Twinning visit by French Adult Education Group to Bognor Regis - May 2009

In May 2009, about 50 visitors from our French twin town Saint Maur des Fossés came to Bognor Regis for their biennial visit. The weather was excellent and a busy programme was enjoyed by all. Two interesting outings had been arranged by the committee, one a daytrip to the Isle of Wight visiting Osborne House, and the other a trip to Beaulieu. The group enjoyed the countryside as well as Beaulieu House and the motor museum. There was the official evening with speeches, gifts and of course a lovely meal, as well as a very entertaining evening “at the races”, organised by the committee. As usual the English hosts were responsible for their guests on the last day of the visit and took their visitors to a variety of places.

The committee had asked the French Group to submit a report of the visit for the Twinning Association website, and Saint Maur organiser Claudine selected the following poem from the winning entries. It describes the visit in a lovely way and evokes fond memories. Let’s hope our next visit to Saint Maur will be enjoyed as much as the author of the poem appears to have enjoyed hers!

Poem by Jeanne from Saint-Maur

So Lovely Bognor

One twinning Association
Forty-six French people
A lot of jokes and songs
One speedy express bus
Too much hard bends.
One green landscape
Some golden sun and blue sky
All gardens like lovely nests
And, at the end of the lane
Pamela’s smile.

Millions bubbles of champagne
Six candles on the white table
All the Fiona’s laughs
The Solent beyond the park
The happiness to be there.
Sir Bill for the roulette Pub
Three Pimm’s in the evening
One kitchen forbidden
And, at the end of the day
Softness of the night.

One Claudine never stressed
Three enormous picnics
Seven poppies in Pam’s garden
All Tony’s grimaces for Manchester team
Somme pilots always too young.
Thirty-two blue, white, red balloons on the tables
Zero English vocabulary words
The teenagers’ kindness Chloe, Ruby and Dan
And, at the end of a restful sleep
Early peaceful morning.

Millions raisins in a sumptuous cake
One sun rising on the beach
The Betty’s thoughtfulness and her friends
The “Marseillaise” and “God save the Queen” in the same place
One quiet cloister at Chichester.
Six crazy races coached by gentle Flo
Some dark shadows under pontoons
One wild dance for Fiona and Pam
And, at the end of the fest
Serenity in every hart.

No more time in this morning
Sad Rollo looking at luggage
Pam, Tony, Fiona, Chloe, Dan, Ruby
All of them and the others behind the glass ....
We would hope time never passed ...
At my friends of Bognor Regis
A lot of Thanks for what you have offered
A lot of Thanks for what you are
And, at the end of the sadness
Please, see you soon in our St Maur!