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Cookham Twinning 2012

30 October 2012

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Visitors from St Benoit Cookham's Twin village came to visit us from 26-29 October. It all started with drinks at the Social Club next to Countrystore. The visitors had came by car, plane and minibus. After the last visit with the French train strikes, they decided no to go that way this time.  On Saturday some of the visitors went to London while others were shown round the area by their hosts. In the evening some went to Turandot in Eton and others got together for dinner and a fun evening.

A Beer at the Cookham Social Club

On the Sunday, many of the visitors visited St Elizabeth's Catholic Church in Lower Road followed by coffee with the congregation. The priest had lived in New Caledonia so spoke fluent French and addressed everyone in French which impressed the visitors. This was followed by a two course lunch at the Jolly Woodman at Littleworth Common. There was a minor problem in that they only had thirty three places for thirty nine people, but everyone managed to squeeze in in the end.

Dominique Clement, Mayor of St Benoit, with his host Timmy Mallett and the waiter from the Jolly Woodman.

After lunch there was a Treasure Hunt around the Chilterns. Everyone drove to three locations, Stoke Poges, Boulters Lock and Hedgerley. Various items had to be found and everyone had a bag to collect various things too.

Penny Bysshe and Liz Erskine study the map for the Treasure Humt.

After the Treasure Hunt everyone me at Richard Simmonds, the President of Cookham Twinning's house for a soirée. The Chairman of the Parish Council was also there and presented the visitors with a copy of Spencer's Scarecrow each. In turn the Mayor of St Benoit presented books to Cookham. Richard also gave a welcome speech in fluent French. Peter Bysshe announced the winners of the Treasure Hunt, however there was a tie, so the two finalists sang the French National Anthem to see who should be the winner. 

St Benoit's Mayor Presents Parish Council Chairman, Derek Fry, with a book from St Benoitt.

After the soirée at Richard Simmonds, it was then down to the Cookham Dean Village Hall for country dancing to the music of the Toucans. There was a little extra music in that one of the hosts, David Thomas from Cookham Village, played the bagpipes before supper. Everyone joined in the dancing and a good time was had by all.  

David Thomas plays the bagpipes

All too quickly Cookham's visitors from St Benoit were leaving. Next year it will be Cookham's turn to visit France and it is hoped as many as possible will come along. The possibility of the Scouts linking with the St Benoit Scouts is also being looked at and also Herries linking with a school in St Benoit.

The Chalendards Say Au Revoir to their host Sue le Page

Everyone left happy some having made new friends and others met up again with old ones.


Cookham Twinning has French classes you may like to join. Also there will be a visit to France next year, so if you want more information about Twinning call 01628 525130 or email

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Richard Simmonds with Dominique Clement, St Benoit's Mayor

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