Terrena Howse (centre), Chair of the Ilfracombe-Ifs French Twinning Association, with fellow committee members

The French are coming back to Ilfracombe

Joseph Bulmer

Ilfracombe’s Twinning Association will be welcoming back its French friends from Ifs in Normandy next month after a two-year wait.

Postponed since 2020 due to Covid, the visit by up to 30 French guests is all set for May 26-29th.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting them again after all this time and we’ll make sure they have a wonderful time here in North Devon,” says Terrena Howse, the Association’s new Chair.

“We’ve all worked hard to keep the Association going during the pandemic and to stay in touch with people, even if it’s mainly been on email, WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom.

“Now we’re just looking forward to seeing our French friends again and giving them some warm hospitality Ilfracombe style!”

The visitors from Ifs, a suburb of Caen, will be staying with Association members in and around Ilfracombe, and visiting North Devon attractions including the Quince Honey Farm and Marwood Hill Gardens over the weekend.

Evening entertainment will include a visit to Ilfracombe’s George and Dragon in Fore Street for some traditional pub life.

But there will also be plenty of time for just catching up with each other’s news.

“The Twinning with Ifs goes all the way back to 1991,” says Association Secretary Sue Whitworth.

“So, some of the families in Ilfracombe and Ifs have grown up together, which makes these exchanges all the more special.”

Martine Kerguen, the Ifs Twinning Chair, said: “We can’t wait to meet our English friends again after three years and to belatedly celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Twinning in 2021. And we know that our English friends have prepared a very nice programme for us!”

The Association continues to welcome new members and can be contacted through its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ilfracombetwinningassociation

“We’re a very friendly group and for anyone who likes France and the French way of life, it’s a great way of meeting people,” says Terrena Howse. “And all being well, next year will be our members’ turn to visit Ifs and to spend some time in lovely Normandy.”