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D'azur à la fasce ondée d'argent, chargée de trois ablettes de sable posées en bande, accompagnées en chef d'un rai d'escarboucle fleurdelysé d'or, et, en pointe, d'un pampre du même.

Since 1986 Penkridge has been twinned with Ablon-sur-Seine, a small suburban town on the southern outskirts of Paris, close to Orly Airport, and on the banks of the famous river. We are a family twinning association. Some Penkridge families have been twinned with their Ablon counterparts for many years, and many close friendships have resulted.

The choice of Ablon was made carefully. While it feels like a small French town, it has the obvious attraction of being only twenty minutes from the centre of Paris, one of the most popular capital cities in the world. Many other attractive parts of France are within easy striking distance - Versailles to the west, Fontainebleau to the east, Rheims and champagne country to the north, Sancerre and the Loire valley vineyards to the south - all places which have been visited and enjoyed on our trips.

There is one official visit each year - one year we visit Ablon, and the next our French friends come to Penkridge. Visits typically last from Friday to Monday or Tuesday, and are made up of a balance between private time with your family and arranged activities, such as day trips and/or evening social gatherings.  In 2005 it was Penkridge's turn to visit Ablon and 31 people made the trip from Friday 27 to Tuesday 31 May, travelling for the first time by Eurostar from Waterloo.  We visited two spectacular chateaus in the Loire, had a wonderful soiree (dinner and dance) and even managed a trip into Paris (which is only 12 miles away).

We are trying to recruit more members to the Twinning Association. 
The association is open to everyone in Penkridge.  The only criteria is that families are prepared to host a family from Ablon every other year.  This is not so hard as people might think.  We ensure that they are similarly matched with the same kind of family situation and so far all the combinations have worked and we have made many good friends.
We visit each other on alternate years and from 2 to 5 June 2006, Ablon will be coming to Penkridge and it will be our 20 year anniversary.  It would be lovely if we could encourage some younger village people with children perhaps to join and participate in helping to raise funds for when they visit us.  We try to arrange many social events over the year and this gives us the finance to host them when they come to Penkridge.
We only hold one open meeting a year in November, but have recently had a  Coffee Morning at Dunston Manor Farm on Saturday 2nd July courtesy of Isabel Ford, who supports the twinning with enthusiasm.

All this, of course, takes some financing, and we raise all our own money by holding fund-raising events, for both members and non-members. So if you would like to find out more about the Twinning Group and our French friends' visit to Penkridge and our visits to Ablon,  then come along to one of our social events, or contact our Secretary, Mrs Pam Anthony on Penkridge 714003.  Email.   We run a monthly bonus-ball competition, open to non-members as well as members, which for a stake of £12 a year, pays out a prize of £24-£50 a month.


Has anyone any pictures of Ablon?

I have discovered an Ablon Web Site that is produced by the opposition party of that area of France.   You will find it at: 

Discussion Forums between our two Towns
The web site has a Discussion Forum (Espace de discussion) which can be accessed by clicking here.  I would suggest this could be used for those whose written French is good.  


And what about an Ablon Email Directory so that we can have more electronic communication between our two communities, our schools, our church, our common interests of groups and individuals.

And - can someone please tell the Mayor of Ablon, the Councillors and the people of Ablon that we now have this Community Web Site.

I have found a web site with some Ancient Post Cards of Ablon - (Cartes postales anciennes d'Ablon sur Seine)  ( Val de Marne ) -

Click here for lots of views of our Twin town in the early 1900's.  Three of them are shown at the top of this page.

© Bevan Craddock 2003-2007


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