Bridgwater’s first twin town was with the Mediterranean French sea port town of La Ciotat , a link dating back to 1957. Whilst most Somerset towns sensibly chose Normandy twin towns just across the Channel, Bridgwater had to be different and chose one at the furthest end of France possible. But what a gem! The beautiful coast of Provence, the home of Petanque and the setting for the first ever motion picture ‘Train arriving in La Ciotat’.
If you want to hear the original British spoken then visit Wales. The English coined the word Welsh-which meant ‘foreigners’ but the Welsh called themselves ‘Cymraeg’ -comrades. That so many different peoples share these islands is a great strength and adds to our varied culture. Wales is a small country with a proud history from the industrial south to the rural mid Wales and Irish sea coast to the majestic grandeur of the Snowdonia mountaisn of the North and the coastal area of Gwynedd connecting to the ancient home of the Druids the island of Anglesey.
One of our most popular tours is around the island of Ireland. We’ve done this with a couple of people in a car or a minibus full or sometimes 2 minibusses. Clockwise or anti-Clockwise we taken in the North, the South or both. The history of the Irish and the Brits existing for centuries on one island and the tragedy of that never-ending conflict (which might now have ended) is fascinating and the beauty of the landscape and the friendliness of the people from both sides of the sectarian divide always overwhelms visitors who come back time and time again.
When we started doing our ‘Round Britain’ trips back in the 1990’s Scotland was just a small part of it. Of course such a spectacular country of such immense geography needs a whole tour devoted to itself. That’s exactly what more and more tour groups have been asking for. Groups can fly into Edinburgh or to Inverness, depending where they want to get to, and we meet them with busses or cars and take them wherever they want to go.
Of course most of our work is in England…..because that’s where Bridgwater is. We started the Twinnings in Bridgwater and that’s where we’re based so this is where we mainly suggest that visiting groups from any nation start their trip. Bridgwater is perfectly located for exploring Somerset with it’s nearby youth hostels and now with lots of Hotels. In particular we like to put people up in Model Farm, an old Victorian Farmhouse just on the edge of our town.
For the second year running Bridgwater International organised the Bridgwater Twinning week. Here is a broad programme
Our great friend Eva Kordova from Ceske Budejovice brought with her a group of talented musicians from her home town to play a couple of concerts around Somerset linking up with local musicians arranged through Rachel Parvin of Somerset Youth Orchestra.
From Bridgwater’s twin town in France, La Ciotat, our contact Nathalie MacAndrew brought a group of young French students on a project she described as EASY SPEAKING. The students stayed at Model Farm and linked up with English students at the Bridgwater College Academy with a programme organised through Bridgwater International.
Jana Hubena from Uherske Hradiste, long time supporter of the Bridgwater-Czech link brought over a handfull of Moravians and we all had a jolly jaunt along the south coast and down to Cornwall.
And here’s how it went.
Dagmar Mega from Uherske Hradiste, Bridgwater’s Czech twin town, brought over 5 youngsters to take part in the YMCA summer camp project in Bridgwater. Transport was handled by Ian Tucker on this occaision,