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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.


More than 20 years ago islanders, Averil & Ian Pollicott, bought a house in the town of Gorron about 80 miles south of Caen. They spent their summers there and made many friends with countless invitations to dinner and barbeques. One particular friend was Cathy Duchemin. Cathy was an English teacher in Gorron and her husband Michel was th an artist in metalwork. They had four children who became friends with Ashley and Faye, the Pollicott's children. Over the years the Pollicotts and their friends in Gorron talked about the differences between Hayling Island and Gorron.

Gorron was already twinned with Schweikheim in Germany . This happened 20 years after World War 2, when prisoners-of-war, who had been sent to Gorron to work on the land, wanted to return because they had been treated so well. Cathy & Averil talked long into the night about twinning for Gorron and Hayling Island. The rest, as they say, is history…..

Gorron & Schweikheim Twinning is a civil Twinning. Cathy & Averil wanted their twinning to be a social twinning. Although the Gorron council is involved with finance and Havant Borough Council mayors are invited guests, some councillors on both sides being Twinning members, the association has remained a social twinning The Hayling Island Gorron Twinning Association has now been in existence for over 20 years.

We are proud that the Island's friendship with Gorron is permanently commemorated on the “Welcome to Hayling” signs at the bridge and the ferry, as well as by the Gorron roundabout and appartments at Beachlands.  

You can see the original charters for both communities on the wall at the library, as well as a glass cabinet containing memorabilia collected over the years. Outside the library is the Twinning Calvados apple tree, donated by the French and planted in 1998. We planted its counterpart, a column oak donated by the Friends of Hayling Trees, in Gorron and we are pleased to report that it is also flourishing.

We visit each other every other year, that is, one year Gorron make the trip to Hayling, the next year we go there. All members are invited to join the trip and enjoy the hospitality of French families and the activities organised for us. The Gorronnais visited us in May 2018 so we will be going there in May 2019.   

We have nearly 100 members in south Hampshire and organise regular social events. We travel en masse to Gorron every other year and smaller groups go to France each year for the Gorron Christmas Fair in December and the Fete de la Musique in June.

Many groups from the Island have also visited Gorron over the past few years including the Junior Operatic Society, young and veterans' football teams, the Hayling Island Wine Society, the Paris to Hayling Charity Cycle Ride and Island Dance Fusion (formally Island Tap School). 

As we are a social Twinning Association we have to raise funds to enable us to visit Gorron and to host the Gorronais when they come over. To this end we have two main fund raising events – the Annual Quiz and the Ale-ing Fest (Hayling's Annual real ale and cider Festival in October).  

If you would like to become a member it is not expensive - £6 per year for a single membership and £10 per year for a couple or family, payable by standing order, where possible. We send newsletters three or four times a year by e-mail and post (if you don't have e-mail).