The Twinning Association was founded in response to an approach from the Association de Jumelage of the commune of Plessala in Brittany in 1992.
Plessala is a commune déléguée with 1,824 inhabitants (on 10th March 2000 according to the mayor’s secretary) and an area of a little under 13,000 acres. It consists of the main village (the bourg) where most of the Plessalians live together with a number of other much smaller settlements with evocative names such as Saint-Udy, la ville-Orio (said to be the site of a Roman villa) and la Hautière. Plessala is now part of the enlarged commune of Le Mené. The pleasant rolling countryside rises to a height of 1,100 feet at Bel-Air at the north end of the commune, 6 km (about 4 miles) from the village. It is nicely placed 95 km (60 miles or so) from St. Malo and is convenient for visiting Brittany’s beautiful north coast – and some of the many beauty spots inland.
Our parish and their commune have been exchanging visits once or twice a year since 1993 and two things stand out: the warmth and generosity of the hospitality of our French hosts and the unimportance of the language difference. They are really nice people. We like them and get on well with them: they seem to like us. Both sides enjoy their visits. On the coach returning from our first visit to them in 1993 everybody was saying “How on earth can we repay such hospitality?” Yet I am told that as they left Thomas Keble school later the same year they were all saying the same thing.
Over the years many friendships have developed between people and families here and over there. All the twinners have friends in Plessala; people with whom we are well acquainted even though they live in a small community in a foreign country and speak a different language.
Twinning is good fun. It is also very important because it shows that people get on together in spite of governments, prejudices and preconceptions (on both sides). Language really doesn’t matter. Goodwill is the only requirement. Do join. Everyone who does enjoys it. So will you. Plessala – la vie est belle.
For more information about the Twinning Association see their website www.BisleyTwinning.org.uk