VISIT TO WELLINGTON BY 15 PUPILS AND 3 STAFF FROM COLLEGE LEONARD DE VINCI CHATENAY-MALABRY FROM MAY 22nd TO 26th 2023
Chair Mrs Laurence Moses had arranged with M. Gilles Agrinier, trip coordinator and English teacher to facilitate an educational visit to Wellington in the spirit of the twinning agreement between Wellington Town Council and the Council of Châtenay-Malabry which dates back to 2001 and was renewed in 2010.
A near disaster was avoided by the chance call-in at Whitehouse Hotel, Wellington, by Mrs Moses, in the week prior to the arrival of our visitors. The hotel was closed but the management had not informed our French colleagues who had paid in full upon booking in February. A call-out for host families among our membership and beyond resulted in all children and staff being accommodated at short notice. Compensation from the hotel is being sought at time of writing.
The coach arrived from St Pancras on time around 3pm on Monday May 22nd and a walking tour of Wellington followed, led by Cllr Anthony Lowe including a visit to the post office to change Euros.
A “Civic Reception” in our Council meeting room and hot meal, prepared by our Social Secretary Mrs Lynda Brench, was much appreciated by the tired travellers at which Mrs. Moses and Cllr Lowe gave a welcome address and Cllr Lowe read the Twinning Agreement to allow our visitors to appreciate the long friendship between our 2 communities. Guests then were matched with host families and spent the evening settling in.
On Tuesday they travelled by bus to Blists Hill and Ironbridge and had their evening meal in Telford. On Wednesday they walked to HLC and spent the morning in class, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, Mrs Moses provided entertainment and organised activities in Apley woods, followed by a Fish & Chips supper.
On Thursday, Cllr Lowe led a bluebell walk up to the top of the Wrekin on the parallel path and all guests and some hosts had lunch together in the food quarter of Wellington market which they loved! They then caught the train to Telford, wandered round the centre, booked in to the Premier Inn and spent the evening at the bowling alley.
On Friday they spent their final day seeing the sights in London including the “Changing of the Guard” outside Buckingham Palace and returned to Paris on Eurostar in the evening.
The children’s behaviour was exemplary in every way and Cllr Lowe and Mrs Moses have written to congratulate their Headteacher and to propose that another group come to Wellington in May 2024.
Above all, much English was spoken by these eager and willing young linguists and all host families confirmed that they enjoyed having them to stay.