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Villages’ relationship examined in new book

Pat Rennison, Anne Armstrong and Sandra Slater with the book celebrating 50 years of the Amicale Hery-Shilbottle exchange. Picture by Jane Coltman

Pat Rennison, Anne Armstrong and Sandra Slater with the book celebrating 50 years of the Amicale Hery-Shilbottle exchange. Picture by Jane Coltman

A fascinating book of memories has been published to celebrate the warm and enduring relationship between two villages on different sides of The Channel which has spanned more than half-a-century.

Shilbottle has been twinned with Héry, in France, since 1963 and many young people and families have enjoyed happy and memorable exchanges in both countries.

The insightful book captures the story of the Amicale through the words and photographs of many people who have taken part over the last 50 years.

It will be launched at the Spring Fair in Shilbottle Community Hall tomorrow and copies will be taken over to France in July, when a party of 21 people will visit to celebrate the golden anniversary of the first exchange.

The book is a nostalgic journey and illustrates how the exchange has made a lasting impact on people.

In the first few years, it was aimed at enriching the experience of the young people from Shilbottle. At the time, when overseas travel was much more costly and much less routine than it is today, it was a very special opportunity to travel abroad and experience life in another country.

Over the years, people from the wider district around Shilbottle have taken part and the age range of the membership has changed, so that today the Amicale involves people aged from one to 86.

The group has been expanding and those involved enjoy the opportunity to have a very different kind of holiday, immersed in French culture and language, feeling part of an extended family, rather than being a tourist in the usual way.

Everyone is very welcome to be part of the exchanges, which involves hosting French visitors and being hosted in France.

The Book of Memories will be on sale on Saturday, priced £9.99. Amicale representatives will be present to answer questions about the Exchanges.

For more information, call Irene Marshall 01665 575606 or Anne Armstrong 07803 967725.

 

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