A party of 18 Lympstonians, with ages ranging from the 20s to the 80s, will be travelling by car and minibus to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to Ouistreham/Caen in Normandy, France. From there just a further 10 kilometres takes us to Biéville-Beuville, our twin village. Lympstone first twinned in 1979 after 3 years of negotiations. One of our present company travelling this time, was a founding member and Chairman!

Over that period, the raison d’être for twinning has changed and unless you have been involved, the appeal might seem less. Originally, government initiatives throughout the land sought to establish social exchange with other countries, Devon particularly with Normandy, to shake off the post-World War 2 hangover. In this, twinning certainly succeeded, particularly with those who took part. Similarly today, active twinners invariably return from France, or wave off their visitors with a huge feeling of elation and commitment to future exchanges. However, the reasons have of course changed. No longer is travelling abroad a novel experience for most, nor visiting France. Today it is about sharing the similarities and differences of everyday life and places. Exchanges happen over long-weekends and alternate yearly.

This year’s trip will include visits to a flax & linen factory and also to a calvados distillery.

Richard Crisp