What is twinning
Twinning, or jumelage, involves a
friendship agreement between two communities. The aim is to encourage
understanding of the historical, cultural and life-style similarities and
differences. The first recorded British link was between Yorkshire and
France (Keighley and Poix du Nord in 1920) so our link is following
in a long tradition. Today there are over 2000 twinning links in Britain,
and about half of these are with French communities.
The Ouzouer-Great Ayton approach is more informal and family-orientated than many twinning links organised through local government authorities. We think that friendship and fun are more important than councils and ceremonies. We are particularly keen to involve young people as much as possible, and we have had exchanges of football teams and dancing groups.
In recent years there has one exchange visit each year either Ayton to Ouzouer or Ouzouer to Ayton . Visits are usually over a weekend, with each visiting family staying with a host family. Hosts provide accommodation and some meals, but the days and evenings are generally filled with activities organised around a theme. Aytonians have been folk dancing and canal cruising in France, Oratoriens have seen the Black Sheep Brewery and Stokesley Show over here.
Finally, a word about the language. Don't worry about it! Both twinning associations have members whose language skills range from almost zero to fluency, yet everyone seems to manage.