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Visits champion twinning tradition

PUBLISHED: 10:37 03 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:41 06 July 2010

PLANS are afoot for a trip to Lowestoft's twin town of Plaisir as a local group continue a proud 30 year tradition next month.

The Lowestoft Plaisir Twinning Association has been sending families, couples and singles back and forth between England and France for the last three decades.

PLANS are afoot for a trip to Lowestoft's twin town of Plaisir as a local group continue a proud 30 year tradition next month.

The Lowestoft Plaisir Twinning Association has been sending families, couples and singles back and forth between England and France for the last three decades. One year a group travels from Lowestoft for a few days in France, and the next year a group from the region, just west of Paris, visits England.

Shortly after Waveney District Council formed in 1974, efforts were made to link Lowestoft with a European town. A number of local villages and towns already had successful links abroad and it was felt that it would be a good idea to establish a similar association for the Lowestoft borough.

In 1978 the Declaration of Friendship was signed between Lowestoft and Plaisir. The next year, the newly established Lowestoft Plaisir Association travelled to France to meet their new friends.

Since then alternate visits have been made between the countries as citizens from both areas have enjoyed each other's countries, with Lowestoft residents treated to all the sights of Paris.

“Some have been staying with the same families for 30 years, and ones who used to go as children are now bringing their own children,” said committee member Malcolm Berridge.

In 1999, the 20th anniversary of the twinning was marked by a reception in the French town with Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, Terry Moore, Lowestoft Plaisir Association chairman at the time, and Malcolm Berridge, chief executive for Waveney at the time, in attendance.

“The association continues to flourish, with our emphasis on family links. We particularly try to encourage parents with children studying French to get involved, and hope to develop more links through children and sports,” said Mr Berridge.

The association tries to meet once a month, with activities including enjoying cheese and wine, listening to speakers, playing boules and eating at the Plaisir restaurant at Lowestoft College.

In May the group will be making another trip to Paris, where they hope to enjoy the joys of Versailles, Paris and Reims. They will be travelling to France by coach on Tuesday, May 26 and returning on Sunday, May 30.

Spaces are still available for the trip, but anyone wanting to go would have to sign up for the association and be prepared to host a family or single person next year.

If anyone in interesting in joining the association, which costs £5 a year for a family and £3 for singles, they can contact Malcolm Berridge on 01502 567437.

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