Twins visit Uckfield

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A GROUP OF French visitors were delighted their visit to Uckfield coincided with the start of the late May warm weather.

Twenty-three visitors from Uckfield’s twin town of Arques-la-Bataille spent an action-packed weekend staying with local families, exploring the Uckfield area, introducing new forms of international sport and enjoying the brilliant sunshine.

Twinning Association chairman David Sudbery said: “They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. ‘Chacun a été ravi par cet excellent weekend’ came the message back from Arques - everyone has been delighted by this excellent weekend.”

Tony Freeman, a local historian and member of the Association gave French visitors a guided tour of Lewes, explaining the significance of November 5 in the county town. After a sunny picnic in the newly restored Priory grounds the afternoon was spent at Batemans, Rudyard Kipling’s home in Burwash. The visitors were impressed with the splendid gardens, working watermill, collection of books and memorabilia - and especially the cream tea on the sunny terrace.

International sport took a new turn in Uckfield on Sunday when English and French families competed in a game of petanque at the Uckfield Club’s ‘bouledrome.’ Later the tables were turned when French visitors were initiated into the intricacies of the game of croquet at another cream tea in twinning members Jean and Brian Payne’s garden overlooking the Ashdown Forest. This followed a memorable walk on the Forest and a guided tour of the restored Nutley windmill by members of Uckfield and District Preservation Society

Arques-la-Bataille is a small town in a picturesque setting just outside Dieppe. Excellent facilities include a lake for water sports, camping and an impressive medieaval castle overlooking the river Varenne. Twinning activities between Uckfield and its French twin town are flourishing with family visits, school exchanges and youth camps. The next visit is at the end of August when friends from Arques will offer accommodation to anyone who would like to stay. Information: email or ring: 01825 733318.