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Stonehaven has a new French connection

David Nicol, left and Phil Mills-Bishop of the twinning committee with gifts for the French town.
Picture by DARRELL BENNS
David Nicol, left and Phil Mills-Bishop of the twinning committee with gifts for the French town. Picture by DARRELL BENNS

Stonehaven has its first twin town after a historic agreement was signed with Acheres in France.

The twinning agreement between the north-east seaside town and the Paris suburb was signed after two years’ work by Stonehaven and District Community Council (SDCC).

It is hoped the relationship will lead to a growth in tourism and closer cultural, business and sporting ties.

Led by SDCC chairman Phil Mills-Bishop, a delegation of six travelled to Acheres at the weekend to sign the pact linking the communities.

The signing ceremony took place during a festival of events in France.

The north-east delegation arrived equipped with over 200 ‘I love Stonehaven’ pin badges and bunches of paper thistles made by pupils at Dunnottar Primary School.

Local schoolchildren from Acheres treated the party to a rendition of the French national anthem at the closing of the ceremony.

After signing the accord alongside Acheres mayor Marc Honore in the town hall, Mr Mills-Bishop said: “The trip has been a fabulous success. The welcome and hospitality from Acheres was top class.

“This isn’t the end of our work. In fact, it is only the beginning.

“Like any good relationship we will have to work at this and see what we can do together to promote both of us.

“We will set up a new steering group that will have community council involvement, but the twinning’s main priority will be strengthening ties.

“Everyone is excited by what lies ahead.”

Delegates from Acheres will visit Stonehaven in July to discuss further co-operation between the towns.

The Stonehaven delegation showed their courage in tackling the formal banquet’s starter dish of snails and Mr Mills-Bishop has promised a traditional Scottish foot surprise during the return visit.

Stonehaven becomes Acheres’ third twin town, with Groβkrotzenburg in Germany and Amarante in Portugal enjoying 46 and 21 years of partnership respectively with the French town.

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