In the years following WWII, local authorities were encouraged to establish overseas contacts with towns and cities of similar size to promote international friendship. The Crowborough Parish Council was introduced to Montargis, a town approximately eighty miles south of Paris, as being a possible ‘twin’. The contact was arranged by two war time allies, M. Jean Laurent, who led the French Resistance in the Montargis area and Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, Head of F (French) Section SOE London.
Subsequently in May 1966, a formal Charter was signed between the two towns, the main aims and objectives being ‘to be a non-politicial organisation for the promotion of international friendship and understanding by stimulating and fostering mutual exchanges at all levels, particularly by children and young people.’
Since then, members of the Society of Friends of Montargis and Les Amis de Crowborough have exchanged visits on an annual basis, thereby establishing long-standing personal friendships. Several of the town’s clubs have participated in twinning activities, notably Crowborough AFC, Crowborough RFC and the Crowborough TTC and others.
All visitors are hosted by members in their homes and those who have an opportunity to live briefly with a friendly family in Montargis will enjoy a very warm and enduring experience; excellent French meals and visits to local attractions are arranged – this is what twinning is all about. Life in Crowborough is new to visitors from accross The Channel and they, equally, enjoy the experience.
The Society is always on the lookout for new members. If you would like to find out more, please contact Society Chairman, Nancy Sanderson on 01892 315 7077.
– contributed by David Harris, Society President