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May 9, 2023
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Oct 15, 2019
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Jul 5, 2019
The annual Fete de la Musique took place on the 22nd June this year, see Salut of full details.............
Jun 20, 2019

Hayling Island Twinning visit to Gorron in France 3-6th May 2019

An early morning departure by Brittany Ferries to Caen saw 50 plus members of Hayling Island Twinning Association on their way to France........ see Salut for full article.

About Gorron

This is a fuller version of the information on the front page.


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The French town of Gorron is in the Department of Mayenne (53) in the Upper Loire Region and is approximately 95 miles (150 Kilometres) south of Caen.  Both Normandy and Brittany lie nearby. The town, population just under 3,000, is situated on the river Colmont in the heart of an agricultural region noted for its good food, wine and cider.  The population of the surrounding villages swells the number of people seeing Gorron as their main town to around 20300.


Gorron is a typical small French regional town, with an old town centre, Mairie, small locally owned shops, and strong sense of community.  The French mayoral system has allowed the town to develop its own identity and participation in sport is one area where the town stands out.  There are excellent facilities for many activities, including a floodlight stadium with an athletics track and football pitch, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and an indoor swimming pool with a retractable roof.  The jewel, however, is the sports hall, boasting a basketball court, judo hall, a table tennis hall with room for 14 tables, a gymnastics hall and climbing wall. 

There are some 18 sports clubs in the town covering a wide variety of activities including archery, cycling, petanque and fishing.  'Le Parc de Loisirs de la Colmont' located on the banks of the River Colmont provides recreational facilities such as swing-golf, disc-golf, acrobatic tree trails, canoeing/kayaking, mini-raft, beach volleyball, beach soccer, mountain board, paint ball and others.  

For the arts Gorron has a 250-seat cinema with many large events, such as dances, exhibitions and concerts, being held in the new spacious 'Espace Culturel Colmont'.  The town's main industries involve the manufacture of furniture and stainless steel dairy machinery, shoe making and the French pork delicacy 'rillettes'. Market day is Wednesday.  There are 4 schools, 2 of which are secondary which take pupils up to the age of 16.  Further education is undertaken in the areas larger towns. 


Hayling Island started twinning with Gorron in 1997, after many years of social exchanges between the two communities.  Charters where formally signed and exchanged in 1998 and are now displayed in the Library in Elm Grove.  There is a 'Twinning' tree outside the library (a cider apple tree!), recognition of the twinning on the Island 'Welcome' signs and a Gorron roundabout at Beachlands.  In Gorron similar recognition exists in the form of 'Rue de Hayling Island' – previously Rue Victor Hugo.  Not bad for a twinning arrangement that did not follow the normal Council led route but arose following links between individuals in both communities.


The aims of the Hayling Island Gorron Twinning Associations are to promote social, cultural, educational and sporting links between groups of all ages.  Every other year there is a visit from Hayling Island to Gorron where individuals and families spend a weekend being hosted by French families.  There is always a full and varied programme of tours and visits to local attractions along with evening events.  The following year the Gorronais visit Hayling Island on a similar basis.  In addition to these visits there is normally a visit to the Fête de la Musique in June.  The twinning has been a long-term success as it has proved educational and very enjoyable – many of the Gorronais are now close friends.

The Twinning Committee in Gorron meet regularly in the Marie where the Mayor and the Committee are actively involved in promoting exchange activities.  The Hayling Island Twinning Committee also meets regularly – at a variety of locations.  The Island's association is very community based, whilst Havant Borough Council used to provide some financial support this ceased several years ago.  A large proportion of ours funds are raised from the profits of the Ale-ing Fest which the Association has run since 2004.  The Council recognise the Association but they have no direct involvement. 

Membership is open to all and there are a variety of social activities held throughout the year.  We are always looking for new members.  For those of you with children it offers a wonderful opportunity to expose them to both the language and the culture of France.  Interested?   Register your interest with us by using the 'contact us' link on this website.