We are also in the process of setting up youth exchanges separately from those organised by the schools.

Thank you to all our members for your support. Please let me or any of the committee members know of any new ideas or suggestions you might have.

Thank you to all the committee members for their help. During the course of the year, we welcomed Stephanie Lepelletier, Jo Veglio Taylor, Christine Witter, Lorna Joy and Steve Haines as new members thereof.

Thank you very much to Buckingham Town Council. We greatly value the support we have received from our mayor as well as Councillors Paul Hirons and Ruth Newell as the town representatives on our committee, Councillor Howard Mordue our treasurer, Councillor Christine Strain Clark as our Hon president. Thank you also to the town Clerk and events coordinator. Last but not least thank you to Jane Mordue our secretary, I couldn’t do this job without her invaluable help.

Thank you also to Ruth Newell who has kept the town informed with regular articles in the Advertiser.
We are currently rebuilding our website, which had previously been masterfully managed by Geoff Shaw until his untimely death in July.

Geoff will be greatly missed as our former webmaster and Membership Secretary. He and Valerie have been involved with twinning right from the start I believe. He was also a constant presence at out Boules Tournament and will be difficult to replace.

Thank you to Christine for taking on the role of Membership Secretary. Subs are due soon; please pick up a leaflet if you would like to join/re-join.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every other month at 7.30 pm.

It has been a pleasure to work on so many projects and create so many links between our towns. I believe that Twinning is helping our future generations to understand one another in this ever-growing world.

Sue Watkins, Chairman
19th November 2019

Bonsoir tous et-toutes,

I am pleased to report on the activities and achievements of the Buckingham Twinning Association in 2017-2018 in furtherance of our objects which are:

To bring about friendships and to create a shared sense of community between the people of Buckingham and those of towns in different countries.

To encourage the understanding of other peoples' way of life.

To open up the horizons of the young to prepare them for the increasingly global future.

To share knowledge and enthusiasm for the arts, sports and business.

To experience each other's history, culture and crafts.

We are delighted to continue to grow our links with our two towns: Mouvaux in France and Neukirchen-Vluyn in Germany. We are formally twinned with Mouvaux and have a friendship agreement with their German twin town Neukirchen-Vluyn. May I thank our colleagues in both towns who have been a great pleasure to work with: Annie Millecamps, Michelle Delsalle, Gunther Fisher and Christian Berges. I will now review the year in outline:

December 2017
Marche de Noel. This was once again a popular event in the French calendar. The French are already queuing for this year's market to put their hands on our mince pies and Christmas puddings. With careful planning and having stock delivered in October, we managed to take only one car, lowering the cost and making a profit. Thank you to Pat, John, Jane and Howard Community Fair I am grateful to Jane, Howard and all the helpers on an occasion where we offered fun old fashioned games to please young and not so young. It proved to be a nice way to talk to local people about the Association.

January
Fete des Rois. On 6th January we had a well-attended party for the twinning Committee and guests, which included Jon and Julie Cheese, wine and galette des rois were served.

February
Coffee and croissants. Our popular Coffee and croissant were this year held at the Community Centre. It was a good way to attract new members and to have a little chat on a cold and windy day. This is an event we will keep firmly on the calendar. It was really nice to have a bigger space with more people passing by. We have decided to do it there again.

April
Salon des artistes. Two artists were invited by Mouvaux for their annual 'salon des artistes'.

Square Dance visit. We received in Buckingham a large group of our German friends from Neukirchen-Vluyn with a big delegation of 14 square dancers+ plus visitors and guests. They arrived on Friday under the worst of English weather. We entertained them by a visit and lunch at Stowe, an aperitif at my home followed by a meal at the Indian restaurant. A full day the next day included a dance rehearsal, a visit to the town and the University followed by a lunch at the Woolpack. Visitors went to visit Claydon House then a late afternoon dance all together followed by a nice meal at Gawcott Village Hall.

July
Bastille Boules. Thank you to all the helpers: Geoff and Valerie Shaw Ron Gleeson and Muriel Gleeson, Jane and Howard Mordue and the Lepelletier family. This is a well-oiled little event very popular in the town and generously supported by the Town Council. We encountered a mix of weather but it didn't stop everybody enjoying it. We really must find an easier source of hay!

August
Garden Barbecue. We were hosted by John Murray to a really nice little BBQ in his charming and pretty garden. A bonus was that we had perfect English weather.

September
International Youth Forum. Two Buckingham students, Harvey and Thomas, were chosen to represent Buckingham in an International Youth Forum in Neukirchen-Vluyn. They spoke to a theme of 'Your Future, living a life you love.' They were supported by friends and family and the Association gave financial assistance with their travel costs. It was the most successful event as an example of a twinning exchange.

October
Cheese and Wine. This proved to be an amazing event as usual. Ron Gleeson delighted us with the most wonderful wines accompanied by carefully selected cheeses. His charm together with his knowledge of the topic is essential for a very enjoyable evening. He was helped by his team in the organisation of the event.

November
Jumelage Mania. This event was a first of its kind - a big party between all the towns twinned with Mouvaux, with the aim of promoting each town, helping people to discover what we all have to offer. It is funny to realise that there are still a lot of people who don't know where Buckingham is!!!! Rory, an amazing guitarist, came with us to represent Buckingham, even playing within a trio with French accordionists. We had the pleasure to have Jon Harvey, Mayor of Buckingham and his wife, Julie, with us for the first time in Mouvaux. It was a very enjoyable weekend

Forthcoming Events: The BAFA has invited two French artists to bring four paintings for their annual exhibition in November. I believe this is a fantastic partnership between the two towns and soon after that, we have turned full circle, back to France for our next Marche de Noel.

We continue to support the youngsters of Buckingham. We presented a prize at the Royal Latin School for the student who showed the most improvement in a modern foreign language.

Thank you to all our members for your support. We are always keen to hear of any new ideas or suggestions you might have, don't be shy and send me a little line (French not compulsory!)

Thank you very much to Buckingham Town Council. We greatly value the support we have received from our new Mayor as well Councillors Paul Hirons, Terry Bloomfield and Ruth Newell as the town representatives on our committee together with Councillor Howard Mordue our treasurer. It is good to have the expertise of Councillor Christine Strain Clark as our Hon president. Thank you also to the Town Clerk and events coordinator. Last but not least thank you to Jane Mordue our Secretary, I couldn't do this job with her invaluable help.

We keep in touch via emails and now with our new Newsletter kindly written by Geoff Shaw. Thank you also to Ruth Newell and her daughter Lara who has kept the town informed with regular articles in the Advertiser. The website is masterfully managed by Geoff Shaw, not an easy job: thank you Geoff for your hard work. We were also grateful to Geoff for taking on the role of Membership Secretary at our last AGM and I feel he is doing a wonderful job keeping people informed of events. Subs are due soon; please pick up a leaflet if you would like to join/re-join. Any member is welcome at our regular committee meetings held every other month on the first Wednesday at 7.30pm in my home. The exact date will be on our website.

It has been a pleasure to work on so many projects and to forge so many links between our towns. I do believe that Twinning is helping our future generations to help and understand one another in this ever-growing world. Merci for listening.

Stéphanie Scrase (edited from her speech)
Chairman

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