Off Canvas

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. 

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.  
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


Inchture Area Twinning News Summer 2011
Our 18th AGM is on  Sunday June 5th   
And will take place at 12 noon at Outfield farm, Abernyte.
It has been combined with a lovely summer event, so we hope lots of you will come.
The AGM will be short (about 30 mins), but vital we have you there!
Please come and find out what‘s happening in our Twinning Area for the next 12 months…We have just 2 years to prepare for the 20th Anniversary of our Twinning with Fleac, which will take place in 2013.
Your ideas and suggestions will really help the committee to plan for this momentous gathering and assist us in our applications for EU funding. That’s why this AGM is so important for our community.
To encourage you to come, we’d like to welcome you with an Aperitif, which will be offered when you arrive! 
The AGM will be followed by our Summer 
Dejeuner sur L’herbe- or picnic at 12.30pm
There will be a delicious 3 course Buffet lunch of 
cold  salmon, new potatoes, veggie quiches, Baguettes,  salads,  cheeses, and local summer fruit and meringues.
Tables and chairs will be set up, and French music playing in the barn,
Or bring a rug if it’s hot and sunny and have your picnic on the grass!
Tickets are now available from the committee.See below.
You can phone and reserve tickets (so we know how many salmon to catch! )
Suki Stobbs, 01828 686444,
Mary Shrimpton 01828 686128,
Louise Klaassen  01828 686711
Jane and Trefor Woodford, 01828 686371
Adults : £10
Children 5-10: £5.00
Under 5’s free.
A bar will be available selling French beers, wines and juices.
After lunch, come and play petanque or boules, or bring your racket and enjoy Suki and Tim’s  tennis court….or enjoy  a walk on the hill…
Or just lie in the sun and chill out! Looking forward to seeing you there.
Jane Woodford 
Inchture Area Twinning Association
The Inchture Area Twinning Association’s  Burns Supper was met with anticipation and excitement from the revellers gathered together to celebrate the life and work of the immortal bard and packed into the Rait Community Hall on the 22nd January 2011. The evening began with its customary welcome from the Chairperson, Jane Woodford, and was officiated by Mac Roberts, our Master of Ceremonies.
This event was the first’ fundraiser’ of the year, in preparation for the 20th Anniversary celebrations in 2013
Sandy Smith had everyone clapping with approval as he enthusiastically piped in Poosie Nancy and her haggis, weaving around the room, and guests. Poosie Nancy was sporting a French beret and micro kilt,to as she carried round the the prized pudding.
Sandy then set about addressing the dish with his usual panache and unique wit before whipping out his dirk ‘an cut you up wi’ ready slight’ opening up the beasty. Naturally, we celebrated as is the custom, with a wee dram.

The committee had transformed the Annat hall. Every table had red, white and blue and tartan napkins, flowers and candles on it. Portraits of the Bard, the French Tricolour and Scottish Saltire were hung on the hall stage.
David Littlejohn then offered the Selkirk Grace before we all heartily tucked in to a dinner fit for a gourmet’s table.
The meal was served and cleared with military precision and the quality of the food was simply outstanding!
Despite being apportioned quite sufficient I jumped at the opportunity to savour an extra helping. After everyone had taken their fill of oat and honey flapjacks and cheese and biscuits we settled down to the entertainment.

Neil Mudie regaled us with an educational and entertaining speech outlining the greatness and relevance of the poet in celebration of the Immortal Memory. The piece de resistance was his wife’s beautiful rendition, sung in French, of ‘Ye banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon’.
David Ferrard, a Scottish-American singer-songwriter based in Edinburgh, then treated us to a selection of his own moving and powerful compositions and compelling interpretations of songs by Robert Burns.
Russell Duncan followed with a very funny and slightly risqué Toast to the Lassies. Clare Hardy retorted with an equally funny but slightly uncomfortable (if you are a Laddie!) reply.
Much to everyone surprise Louise Klaassen then passionately recited Tam o' Shanter in all its glory. Truly a magnificent feat and example of an awesome disciplined memory by any standards.
At this point the tables were quickly drawn back to allow the dancing to begin.
David Littlejohn rounded off the evening with a vote of thanks, and I would like to echo his sentiments in thanking all the organisers and sponsors for a wonderful evening.
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
I for one say, here’s to the next Inchture Area Twinning Association Burns Supper.
David Webb, Pitroddie

And now a PS from the chairperson. –
Over the last few years several friends from Fléac have joined us for our Burns Supper. They so enjoyed the food, music and dancing, that they decided to organise their own Burns event.
This year the Fléac Twinning Committee held its first Burns Supper in the Chateau at Fléac.
Two special guests from The Inchture Area were Sandy and Mary Smith. Sandy took his bagpipes with him to pipe in the French Haggis !
Inchture Area Twinning Association has received an invitation for families and children to visit Fléac during the Scottish Easter holidays, 7th –12th April 2011.
You will stay with a French family, and your children can spend a day or two in Fléac Primary school if they wish. (The French school holidays are later than ours this year.)
Jane Woodford
Spring News February 2010

We'll start with the bad news first

Up till now, (that is for the past 16 years), the committee have managed to hold enough events to fund celebratory long weekends when visitors come from Fléac.  We have been extremely fortunate to have the services of Fiona Jurk, our Chairperson. Her expertise in successfully obtaining European funding has enabled us to have enough funds to supplement inward and outward visits, for example, enabling many people from the Inchture Area to join in the celebrations of the15th Anniversary in Fléac in 2008.
Money in Europe is now as tight as elsewhere, and the ground rules for funding ‘town twinning’ have changed.  Just before Christmas, after all Fiona's hard work, our grant application was refused. There is just not enough money to go round since the EU was enlarged. It seems that our Twinning arrangement with Fléac does not meet the new criteria.
So if we hold a fundraiser do please come.  We are carefully re-planning the proposed visit in August of the children and young families who came over last May for the very successful Schools visit.
It's only 3 years until we will mark 20 years of twinning with Fléac!
This is quite an achievement considering we are all volunteers!  In Fléac and other towns in Europe, there is usually secretarial and financial aid available to help promote the aims of Twinning and to help fund visits and celebrations in  their communities. We have to do it ourselves. However, without extra grants being available now, we will certainly have to scale down our planned programme for this year and think hard about the future.
So to the good news!
Our first fundraiser and social event is a Quiz Night in Rait at the Annat hall on Saturday, 27th March. at 7.30pm .Tickets available from the committee £5 each. There will be a bar and food available. Tell you friends and make up a table of 4.
Jane Woodford
For further information on Twinning contact one of the committee members:
Rait:      Fiona Jurk (Chairperson)    01821 670228
Inchture:    Christine Allan  686430,
Abernyte:   Suki Stobbs      686444
Kinnaird:    Jane Woodford   686371,     Trefor Woodford  686371
Ballindean: Louise Klaassen     686711
Does anyone in our area have a young person who would like to spend   a month living and working in S.W.France in Fleac, our twin community?
This is a project we do each year. Usually a young person from Fleac comes to work here in July or August while a young person from Inchture area goes to Fleac.
The Inchture Area Twinning Association will give you a bursary of £100 towards your travel.
The Fleac Twinning committee will offer free accommodation,with a family in Fleac. Most families will take you out and about to see interesting places too.
It's a wonderful opportunity to experience France !
If interested, contact one of the IATA committee.
Jane Woodford
01828 686371
Summer 2009
Visit of Fléac Primary School to Abernyte and Inchture Primary Schools. May 24th - 29th
What a week!  A marathon journey by bus and train to get here, then wonderful weather and new experiences for all involved.
The Twinning committee would like to thank so many of you; the brave hosts,  willing to open their homes and hearts to the French children,accompanying parents and teachers from Fléac, despite language barriers; the bus drivers who cheerfully brought everyone here, and acted as a big taxi for all, ferrying to and from the two schools; and last but not least, the Head teachers, staff and pupils of the two schools, who were so welcoming to the visitors, and who planned and shared some brilliant events enjoyed, not only by the Scottish and French children, but by many other members of the community who were invited to drop in during the week.
Well done both schools! A huge ‘merci’ to all.
We hope you will enjoy reading the accounts of new hosts, how fears were overcome, and how they hope this event will happen again.
Jane Woodford

A Chord was Struck
“Oui” said francophile Tricia, scared to say no to Anne D, and excited at the chance to practice her favourite language, “of course we can host a family. “Oh no” Ron muttered, trying to suppress franchophobia and flashbacks to a 1974 O Grade Exam.
Our visiting ‘family’ consisted of gentle homesick Arnauld struggling to fit his 6’4” under the cottage door frame, and fellow bus driver Dominic, with a whiff of Gauloise, medallion and some edgy tattoos. Evening one was an exchange of pleasantries. Evening two was a little quieter. By evening three even Tricia had run out of vocabulary.  Awkward silences were stretching ever longer. Then a chord was struck – well actually an A minor, G, F then E – and Dominic’s eyes and ears ignited with enthusiasm as he recognised a rumba flamenco cadence. What are the odds of a bus driver of flamenco gypsy stock meeting a flamenco obsessed guitarist in rural Perthshire? Well, meet we did, and we had a blast. Arnaud and Tricia looked askance as the Dom and Ron show unfolded in claps, strums and stamps complete with a lively dialogue of  Andalucía Gypsy phrases - the music and language of flamenco.
“Gracias” said Ron, we can host Spanish flamencos anytime. “Mais non” said Tricia, this was supposed to be a French exchange.  

Twinning First Timers
Our daughter, Abi, was very excited by the idea of some French children coming to stay, my husband, Paul, told me he could speak French and so we decided to take the plunge and sign up. We heard nothing for ages and then suddenly, or so it seemed, they were arriving!
We agreed to host three girls. This worked well because they were company for each other, but as they were all a bit older than Abi, I think she missed out a little bit. Although they were all lovely with her there was not the same pressure for them to get to know each other. It was tough for Abi speaking no French and feeling a bit shy to get used to miming. But once she got the hang of it she had a lovely time and missed them desperately when they left.
They were no bother – ate everything we cooked for them, played happily in the garden on the trampoline or inside on the Wii whenever they did not have an activity planned. We had very little time left that we needed to fill as every day except one they had evening activities planned.
But communication was tough. The girls spoke very little English (one girl was not even learning it at school!) and I have not used my French since school. I found that as the week went on I was able to understand more, but whenever I wanted to say something I could only think of the German – not deeply helpful! We survived with the help of online translation websites (which didn’t work well for the girls as they could not type fluently), French-English dictionaries and lots of acting out and Paul’s ability to make the girls laugh (It turned out his French consisted mainly of “mon ami”!).
We really enjoyed our time as hosts.  I think the French children are incredibly brave – I can’t imagine sending my daughter to a country where she can barely communicate, to live with strangers for a week. But they seemed to enjoy themselves and we did too!                       Sine

One of the main reasons I volunteered to be a twinning host was to encourage my daughter’s interest in learning about other countries and cultures, and to reinforce the value of being able to speak a second language.
Originally I volunteered to have three French girls. I was keen for an adult to stay too because my French is very limited.  We love Eloise’s friends staying, so when the school phoned to ask if I could take more children, I thought that would be fine.  I began to have second thoughts when people seemed incredulous that I was having so many to stay. I needn’t have worried. They were just lovely and I think more relaxed because they were with a larger group of friends. All of the girls slept in Eloise’s bedroom - wall-to-wall mattresses, inflatable beds and duvets borrowed from friends.
Having their teacher to stay too was definitely a good idea as communication was so much easier, though she was totally exhausted after their long journey and busy events program.
Eloise was worried that the girls would leave her out but most of the time she was the centre of attention and they made friends very quickly. I'm pretty sure the experience has given her more confidence to learn and speak French too.
The Twinning Association was very helpful, and the events were a great way to meet other local people and share the experience. It was fun, but also hard work preparing so many breakfasts and evening meals, and the washing-up was never-ending, but I’m looking forward to doing it again.  

I was excited when I heard we were going to have some French children to stay, but also a bit worried because they were all older than me.  When they arrived they seemed very nice, just like Scottish children except for their language. They didn’t talk very much to start with, they just said ‘hello’. We had five French children to stay and their teacher. They each brought presents for me and for my Mum. I came to know them because they started to have a pillow fight, and I joined in. They talked a bit more after that and we became friends and we talked in hand language.
It was a little bit funny because we had five children and their teacher and everyone else had one or two. I showed them my toy penguin and taught them how to say ‘penguin’ in English. They all brought photographs of their pets, they had horses and dogs, and they loved our cat Molly. The school had organized a few things to do like the Talent Show, a Disco and the Beetle Drive, and there was a free day when we got to take them out anywhere.  We (my Mum, Dad and me) took them to The Hermitage and we all climbed down the rocks near the waterfall.  I was really sad when they had to go at the end of the week, so we said goodbye with a kiss on each cheek.  When they got home we sent some emails to swap photographs, and I hope I can go and visit them.
Eloise, age 9

For further information on Twinning contact one of the committee members:
Rait:                 Fiona Jurk (Chairperson)    01821 670228
Inchture:          Christine Allan  686430,
Abernyte:        Suki Stobbs  686444
Kinnaird:         Jane Woodford   686371,     Trefor Woodford  686371
Ballindean:     Louise Klaassen     686711