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Ooh la, la, the French steal the honours on twin visit to Wisbech



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Wisbech played host to visitors from across the Channel for a five-day visit that included the annual Arles Festival in the Market Place.

Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place. (3067608)
Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place. (3067608)

The group from Wisbech’s French twin town of Arles included a group of specialist Arlesian dancers and members of the twinning club.

Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place..Wisbech Mayor Peter Human. (3067607)
Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place..Wisbech Mayor Peter Human. (3067607)

They arrived in town on Wednesday and on Thursday were treated to a tour of Wisbech which included a visit to Peckover House, where they tucked into a ploughman’s lunch.

Friday saw the group head off for Cambridge where they visited various colleges and enjoyed a shopping spree.

Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place. (3067611)
Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place. (3067611)

Saturday was competition day with the visitors and members of the Wisbech Arles Twinning Club battling it out in a bowls tournament played on the bowling green behind the Conservative Club in the morning, and a boules/petanque match in the afternoon at the Secret Garden.

Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place. (3067610)
Arles Festival 2018 on Wisbech market place. (3067610)

Wisbech twinning club chairman David Bragg said: “Unfortunately, just like the football World Cup, the French were triumphant in both matches.”

Saturday concluded with a buffet in Wisbech Council Chamber and then on Sunday the fun turned to the Market Place for the festival.

Wisbech mayor Peter Human arrived in style on the town’s historic Vivien fire engine to open proceedings, which included a performance from the local Pig Dyke Molly Dancers as well as a demonstration of traditional Arlesian dancing by the visiting troupe of dancers who ranged in age from 15 to 70 and wore traditional costumes that included layers of petticoats.

The group finally said goodbye to their hosts on Monday morning when they headed home after five days of fun and bonhomie on the 5.30am train from Downham.



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