Future of Petworth twinning group could be under threat

A dwindling number of members of the Petworth Town Twinning Association visited Ranville in France for a four day trip.The usual number of between 12-20 had dropped to six for the latest visit.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 4:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 12:07 pm

Petworth Town Twinning Association spokesman Graham Martin said the twinning had been going on for over 35 years: “but sadly the formal side may come to an end in a couple of years unless we have some new or younger members.”

He invited anyone interested to view the association’s website and make contact if they were interested in joining.

But he said members who went on the trip enjoyed the French hospitality.

“Saturday was a full day with a visit to the village of Clecy just to the South in the hilly Suisse Normand region,” said Petworth Twinning Association spokesman Graham Martin.

“Clecy is a mecca of sports - canoeing, 18 hole golf, paragliding, climbing, giant zip wire, mountain biking and hiking, paragliding and an anglers’ paradise with pike, perch, trout, carp and other fish. The climbing rocks are the best natural climbing site in the region.”

A picnic lunch was provided by Petworth’s Ranville hosts at a nearby tourist attraction, a converted old lime kiln area where they were also able to see video presentations of the history of the lime kiln, cider production, and current development of a tourist area and model railway.

“A narrow gauge railway transported us round the quarry area and finally we visited the large barn housing the model railway.

“The railway was started by a father and carried on by his son over many years.

“The attention to detail was breath-taking with a whole range of different landscapes reconstituted with life-like detail covering 310 square metres .

“The model incorporated more than 450 metres of rails, a vast collection of 250 model locomotives, 450 wagons, 650 houses, all lit with hundreds of lights. Three scale sizes of models made the whole panorama seem most realistic with town in the foreground and mountains in the background. New scenes are being added each year. Authentic recorded sounds were used for the trains which included TGV down to local trains.”

The group returned to Ranville for a ‘surprise evening‘. A giant paella had been prepared followed by an evening of live music and dancing.

Details of the group can be found on the Petworth Twinning website.

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