NEWHAVEN mayor Steve Saunders received the key to a dragon’s cave when he signed the charter twinning Newhaven with La Chapelle St Mesmin at the weekend.
The Mayor of La Chapelle, Nicolas Bonneau presented him with the original key to a cave where legend has it, a dragon lived which was killed by Saint Mesmin.
Legend says the dragon was terrorising the villagers. Saint Mesmin killed the dragon and the grateful inhabitants built a church above the cave and named the town after him.
Cllr Saunders was in France with members of Newhaven Twinning Association for the signing after a French delegation came to Newhaven in August.
Cllr Saunders said: “The cave is a special part of the history of La Chapelle St Mesmin and so to receive the key was a great honour for the town of Newhaven. When our French visitors visited us for the English signing ceremony they presented us with a very special vase made in the Gien factory in the Loire area.”
Cllr Saunders presented his French counterpart with a two foot high, gold coloured, metal cormorant sitting on an original piece of a harbour pile.
The sculpture was created by jeweller Mike Shorer from Avis Road and the piece now takes pride of place in the La Chapelle St Mesmin Town Hall.
During the weekend the mayors and twinning association chairmen Norman Hopson and Annie Lefebre unveiled a sign signifying the linking of the two towns.
La Chapelle mayor Nicolas Bonneau said: “We are delighted to be twinned with Newhaven and see it as an opportunity for educational, cultural and sporting links between the towns. Already many contacts have been made and friendships created and we hope these will continue to grow in the future.”