45th Anniversary between Gauting and Clermont l'Herault.

A small official delegation was invited to Clermont l'Herault on May 18th to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the twinning between the two towns.

The deputy Mayor, Elaine Martin her husband Paul and their daughter went out early as they had hired a house in a village near to the Lac du Salagou, very handy as a lot of the activities were there!

The Twinning was represented by John Thomas and his wife Marian, who travelled out on the 18th May via Bristol/Beziers courtesy of Ryanair.

Two youth workers and 4 young people also travelled out on the same flight.

The young people stayed in chalets at the Lac while the twiners stayed with old friends in the town. Day one was almost over by the time we arrived and dinner was taken in the Cep d'Or a local private school.

The next day, Saturday, started with a trip to Les Borries a local wine cellar, great wine but with just a weekend carry on with Ryanair impossible to purchase our usual "bag in a box". We then were taken to Lac du Salagou where the dignitaries (us) were enrolled as "Knights of the Wine and Olives in the Pays D'Oc or Country of Oc, or the Languedoc. It was quite an honour and with something like 8 of us being enrolled it took quite a time, it was about 28 degrees at the lac.

This was followed by barbeque style lunch, a leisurely 2 hours, of course, we were in France!

We about an hours siesta before it was time to attend the official Twinning Ceremony.

This was a splendid affair in an old Chapel called "Place du Penitents", where we all had to make the official speeches, and the acoustics there are not terribly good, ah well, the sentiments and contents of the speeches were all consistent, with the belief that we will survive Brexit and the twinning will be stronger than ever.

So, about midnight we all proceeded to our beds having been treated to a really super social occasion.

Sunday we had a tour of the Old Town and Fortress followed by a typical Languedoc lunch of Mussels and spicy sausage cooked over an open fire with various cheeses etc to follow.

Then out of the blue came the black, quite literally. Enormous claps of thunder and rain that gave the rush matting of the barbeque area no chance.

It was a quick dash to the cars and wait it out. After a few minutes it stopped and the sun returned and wound its way up to 28 degrees again.

Our hosts were very organised and being twinning people were there until late clearing up, as was I.

Then it was Monday and before we knew it we were back in Bristol. It was a good weekend for Twinning and although we were there as the junior section, were no less welcome, so many, many thanks to our hosts and friends who made it such a super occasion

Yes indeed a splendid week end.