20th Anniversary Celebrations 2002

On the 25th October a coach load of Sandy residents visited Malaunay for the weekend to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of twinning between the two towns, on arrival we were welcomed with a reception in a local school and then we all departed to our host families homes for a welcome rest before the start of the official celebrations on the Saturday. Many families made their own arrangements for the saturday morning, some visiting local friends, others visiting Rouen for the morning.

At 2.00pm on Saturday we started to gather near the town centre for a parade thorugh the town with most participants wearing regional or historic costume. The parade was led by a local band, followed by the costumed pedestrians and then a procession of vintage and classic cars and the rear was brought up by the local Harley Davidson club who turned out to support us. The parade had various stops including a senior citizens complex to entertain the residents.

In the evening we all attended a civic celebration at the Boris Vian Center to celebrate the anniversary, Music was provided by both English and French Bands and a disco, and a superb meal was provided by our hosts. During the evening members of both committees were called to the front of the hall as a unified group for the official speeches and presentations. Our gifts to Malaunay consisted of a flag to commemorate the 20years (sponsered by Sandy Town Council), (with a matching flag to be flown in Sandy whenever our French friends visit),A huge commemorative cake baked by David Gunns (the Sandy baker), and the announcment of the launch of this web site. Most of the hosts were also presented with specially labelled bottles of beer celebrating the joint anniversary of her Majesties Golden Jubilee and our Associations 20 years. In return we were presented with a framed print of a local Normandy pastoral scene and a framed painting by a prominent, well known artist. As normal the event finished in the early hours of Sunday morning so we all welcomed a lay in the next day before departing for home.

Sunday and the journey home turned out a bit fraught because that was the weekend of the storms and we arrived at Calais to find that not only were the ferries not sailing but that the tunnel was also closed, so we had a 6 hour wait on the dockside before we finally boarded and set sail for home.

Despite the rough weather on the return journey we all had a really enjoyable weekend and are looking forward to meeting with our French twins again in May, and are already planning the 25th celebrations to be held in Sandy in 2007.