Entente Cordiale: French and English twinners team up again.

2019 FootballBuckfastleigh residents sipping tea on Sunday afternoon at the Millennium Green were in for a rude awakening: a French pitch invasion followed by a keenly contested game of walking football.

Wearing bibs lent by the Buckfastleigh Football Club, the teams, comprising French and English of all ages, competed for over an hour in the blistering heat. After shaking hands, everyone repaired to the Kings Arms for drinks and games of pool.

“It was a great chance for Buckfastleigh locals to meet our French friends and take part together,” says Anne Goulborn, chair of the Scoriton and Buckfastleigh Twinning Association. “The twinning is for everyone in the town to enjoy.”

The August Bank Holiday weekend saw 38 French twinners from Fontaine-Henry in Normandy arrive for their biennial four-day visit. 

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 The full programme included a Saturday night reception at Scoriton’s village hall, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Buckfast Abbey gardens with slap-up lunch at the Abbey Conference Centre and a visit to Buckfastleigh’s Valiant Soldier with its current D-Day exhibition.

Buckfastleigh’s Colin Harmes conveyed delighted English and French youngsters across to the Valiant Soldier in two restored US army jeeps. Colin himself and his group had been received in grand style in Fontaine-Henry during this year’s D-Day commemorations.

The French were full of praise for the weekend, summed up by Véronique Mauduit, president of the Fontaine-Henry jumelage committee.

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“We all really enjoyed our time here. There was such a lot to do, and all on the doorstep. Something for us all to enjoy. Thank you Scoriton and Buckfastleigh.”