The Twinning Charter between the two towns was signed in Hailsham in October 2000, and Gournay-en-Bray in February 2001. Whilst the populations of the towns differ considerably (Hailsham - 20,500; Gournay - 5,000), the facilities in both towns are very similar. A number of fundraising activities and cultural visits in both directions take place each year.
Events organised as part of the Twinning Association’s 10th Anniversary weekend include the official re-signing of the town twinning Charter on Friday 29th October, and an outing to Herstmonceux Castle for French visitors, host families and council members on Saturday 30th October. The weekend event will culminate in a civic dinner and entertainment evening at Michelham Priory.
Councillor Dr Ian Haffenden, vice-president of the Hailsham & District Twinning Association and former Mayor of Hailsham, who himself signed the charter between the two towns ten years ago, said, “We look forward to celebrating our tenth anniversary in style, with some great activities scheduled and a reunion of past and present association members. We hope that potential new members will also be able to join us in our special celebrations.”
Paul Simmons, the Association’s president, said the success of the twinning between Hailsham and Gournay-en-Bray was down to both the “unflagging community spirit and enthusiasm of people to learn more about each town’s cultural differences and way of life”.
Adds Mr Simmons, “We are proud to have Gournay as our twin town and hope to maintain the established links and quality friendships between the two towns in years to come, by increasing our membership of those willing to take part in our hosting and social activities.”
Membership secretary and town councillor John Puttick said, “Following the 10th Anniversary celebrations, we will be actively recruiting new Association members, including young people, families, and equally as importantly, people with fresh ideas and a positive outlook on Hailsham-Gournay relations.”
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Hailsham & District Twinning Association, please contact John Puttick on 01323 441787 or Paul Simmons on 01323 845006. Alternatively, log on to www.hailsham-gournay.org for details.
For all enquiries relating to this press release, contact:
Terry Hall, Hailsham Town Council