Youngsters visit during annual arts festival

The six youngsters at the town sign for Marcoussis with Newton Stewart shown as a twin town
The six youngsters at the town sign for Marcoussis with Newton Stewart shown as a twin town

A group of young people from the Machars has recently enjoyed a memorable trip to France with Newton Stewart and District Town Twinning Association.

The six young people, all gold standard Duke of Edinburgh Award candidates, spent four days in Marcoussis, a small town on the outskirts of Paris which is twinned with Newton Stewart. The young people organised their own travel but then enjoyed the local hospitality made possible by the twinning arrangement.

At the annual arts festival of music, dance and drama in Marcoussis

At the annual arts festival of music, dance and drama in Marcoussis

They stayed with French families providing them with an experience quite different from an ordinary holiday and giving them the opportunity to make friends with young French people their own age.

The visit coincided with an annual arts festival of music, dance and drama organised by Marcoussis Ecole des Arts and in addition to attending some of these events, including the final meal, the young Scots were provided with a programme packed with interest.

Visits were laid on to the town hall, the training ground of the French National Rugby Squad which is situated in Marcoussis and a complex of beautiful swimming pools in nearby Chartre. Good friends from Marcoussis Town Twinning Association accompanied the group to a day in Paris, using the Seine bateau bus to visit some of the well- known tourist attractions.

However plenty of time was available to spend with the three French host families, including the Mayor’s family, who even laid on a meal for all the visitors and hosts.

Jenni Gray, Chair of Newton Stewart and District Town Twinning Association said:

“We are delighted to be able to facilitate such a worthwhile visit for local young people. They obviously had a marvellous time and they were excellent ambassadors for Wigtownshire. There are many opportunities for local organisations and individuals to benefit from this twinning link – to make friends and widen horizons. Rugby is clearly an interest which the two communities share and we hope music with its associated festivals will provide more common ground.

Council youth workers on both sides have worked hard to help young people to benefit from the link. We now just need more local people of all ages to come forward to help to make this a really vibrant twinning relationship.”