Written by Mandy Wight.
We enjoyed another very successful visit with our friends from Parisot this April. The group of ten people, ranging in age from 8 to no longer counting, arrived at Manchester airport on Friday 17th April, were met at the airport and brought back to a wonderful reception at Great Hucklow. It was great to welcome old friends, and to make new friends, over refreshments, for our visitors after their long day’s travelling. Guests then went back to their hosts for dinner- hosts took turns to cook on Friday and Saturday evening so there were several people around the tables on both evenings with much catching up and conviviality!
On Saturday we took our guests to Quarry Bank Mill, driving over the dramatic and scenic Cat and Fiddle Pass. We had a look at the gardens in the morning, had lunch in the cafeteria and in the afternoon were treated to a tour of the Mill and the Apprentice House with a French guide, put on for us by the National Trust. This made the tour and information about the history and development of the Mill really accessible for our French guests and was much appreciated by them.
On Sunday we spent the morning at Ladybower Reservoir. One stalwart group went for a round walk from Fairholmes car park up on to the ridge to the west of the reservoir, with superb views over Kinder and the Lose Hill/ Mam Tor Ridge, then back down along the reservoir. Others went for a more leisurely stroll to the dam on the valley bottom. Lunch was then eaten at the Angler’s Rest in Bamford, now a community pub. As we were well over 20 people we’d booked a meal in advance and were given a room at one end of the pub where we enjoyed an English pub roast-or vegetarian equivalent. In what was left of the afternoon we had our Twinning Committee meeting and some people went off to the Three Stags pub at Wardlow Mires to hear live music.
Sunday evening entertainment was an Auberge Espagnole- bring and share- at the Nightingale Centre at Great Hucklow. There was a really impressive spread of food- impressive in quality and quantity- and we had a great time playing Beetle and singing, led by the musical Parisotains.
Monday was an unscheduled day-that is our French friends were happy to arrange their own entertainment. Several went to Chatsworth for the day, others walked with hosts or visited Sheffield. In the evening both guests and hosts got together for one final meal together at the Barrel Inn on Eyam Edge, before leaving via Manchester Airport on the Tuesday morning.
We felt the visit went really well and many members of the Great Hucklow Twinning Association had worked very hard indeed to plan the programme and to ensure the smooth running of the weekend- thanks to everybody involved. Individual friendships were consolidated during the visit and plans for future visits and activities shared and discussed. We Hucklovians are already looking forward to our next visit to Parisot and to welcoming our friends back here next time!
Vive le jumelage!