Briec 1992 - 1994
In May 1993 we returned to Briec, plus some new members, to formally cement the new friendship by the signing of the Twinning Charter, a few weeks after the first ceremony in Ruthin.
We presented our hosts with a commemorative sundial: It's inscription on the sundial reads "Voici le Signe de l'Alliance pour les Générations à Venir" Genesis 9.12. This means "Here is a sign of our partnership for the generations to come".
The inscription on the sundial reads "Voici le Signe de l'Alliance pour les Générations à Venir" Genesis 5.12. This means "Here is a sign of our partnership for the generations to come".
We enjoyed the usual round of receptions in each of the five communes, with plenty of dancing and singing - formal or otherwise.
Visits included an excellent day out to the old fishing port of Douarnenez, which, with its maritime museum, was full of interest, and to Quimper.
Our visit also coincided with Briec's religious festival, or 'pardon', so we included a visit to the church, and to great entertainment and a fireworks display in the town square later that night.1The twinning charters were formally signed by the respective Mayors.
A visit to pig breeder was followed by a hog roast at Langolen. Other visits included Douarnenez, the Eckmuhle Lighthouse, and Quimper. It was also the occasion of the annual Briec Pardon.
The 'official' party on the 1995 visit was accompanied by the Youth team from Ruthin Fotball Club, with hard-fought matches against Briec and Langolen. Not to be outdone, the veterans (including some super-veterans) also clashed at Briec, the away side winning 5-1 thanks to having to make up the numbers with a couple of young 'uns.
There were also visits to the citadel of Concarneau, and to one of the Biscuit factories for which Briec is famous - specialising in the Breton 'Galettes'.
While enjoying the usual warm hospitality, we also had a 'crêpe' evening at which the Welsh were invited to demonstrate their skills - in which they sadly failed!.
We were accompanied by the Youth members of Ruthin Town Football Cluib, who played their counterparts in Briec and Langolen. Some of us also enjoyed a a veterans match.
Visits included a Galette factory, (buttered biscuits), and Concarneauu. We were also introduced to a Crepe Evening.
In October 1992 the first group from Ruthin visited Briec - after our Mayor and Town Clerk had visited previously and opened twinning negotiations. This was, then, the first chance for Ruthin citizens to see if this was the kind of place we would like to twin with. We must have made up our minds within a few minutes - the welcome was unbelievable and here were two groups of people determined to be good hosts and guests, to live the good life, and to laugh at every opportunity.
We travelled in cars and took the Plymouth-Roscoff ferry - soon to become a familiar experience. Within a short time we were on a whirlwind tour of the five villages, with a convival reception in each one. At times it was hard to keep up with which village we were in, as we were introduced not only to the usual range of aperitifs and wines, but also to the Breton specialities of Chouchen and Lambic. We had not been warned about these, so a pleasant haze soon enveloped us all.
The hospitality from the welcoming families was brilliant, and we were all struck by the enthusiasm for twinning with a town in Wales. We learned a lot about common cultures in a short time, and remarked on the place-names of Edern and Langolen which have their equivalents in our own local area.
Among the organised visits, we were amazed by the quality of the brand-new nursery/infant school, which provided a lesson in how much more effective genuine local politics can be in France. As Briec is a centre for Breton 'bakeries' we toured the Glazik biscuit factory as well as a small Crêperie. After seeing a dairy farm in operation, the amazing furniture created by Herve Salou in his workshops near Landrévarzec provided another fascinating visit.
Most memorable of all were the convivial meals, at which the shared love of singing and laughing created so much warmth between the two groups of people. The infectious personality and commitment of Alain Kérouedan was appreciated by all. On this trip friendships were forged which are still strong years later