CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

Ross-on-Wye and Condé-sur-Noireau

PUBLISHED: 16:07 13 January 2012 | UPDATED: 11:47 24 February 2012



Ross-on-Wye and Condé-sur-Noireau in Normandy have been twinning companions for over 30 years. Alison Field, Chair of Ross-on-Wye, fills us in on the fun and festivity that has taken place over this time.

Cond-sur-Noireau is fairly similar in size, agriculture and industry to Ross-on-Wye. The region is well known for its cider, Calvados and cheeses as well as the beautiful Suisse Normande, a dramatic valley dominated by gorges and cliffs with a superb vista over the river Orne not unlike that of Symonds Yat over the Wye. The verdant, rolling countryside is very much reminiscent of our lovely county of Herefordshire.

Our Association is an enthusiastic group of around fifty families, couples and singles, each twinned with a French household in friendships that grow year by year. Every two years we travel to France by coach or car for a weekend. Every other year, the French come here. These weekends are full and happy, genuine cultural exchanges where, through eating, drinking and living together, we expand our knowledge of each other and our countries, finding out what makes them different and just how much we have in common. Between visits, each association holds social events. It's lovely how people from all walks of life are brought together by this common interest.

In 2009, our Twinning Association celebrated its 30th birthday. Some members had been in the association from the start, which made it all the more special. The French twinning association put up posters everywhere in and around the town. A French celebration cake was created for the anniversary; a veritable sculpture in sugar and crme patissire, built upwards from the base, thus called a 'pice monte'.

On our visit to Cond last year, the town was celebrating its 1100th anniversary as part of the 11th centenary of Normandy, 911-2011. Some of our hosts were dressed in traditional medieval costume to greet us. This year, our twinning association entered a sedan chair race as part of the Ross-on-Wye Georgian Day event. A marvellous chair was built and decorated then occupied on the day by our Chairman (not me), confidently wearing a crash helmet while she and her bearers carried French sticks. Although the Ross twinning team came second in the race they did win a prize for the best decorated chair. So well decorated was the chair that it was decided not to dismantle it and it is hoped that it might be used to carry the president of the French association for an event during their visit to us this year!

I laid a wreath on Remembrance Sunday on behalf of our Twinning Association. It reminded me that, even today, the people of Cond and the northern coastal area of France remember and are grateful to the British and American troops. This was my first official act as Chair of our Twinning Association and it was very emotional for me. I felt I represented France in paying tribute to those from Ross who died in the Second World War. Cond was largely destroyed in the war and the people there do remember, even now, and our communities share an even deeper friendship because of it.

Alison Field
Chair, Ross-on-Wye / Cond-sur-Noireau Twinning Association

More from Language and Culture

Thursday, November 15, 2018

France has historically been on the leading edge of eco-friendly projects and regulations. While many argue that much more needs to be done to meet environmental goals in France and globally, here are 11 ways that French government, companies and people are striving to be green.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out. Find out the fascinating stories behind the names of these places in France featuring dragons, gods and Sardinian kings.

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Michel and Alain Roux have unveiled the menu at their new French-inspired riverside brasserie, Roux at Skindles

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

As a floating restaurant opens in Paris, we take a look at some of the city’s alternative dining experiences, involving famous rail carriages, secret doorways and eating in total darkness.

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kate Mosse was a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2018 and spoke about finding inspiration for her latest book – and beginning of a new series of novels set in France – The Burning Chambers.

Read more
Culture and attractions
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Agnès Poirier’s latest book explores the history of Paris 1940–1950 and the influential people that lived through the time. The French writer spoke about her book this year at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

Gather the family and see how many of these animals you can name in French

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Want to take your French language skills further? These tips will have you chatting and joking away with the locals in no time!

Read more
Learning French
Thursday, December 6, 2018

When it’s cold outside, indulge your love of French food and drink at one of these stylish pop-ups and events closer to home

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pigs, processions and high prices - why truffle season is a serious business in France

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now