LINKS between Thame and France were further reinforced last weekend when a coach load of townspeople left in the early morning darkness of a September Friday, to begin Thame's fifth twinning exchange. Over 40 people of all ages, travelled to Montesson, Thame's twin town near Paris, to stay with French families, some reuniting with their regular hosts and friends, others for the very first time.

 Monet's garden and La Villette, Paris

The party enjoyed a very full weekend which included a trip to the house, gardens and lily ponds made famous by the painter, Monet. Others, including some of those who had made that particular trip two years ago en route for Montesson by bicycle from Thame, visited Paris instead.
Of particular interest this year was the Science and Industry Park or Parc de la Villette, a fascinating, modern campus of predominantly glass museums fronted by rectangular pools and a giant, Geodesic dome made entirely of mirrored glass. Looking like a single, giant bubble, it has a framd made entirely of triangles and is aproximately 12 meters (35 feet) in diameter. The inside, through the magic of Miramax technology, becomes a giant, 350 degree cinema screen that surrounds the viewer creating the amazing and tummy-churning allusion that you are actually flying along the river Nile, white-water rafting or looking up at the hieroglyphs of an Egyptian column soaring above you.

Christmas Market in Thame

Despite a downpour at the climax of the turning on of theChristmas lights, thousands of local people turned out for the event to launch Christmas in Thame. The lights were turned on by BBC Radio two’s Ken Bruce, as fireworks above the stage were set off in celebration. There was plenty of cheer in the form of mulled wine, mince pies, a hog roast and real French crepes from a stall manned by guests from Thame’s twin town of Montesson.

Throughout the weekend, street entertainers, including a juggler, an Elizabethan musician/entertainer, The Haddenham Hoofers, Crendon Morris, Thame Town Concert Band and the Thame Chamber Singers, provided seasonal cheer for shoppers. Cllr Breatrice Dobie and all involved were congratulated by the President of Montesson’s Twinning Committee, Didier Bruzet, who with the other Stall-holders from Thame’s twin town, took refreshment with the other guests and organisers.

Gifts to Thame ex-servicemen from a grateful French lady in Thame’s twin town, were today presented by the town’s Twinning Association. The gifts were given to Thame and District Twinning Association members during their recent visit to Montesson for its Christmas Market. (Courtesy of

Madame André with Twinning Chair Nigel Champken-Woods at the  Montesson Christmas Market