Members of Uckfield Twinning Association were given true French hospitality in an action packed weekend in Arques-la-Bataille, Uckfield’s twin town near Dieppe.
Arriving on Friday evening the group was given privileged access to the monumental organ in the the Gothic church of Saint Rémy in Dieppe, with a private lecture recital by teachers at the Dieppe Conservatoire.
Given a chance to try out the 200-year-old instrument, musician and Sussex piano teacher Gill Sudbery took advantage of this and surprised everyone with an impromptu rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus!
On Saturday the group spent the day inspecting the flotilla of historic sailing boats which assemble in Rouen once every five years for the aptly named Armada, while some members of the group found time to visit an impressive exhibition of Impressionist paintings at the Norman capital city’s Musée de Beaux Arts.
On Sunday the group spent the morning entertained by local historical groups with mock battles, demonstrations of ancient crafts and meals cooked in cauldrons over wood fires at a Medieval Fayre. But there was no repeat of the Norman Conquest: the French hosts cemented their friendship with their English visitors with a barbecue beside the water sports area of the river Varenne.