It’s a warm welcome to a large group of people from Wigan’s French twin town this weekend.
Some 45 people from Angers in the Loire Valley of north western France are being welcomed to the borough, for a variety-packed tour of local life and culture over the course of four days.
Wigan families will be looking after the visiting Angevins, and on Saturday, the Mayor, Cllr Mark Aldred, will receive them formally in the town hall. The Mayor says: “It is a real pleasure to welcome our French friends. After twenty one years we can safely say that the relationship with Angers is a solid part of our civic and cultural life.
“This trip is a chance to relax, but twinning is much more than a social occasion. Over the years we have learned a great deal from each other.”
The visitors will take the Wigan town trail, tour Waterfields Bakery in Leigh and explore the Astley Green Colliery Museum. There’s also a trip to Liverpool and the Lake District packed into the long weekend too. Around town, there will be entertainment from musicians including the Parkside Colliery Male Choir and the Anvil Street Drummers.
Aline Domeau, ambassadress from Angers, has been working with the Angers Twinning Association to plan the trip. She says: “We have a lively French community here in the borough, and we are proud to welcome our friends from Angers to Wigan, and proud to show them around and meet the people. I’d like to thank all the host families too for their help and support.”
The French visitors are members of the OCIA (Office of International Cooperation in Angers), the counterpart of the Angers Twinning Association. Last year the OCIA hosted a large party of Wiganners in Angers to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the town twinning.
The Angers visitors will depart on Wednesday morning but more twin town co-operation is planned.