It seems a long time since my last letter back in March!
Looking back I’m very pleased to say that all our events since then have been a resounding success.
Thame Market, 19th March
This was our most successful market stall to date, raising over £130. Many thanks as always to David for organising it and for collecting the books and jigsaws for us to sell. Thanks especially to Dudley who seems to be able to magic jigsaws out of thin air and to Linda, Sue Kogan and Sue Motteram who manned the stall with David. We are very grateful to everyone who gave us a good selection of books to sell – please keep sorting things out for us and spreading the word as we will be doing the market again. In fact we have the stall next week on Tuesday 9th July, so please let us know that you have some things for us. Not only is this a useful source of income, it’s also an excellent way of publicising Twinning.
Films at The Cross Keys - 4th April and 29th June
Thanks again to Liz Barker for taking responsibility for this other extremely successful and social way of raising funds. “Intouchables” proved to be just as popular as the first time round and we were very pleased to see some new faces in the audience. Unfortunately we can no longer use the room on a Friday, but have been offered a number of Saturday evenings. Liz will send out the details of the next film early in the autumn.
May Weekend, 10th - 12th May
We raised the bar again this year and the weekend was a phenomenal success, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who took part, starting with a welcome drinks reception at Christchurch for our 35 visitors from Montesson.
Saturday morning was spent in Woodstock. Some chose to simply wander around in the early summer sunshine, others took a stroll in the grounds of Blenheim Palace and others visited the very interesting Museum of Oxfordshire. Many took the opportunity to visit the neighbouring Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and it was so good to see the children enthusiastically trying to decipher the codes to crack the children’s activity trail.
In a departure from previous years, rather than giving everyone an individual picnic bag, we had lunch provided by the museum café in the Coach House. This worked exceptionally well, especially as it started to rain just as we were about to eat! Our guests really enjoyed choosing from the various platters of freshly home-made sandwiches and cakes.
After lunch we drove to Bicester Village via Churchill’s grave at Bladon – a beautiful setting, but remarkably difficult to find and access in a coach! Still, definitely worth the detour.
In complete contrast to the peace and tranquillity of the morning, we had a couple of hours exposed to the frenzy and crowds of Bicester Village. Some preferred to walk into Bicester itself for the more normal shopping experience, but the majority were keen to take advantage of the 10% discount afforded by their VIP visitor card as witnessed by the large number of Clarks, Burberry and Tiffany bags etc that were loaded on to the coach for our return to Thame.
The day out with something for everyone had been a hit!
However, the day was about to get even better. After the barn dance last year, we really felt that there was no way we could match it. Well, how wrong we were! We remain extremely grateful to Marie-Jane and her husband for letting us use their barn at Towersey Manor and for all their help. Marie-Jane did so much, including getting the barn ready, helping to set up the tables, coordinating with our caterer and booking a band for us.
After a splendid buffet supper, the fantastic “Ian English and the Boodlum Band” soon had everyone up on the dance floor. Finally at 11pm we had to reluctantly pack up, but our guests and indeed the rest of us, had enjoyed a wonderful evening.
The pressure is really on now for next year!
Sunday was left free for relaxation and our friends departed shortly after 2pm.
The committee are very pleased that the weekend was such a success. We are also very grateful to all of you who were able to host this year and especially grateful for the flexibility of those who were able to take extra guests or change families at the last minute. This is the true spirit of Twinning and long may it continue.
Thame Carnival - Saturday, 15th June
We are grateful to Liz, Pieter-Paul, Hilary and Sue who braved the cold and walked in the parade, flying our banner and holding aloft a wonderful Eiffel Tower, made out of reclaimed wood by John Francis. We carried through the carnival theme of Saving the Planet by reusing, recycling and reducing waste on our stall on the field and raised £150 for Twinning in the process. The poor weather meant that numbers were down on last year, but we still did well with the champagne treasure hunt, the tombola and the children’s biscuit decorating which went down very well with the children. Thank you to those of you who made cakes and to Sandra George who made some delicious gingerbread men. Yet again this was a good team effort with Carl watching over the stall all day, Sandra and Rachael (Sue’s daughter) in charge of biscuit decorating, Roy on the champagne hunt and Linda on the tombola, ably assisted by Liz, Carl and Sue Kogan.
We hope to take part again next year and it would be great to have a much bigger presence in the parade.
Weekend in Montesson - mid September
The date is still to be confirmed, but we expect it to be 13th -15th September.
We will let you know as soon as we have more information, but meanwhile we need to start planning. Please let Linda know if you’re interested or going to take part. If you are new to Twinning, please contact either Linda or Sue Motteram for more info.
Twinning Quiz – Friday, 8th November. Town Hall, 7.30pm
There will be more about this in the next Newsletter, but meanwhile, please gather your team and save the date!
We are fully intending to take part in both Christmas events, indeed some of our non-perishable stock is already in France! Part of our Brexit planning! The Montesson Christmas Market is always good fun and we raise a good sum, so we will be there! We will also be in the town for the switching on of the Thame Christmas lights on 6th December.
However, it’s still summer and we’re not going to wish it away by thinking about Christmas. In any case we have a September visit to Montesson to plan. If you have any ideas for future twinning social events or fundraising, we’d love to hear from you!