Breakfast whets twinning appetite

The twinning ceremony will be in May
The twinning ceremony will be in May

Preparations for Stonehaven’s imminent twinning with a French town are gathering pace.

A delegation will travel to Acheres, a suburb of Paris, to formally cement the relationship in May.

As a stepping stone towards the signing, a French Breakfast Briefing will be held in Stonehaven later this month.

It will take place in Molly’s Cafe Bar on the promenade on Friday, April 20.

The event is being organised by Phil Mills-Bishop, chairperson of Stonehaven and District Community Council, which has been working steadily towards establishing the twinning link.

Mr Mills-Bishop said: “I’m looking forward to updating MSPs, local politicians, officials, business representatives and residents.

“A Skype session will be attempted with civic officials in Acheres and pupils from Dunnottar Primary School will be making table top Saltire and tricolour flags.”

He is also keen to meet the Consul General of France in Edinburgh, Emmanuel Cocher, who has been invited to attend the breakfast.

Afterwards, it is planned to show him the history of Stonehaven at various locations.

The briefing is the final event before Mr Mills-Bishop leads a cross-interest delegation to Acheres from May 18-21 to take part in the Fete De La Pentecote in the Place De L’eglise in Acheres town square, to meet the Mayor Marc Honre and sign the twinning and concordat.

North East Region Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr will be attending the Stonehaven briefing.

He said: “This initiative looks to put Stonehaven forward as a real jewel in Scotland’s tourist economy.

“The French are our friends and any links we can forge with them could bring economic benefit.

“I have been working closely with the committee, who have done a great job to promote the Mearns, and am looking forward to the breakfast.”

Mr Kerr tabled a motion at the Scottish Parliament last month commending the efforts of the community council in establishing the twinning link, and also highlighting the work of Stonehaven Business Association, Mackie Academy, Dunnottar Primary School, Visit Scotland and local sporting clubs and landowners.

Meanwhile, the Stonehaven delegation still requires two further local people to make up the team of six.

All accommodation and food will be provided by the Acheres hosts.

Delegates are expected to pay for their own flight. If you are interested, contact philmillsbishop@gmail.com

Following the signing next month, the Mayor of Acheres is due to pay a return visit to Stonehaven in early July.

A steering group will be formed to arrange events and progress the relationship.

A group from the French town visited Stonehaven last November, when moves to forge twinning links gathered pace.