Visit by the French Jumelage to Wellington May 2016.

This year the list of visiting French people contained a number of newcomers to Wellington so we decided to have a very British theme to our weekend. After being greeted at Wellington Civic Centre by the Mayor of Wellington Cllr. Philip Morris – Jones the visitors went off with their hosts for the evening.

A group photograph from the visit to Stokesay CastleWe hoped that the following day we would have fine weather as much of what we had planned for our visitors was outside. In the morning we travelled by coach to Craven Arms to visit Stokesay Castle, a 13th century fortified manor house. The French enjoyed it as they were supplied with a commentary of the building in French. At mid – day we ventured up the road to visit Acton Scott Victorian Farm where we had a picnic before touring the farm, which had recently been the subject of the BBC series ‘The Victorian Farm ‘ on television. We watched various demonstrations of country crafts and old farming practises. To finish our visit in British style we treated our visitors to a typical British cream tea.

Visit to Hodnet GardensThe following day hosts entertained their guests in various ways but as many of the French party were new to the area a number of hosts took them to see the Ironbridge Gorge and it’s numerous attractions. The photograph to the right is of a visit to Hodnet Gardens.

In the evening we all met at the Buckatree Hall Hotel for a dinner and entertainment by a group playing British folk music and everyone enjoyed items with audience participation. A good night was had by all.

The French contingent were making their way to Birmingham Airport at mid – day on the Monday but it has become a tradition in recent years for many hosts and guests to enjoy a last meal together at The William Withering pub before departing on the coach. This year was no exception although everyone was reluctant to leave the pub. As for the weather, we need not have worried as we had wall to wall sunshine all weekend. The verdict was a very successful visit.