Thursday, January 17, 2019

In 1993 Abernyte joined with four other villages in the Carse of Gowrie to form the Inchture Area Twinning Association. The chosen twinning partner was Fleac, situated on the beautiful river Charente, near Angouleme in South-western France. Fleac.jpg


 In October 1993 a party of 63 Scots travelled to France for their first taste of Fleacois hospitality. On a bright sunny morning they gathered with the folk of Fleac outside the lovely Hotel de Ville for signing of the Twinning Charter. The following year in October, some 90 French friends paid a return visit for the signing of the charter in Scotland.

Since then there have been numerous exchanges, both official and unofficial.

twinning_emblem.jpgThe raspberry and the grape have been adopted as emblems of Inchture Area and Fleac respectively, symbolizing soft-fruit growing in the Carse of Gowrie and cognac of the Charente.


Like our community area, the commune of Fleac is situated on both sides of a very busy main road. On one side is the old village with shops, an ancient Romanesque church, Mairie (Town hall), the primary school, sheltered retirement homes and Sports Centre. The Mairie has beautiful gardens and a shady tree-covered path leading down to the river Charente, a lovely place to walk or cycle.

There are lots of new houses on both sides of the main road, but on the north side the country roads wind through this gently rolling countryside with its ancient farmhouses, Roman gateways, and vineyards. Like our area, the land round Fleac is largely agricultural, but most younger people commute to work in Angouleme. The secondary schools are there too.

A group from Inchture and Abernyte area were invited to Fleac in Oct 2012 where a fantastic time was had due to the warmth of the welcome and generosity of the people in Fleac. Click here to see photographs of the visit. 

August 2013 saw a visit of friends from Fleac to Inchture and Abernyte where a packed programme of events culminated in a wonderful ceilidh on the SS Unicorn in Dundee harbour.  A photo gallery in the timeline of the visit can be viewed here


Anyone living in this area is welcome to join the Twinning Association. There is no annual subscription or fee. You certainly don't need to be a fluent French speaker! The only cost of involvement is your time!

The Twinning Association have their own Facebook page which you can visit here: faceboak logo


For further information on Twinning contact one of the committee members:

Jane Woodford 686371(Chairperson) 01828 686371

Suki Stobbs 01828 686444

Norma Nicoll 01828 686677

Trefor Woodford  01828 686371

Louise Klaassen  01828 686711

Tina Wilson 01828 686784

Robin Churchill 01828 687907

David Littlejohn 01828 686918

Twinning AGM 2009

There is still an opportunity to host adults at the forthcoming twinning visit  24 - 29 May.
For more information please contact Suki Stobbs on 01828 686 444.


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INCHTURE AREA TWINNING ASSOCIATION


Annual General Meeting

 Wednesday 20 May 2009, 7.30 pm in Inchture Village Hall

 

Followed by

 A question and answer session for those hosting guests from Fléac

 

Wine and soft drinks available.All are welcome.

 

Committee

Fiona Jurk 01821 670 228, Anne Roberts 01828 686 230, Jane and Trefor Woodford 01828 686 371, Suki Stobbs 01828 686 444, Christine Allan 01828 686 430, Louise Klaassen 01828 686 711

Twinning Dates for 2009

28th February
"Taste of Scotland" cookery demonstration in Inchture Village Hall, 7.30 pm.

20th May
AGM at Inchture village Hall, 7.30 pm.

24th to 29th May
Proposed school visit from Fleac to Inchture Area. Hosts needed. Please inform Suki Stobbs on 01828 686444 if you feel that you can host adults or children.

Summer
An opportunity for a young person to spend 4 weeks working in Fleac. Please contact Fiona on 01821 670 228 for further details.

Inchture Area Twinning News- 2007

November:  Long dark nights till Spring, so your Twinning Committee has met to plan some bright spots.

A successful visit from a group from Fl?ac, who came here for a walking weekend in August.

A report from a young French student who came to the Inchture Area this summer- her first visit abroad.

 Please watch local notice boards and ?What?s On in Abernyte? (the online notice board) for our dates in 2008. !  Below are some dates for your diaries.{mospagebreak}

The Burns Night Supper and Ceilidh will be on Saturday 9th February 2008?  a very special event with the return of a brilliant speaker of ?The ImmortalMemory'.The AGM is in May hopefully combined with a special local food evening.

1st weekend in July is Fleac en Fete. This may be when the Inchture Area  visits Fl?ac to celebrate 15 years of our Twinning relationship!
 A  Beetle drive was held on  23rd November featuring an exhibition of designs for our new Twinning logo.  Local schoolchildren were asked to design an emblem which combined something Scottish with something French.  Next time you read a Twinning report you will see the new Logo!

Scottish Walkabout August 23rd - 28th 2007
 At the end of August a group of 13 Fl?acois arrived in the Inchture Area for a very successful walking visit.

 After seemingly relentless rain all summer we were a little anxious about the itinerary but luckily for everyone the first day dawned with not a cloud in the sky. The group headed off early to Glen Clova for a walk up to and around Loch Brandy. We were accompanied by Reg Popham ? a seasoned walker and glen expert from Kirriemuir and Pete Henderson our relatively new Chair of Community Council who also knows the area well. George Ward was a great help driving everyone around in the mini bus. A beautiful walk, paddle in the loch and picnic in the hills was finished off with a well earned drink in the sunshine at the Glen Clova Hotel. It really showed Scotland at its best.

 The following day saw a big group of French and Scottish twinners heading up Arthur?s Seat. It was a little cooler with a wind aiming to sweep us all off the top. However, despite being overcast the views were fantastic and the French visitors saw Edinburgh as they hadn?t seen it before (a few had been on previous visits). Next was a brisk walk into the city to take in the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Festival. With street performances, pipers and bustling crowds we all felt the excitement of this great Scottish event. After dinner in a French Restaurant!!! it was back home for a well earned sleep.

 The third day saw a more leisurely start with plenty of cooked breakfasts going around. The afternoon was spent on a walk to Pitmiddle with local historian Mary Young providing expert historical snippets. The 4ft high nettles and barbed wire fences didn?t dampen any enthusiasm and all agreed it had been a very successful afternoon. Tim and Suki Stobbs then kindly allowed us to use their holiday cottage for tea, cakes, BBQ and wine. This was followed by entertainment with Sandy Smith on the pipes, Lindsay Muir with a Highland Fling and Sophie Stobbs performing her Scottish country dancing. A great day was had showing what the Carse does best.

 Finally, the last day dawned bright and sunny. Off we

Twinning News Autumn 2008

INCHTURE AREA TWINNING NEWS
Autumn 2008

As you’ve probably heard by now from your friends and neighbours, 45 people from the Inchture Area went to SW France in July to celebrate 15 years of Twinning with Fléac.  Over the years, we have grown accustomed to the formal and informal rituals that mark our visits to Fléac.  So it was that our arrival was accompanied by the familiar sound of Sandy’s piping as the Scots emerged from the coach  - to be met with warm handshakes and hugs and kisses from old friends.  It was going to be a memorable weekend.

 During a welcome drink outside in the warm evening sunshine newcomers were introduced to their host families, while experienced “twinners” shared their recollections of previous meetings.  We were all given a linen bag, proudly carrying the Fléac twinning logo and containing the programme of events, useful information about attractions in the local area and a commemorative mug inscribed “Fléac-Inchture Area 1993 – 2008”.

 One “ritual” of these events is a theme for the weekend.  Our hosts had decided to show us the rural traditions of their area. Their Twinning Committee had planned a fascinating programme for all ages - from young children to over 60’s!  On our first hot sunny morning, we visited a superb new Museum dedicated to ‘The Art of Cognac’.  We were given a Hi-Tec audio guide (with a commentary in English) which when we walked past an exhibit of an agricultural tool, machine, or process in the making of Cognac, activated the audio guide and explained its use. It was brilliant. Even the children enjoyed it - though they got round quicker than some of us.  I was interested in their bottle collection and the subtle changes in the evolution and design for marketing Cognac. Everything was there -from the original bottle-shaped brandy bottles to chunky, macho glass containers like giant aftershave bottles, and curvaceous, sexy containers, like gorgeous perfume bottles- as the companies found new markets.

 

 Afterwards, the bus took us to a  huge park nearby, where the children played and ran about in the sunshine. Our host families had made picnics for us and we picnicked in the shade. Well-fed and tired out we nearly all snoozed on the bus to our next venue, a 200-year old water-powered Paper Mill at the bottom of a deep valley. Here the children actually made sheets of paper, while the adults listened to the master papermaker talking about the process of traditional papermaking. His handmade paper is used to repair books and manuscripts in The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and The Bodleian Library in Oxford.

 

 That evening we gathered outside the town hall of Fléac for the official ceremony to mark 15 years of twinning between our two communities, with speeches from representatives from Inchture, Fléac and from Marktbreit, Fléac’s twin town in Germany, and an exchange of gifts – we presented a kilt and Highland Dress outfit 

and a shield which had been designed by children from Inchture and Abernyte for the children at the primary school in Fléac.  A very sociable event, not too heavy, but nevertheless there was a touch of formality in the speeches, drawing attention to the real bonds of friendship which had been forged between our two communities during the past 15 years.

 

Saturday was devoted to ‘The Harvest in the Olden Days’ and we even had to dress up! We’d  had to add ‘Olde Worlde’ costumes to our mean No-Frills Airline baggage allowance! The car boot- sales and charity shops of Perthshire did a roaring trade before our visit. Imagine the cast of Les Miserables reaping and toiling beside the River Charente in a field of barley which had been sown specially for our visit .We made a pretty rural scene all togged out in our fake peasant gear, as we helped to harvest it, with scythes, sickles and flails.  Best of all Banned from Abernyte came with us to play music as we reaped and tied up the sheaves for the ancient threshing machine.’ Banned’ delighted everyone at the Harvest Feast that night with lively Scottish dance music.

 

 Other highlight visits were to see how sea-salt is made on the salt mashes on the île d’Oléron on the Atlantic coast, and the ancient cultivation of oysters. We were treated to a lunch of locally-raised oysters from the famous oyster beds, and amazing barbecued mussels, followed by a short extremely bracing swim in the Atlantic surf, warmer than the North Sea, but very rough!

 Tuesday arrived all too soon, and it was time to bid “ au revoir” to our hosts.  A memorable visit indeed.