HALSTEAD TWINNING ASSOCIATION
The market town of Halstead in Essex, is twinned with the French town of Haubourdin in northern France, close to the city of Lille. Haubourdin is conveniently situated just over one hour drive from the port of Calais.
The association is an independent organisation formed in 1983 to foster links and relationships with Haubourdin.
The aims of twinning are to promote and encourage international understanding. Twice yearly visits are arranged between Halstead and Haubourdin so that members of the association can get to recognise the similarities in their ways of life, appreciate the differences, and get to know their continental neighbours better.
Twinning enables people to make friends and enjoy the very best of French hospitality and to enjoy new and different experiences.
Association members are from Halstead and the surrounding areas.
The association was formed in 1983 when representatives of the two towns signed the twinning agreement. This agreement is currently on display in the town library.
We have an elected committee to manage visits, events, communication and fund raising activities. The association is a self financing organisation raising funds from membership fees, 100 club and social events.
The association organises two exchange visits with Haubourdin in May and October each year.
These visits follow the pattern of two consecutive visits to each town. For example a visit by Haubourdin to Halstead in October will be followed by a further visit by Haubourdin to Halstead in May the following year. This will be followed by visits to Haubourdin in October and May the following year. This enables visits to each town at different times of the year.
The visits to Hauboudin are by coach leaving during Friday and returning on Sunday evening. Our friends from Haubourdin also travel by coach arriving on Friday evening and leaving on Sunday afternoon.
On all exchanges accommodation is provided in family houses on a friendly “member of the family” basis so you don’t feel you need to offer a guest suite to take in visitors.
The visits usually consist of a combination of collective and individual events during the weekend. We always have very warm welcome by the people of Haubourdin and enjoyable time is had by all.
M. Bernard Delaby, Mayor of Haubourdin presents a tree for the new Twinning Garden to representatives of Halstead in Bloom and the Twinning Association, in October 2010
In 2008 the 25th anniversary of twinning was celebrated; in May members visited Haubourdin and in October French visitors came to Halstead.
We welcome all applications from Halstead and the surrounding area. Membership covers all age groups including single people, couples and family groups.
It is not necessary to speak French. Conversation, which is usually a mixture of English and French, is helped along by sign language, gestures and a lot of laughter.
If you would like to make friends with a French family and take part in the exchange visits then please feel free to join us.
You can contact any member of the committee to arrange a visit to discuss membership