Long-established Fife town twinning link set to relaunch after lockdown break

A group behind a long-established town twinning link in Fife is up and running again after lockdown.
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Exchange visits are set to restart between Cupar and Howe of Fife, and the Argonne region and its main town, Sainte Ménehould, in France. The links date back some 20 years, and, during that time, there have been a series of informal exchange visits by various groups and individuals.

That stopped with the pandemic, but online discussions continued. Now, Cupar and Howe of Fife Twinning Association and its French counterparts are keen to resume exchanges as soon as possible. The Fife group is now spreading the word in and around Cupar - let’s get twinning!

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Pauline Galloway, the association’s chair, said: “I’m sure many people think that our twinning link with the Argonne has fallen by the wayside but we’ve been keeping it going via Zoom in the past couple of years and now we’re hoping to see exchange visits resume. I know Covid is still with us but overseas travel has become more accepted and we feel the time is right to promote exchanges once again.”

The town twin link spans some 20 yearsThe town twin link spans some 20 years
The town twin link spans some 20 years

She added: “I would urge residents and organisations in Cupar and the Howe of Fife who would like to consider travelling to our beautiful twin area in France to get in touch. Our exchanges in the past have been commercial, cultural and educational, supported by the Franco-Scottish Society, which has a branch in St Andrews. I look forward to helping to strengthen our links with the Argonne through more exchanges in the months and years to come.”

Cupar and the Argonne forged a twinning link in 2000. It was formalised in Cupar in 2010 and in Ste Ménehould the following year with the signing of joint charters of friendship and twinning.

With the aim of “developing relations in cultural, sporting, social, economic, educational and tourist exchanges”, the link has seen a series of exchange visits involving choral societies, local farmers, traders, walkers, schools, etc.

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The Argonne is situated in the Champagne-Ardenne region and Ste Ménehould is the birthplace of Dom Perignon, of champagne fame. It is close to France’s borders with Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany and, like Cupar and the Howe of Fife, is a largely agricultural area.

“The Argonne is a perfect twinning partner for us,” said Pauline Galloway. “The two areas have a great deal in common and of course France and Scotland have links that go back many centuries. It will be great to get together once again.”

News that the Cupar group is looking to revive exchange visits has been welcomed in France.

“Covid or not, we must not give up”, is the message from Aremelle Duhal, president of Cupar and Howe of Fife Twinning Association’s counterpart organisation in Ste Ménehould. She added that she found the opportunity to learn about the culture of France and Scotland to be “very enriching”.

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Members of the twinning association recently met supporters and representatives of various organisations to discuss the way forward.

Anyone interested in exchange visits or in supporting the work of the association is asked to get in touch at [email protected]

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