La Murette's Visit to Overton 2013
This year's visit of our Twinning friends from La Murette saw a small, but perfectly formed, group arriving at Liverpool on the 3rd of August. The drive back to Overton was over in a flash as everyone caught up with the latest news. At the White Horse around 20 supporters turned out to greet the visitors who were delighted and charmed with the warm and enthusiastic welcome.
As usual, the programme for the week was a rich variety of local visits and activities emphasising all that's marvellous in this border area of North East Wales.
In the mix this year we had walks along the Dee and the canals, we had visits to Ironbridge and to the Slate Museum in Llanberis and we had demonstrations of local crafts. An interesting and surprising highlight was our morning spent at the Church in Worthenbury. Did anyone realise that we had this architectural gem of national importance here on our doorstep? The most intrepid in the party scaled the vertical ladders in the Church Tower and were rewarded with an expansive view of the Dee valley and beyond. Our guided tour of the interior with its original box pews was a revelation.
The French were very interested to explore both our landscape and our heritage but of course it is also an opportunity for us locals to see our local patch through fresh eyes and to learn something new. The opportunity to give Crown Bowls a go was a novel idea and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, with ages ranging from seven to seventy!
A special feature this year was the opportunity to see crafts experts at work. At Johnson's in Bangor, we had a very entertaining and informative demonstration in basketmaking. The children, Clara and Johan showed great promise as they hunkered down and got stuck in weaving. Originally, withies for the baskets were grown in the damp margins of the Dee. These days, though, much of the willow comes from Somerset but the local skill in making the baskets lives on.
The activities and visits that make up the backbone of the week are, of course, most enjoyable and entertaining, but, in fact, most important of all is the interaction and socialising that goes on. The evenings were spent together, mostly at people's houses with everyone contributing delicious food to share all around. It was the same for the picnics. Lots of hearty fare with Welsh cheeses, local sausages, home-baked cakes and salad from our own gardens were among the delights that featured daily.
The success of the week is of course dependant on the participation, goodwill and yes inevitably, hard work of members of the Twinning Association. So, a huge thank you is due to everyone who contributed to making the visit such a great success.