Latest News

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Aug 6, 2018
A roundup of news and a heads up of forth-coming events!
Mar 1, 2018
Friday 16th February saw Hayling Twinners challenging The Petersfield Twinning Association to an evening of skittles at the Barley Mow, Walderton.

Oct 6, 2016

Great night, 25 teams attended The Community Centre Quiz.

Oct 6, 2016
On Sunday 18th September 22 people met Vince Dean at The Maypole car park on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Who Are We?

The Twinning Association is open to everyone and anyone. There are no pre-requisites other than the wish to socialise and perhaps help out occasionally with events.
There is no requirement for members to speak french or even go on the french trips since many members simply enjoy the Association's Hayling Island based social events. See below for information on how to join us, and for more information on the current organisation please look at our organisation page.

Jun 18, 2016

Gorron Fete de la Musique 2016

This year's Fete de la Musique in Gorron, an event we had not played at since 2013. That time we were also a duo due to diary conflicts but this time we were to be back as a trio as Ben was again up for the road trip.
Category: General
Posted by: Stacey
n the road again....
Some of you may remember that during our Twinning exchange visit back at Easter time the 2 members of Velvet Lips that happened to be there gave an impromptu performance at the end of dinner at le Grand Cerf, in Ernée, with the local entertainer Arnaud Ledauphin.  This led to an invitation to this year's Fete de la Musique in Gorron, an event we had not played at since 2013. That time we were also a duo due to diary conflicts but this time we were to be back as a trio as Ben was again up for the road trip.
A long weekend was planned to allow for mishaps and to give us some recovery time after the gig and with much help from the Twinning committees both on Hayling and in Gorron the trip was on.  Ferries booked, accommodation sorted and before we knew it the trip was only a couple of weeks away.  Better rehearse a bit then.
Rehearsals went well, much to our surprise and no violence was to be reported from those occasions.  Equipment was sorted, bags packed and off we went taking the morning sailing from Portsmouth to Ouistreham.  We also brought along a fan club (or stalkers), in the guise of Maggi and Mike Bridgman.  Brave Maggi had to follow Ben through Caen as we missed the turn for the periferique. We made it ok and that was followed by an uneventful run down to Gorron.  We were staying with Catherine and Michel Duchemin and we bade 'farewell for now' to our travelling companions as they were off down the road to stay with Loic Bahier.
Friday evening was spent 'at home' with much eating and drinking and another impromptu performance (too loose to be a rehearsal) leading us into the early hours.  Saturday was dull and grey and not looking too promising for the evening performance.  The weather wasn't too good either.  With James and Ben both feeling sore (beware the dark side, it's called Calvados) Michel and I popped over to Jean-Claude Speyer's house to borrow a huge garden umbrella in case we needed cover for the evening. Fortunately this was not to be the case. In the afternoon and post 'Calva-head', we mooched around Gorron for a while before attending a little reception at the Mairie and getting our final arrangements for the evening.  Some stage switching had gone on and the stage for us was to be outside the cocciMarket.  Also the band we were to follow had moved to a stage behind the Mairie and we were introduced to the new band that was to be on before us.  Hope you can follow this - I can't.  Nice bunch of lads but we didn't get their name.  Back 'home' with time to freshen up, change and load up the car before heading back into town. 
The early part of the evening gave us a bit of time to wander the streets and take in some of the other acts.  These ranged from acoustic solo acts, through various groups, a DJ and an impressive drum band that really livened up the square outside the Bar des Sports.  We wandered back to our stage area, took advantage of the food and drink vouchers kindly provided by the organisers and watched the other band waiting for our slot.  Very good they were too.  Playing a kind of upbeat jazz they were all multi instrumentalists and we recognized a few of them from the concert at the Espace Culturel Colmont at Easter.  Favourite moment was some virtuoso triangle playing.  If you didn't see and hear it you wouldn't believe it. 
They finished around 10pm and then it was our turn and after what I'd just seen and heard I confess to feeling a bit nervous.  The next 45 minutes or so was our setup time and I was still feeling a bit edgy but as soon as we struck up with America's 'Horse with No Name' as the opener I relaxed and the set then seemed to flow by at great speed.  Favourites such as 'Wicked Game' with James taking the lead were mixed with the oldies led by me and the newer and more contemporary songs being led by James or Ben.  Fleetwood Macs 'Big Love' seemed to go down well.  I can't comment on behalf of the listeners but on behalf of the players we had a good time.  An encore was called for but we had nothing really planned so ended up with Ben just leading an unplugged session in the street to round things off and we eventually stopped around quarter passed midnight.
We rounded the night off with some great sausages provided by Elliotts, an English butcher based in Gorron and fortunately with his stall opposite our stage.  We were promised some freebies if we were any good and I think we both honoured our word.  After a speedy pack down and reloading of the car it was back 'home' to wind down and sleep on a successful event.
Sunday morning was spend having a bit of chill time and recapping on the previous evening whilst Catherine and Michel were out greeting the cyclists that were also over riding back to Hayling.  In the afternoon we went off to Fougeres and visited the magnificent castle.  Lo and behold who should be there also but Maggi, Mike and Loic. Soon after it was declared beer o'clock and we all spent a pleasant time chatting and drinking in a local bar before going our own ways to spend time with other friends for our last evening.  We were invited to the Speyer's house and Jean-Claude had laid on a particularly fine spread for us all. The Calvados was avoided this time due to the need to travel the next day.
Monday morning there was time to relax a bit and after breakfast Catherine brought in a reporter from one of the newspapers from the region to interview us.  Catherine also writes for a local paper, as does Arielle Soudain and they promised to spread the word about our performance.  A text from Maggi reminded us that we were due to meet up at the Super U for our last minute shopping and our Grande Depart (well Petit Depart  - there was just 2 cars) and so farewells and thank yous were exchanged and we had to leave.
After encountering pouring rain on the roads and fog in the channel, a slow journey eventually got us back to Blighty and the old routine.
Thank you Gorron for having us and hope we can do it again.
Tony George
For and hopefully on behalf of, Tony George, James George, Ben Reid - Velvet Lips