AN HISTORIC bond was forged between Newhaven and French town La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin at a twinning ceremony on Sunday November 13.
The charter was signed by Newhaven mayor Steve Saunders and French mayor Nicolas Bonneau at a special ceremony at Newhaven Enterprise Centre on Denton Island.
More than 100 people packed into the Enterprise Centre to witness the charter being signed and to drink a toast to the twinning with award winning English sparkling wine produced by Plumpton Agricultural College.
Three important French dignitaries attended the ceremony – Edouard Braine, the Consul General from the French Consulate in London, Olivier Cadic, a French MP, and colonel Philippe Chaxel, the French liaison officer to the chiefs of staff of the armed services.
The chair of the Twinning Association, Norman Hopson, said: “The twinning between Newhaven and La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin has got off to a wonderful start.
“Links are already being formed between schools in Newhaven and in La Chapelle and sporting links are also being formed between local sports clubs.
“I very much hope that this is the beginning of a long lasting friendship between the two towns which will bring benefits to many sections of the community.”
The signing ceremony was part of a weekend’s visit to the town by a group from the French town.
They were hosted in the private homes of members of Newhaven’s Twinning Association and visited Newhaven Fort, Newhaven Lifeboat Station and the South Heighton Bonfire Celebrations on Saturday.
The weekend was rounded off with supper for the Twinning Association members and their French guests at the Flying Fish in Denton.
La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin has already formed a twinning committee.
The town is located in the Loire Valley and is about 120 kilometres south of Paris.
To keep updated with the group’s activitities visit its website www.newhaventwinningassociation.ning.com.