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21st - 25th April 2023:

After Four Long Years, Welcome Back Les Amis 

With a couple of our regular annual visits having been cancelled due to the Covid Crisis, it had been four years since we last hosted our counterpart Twinning Association: les Amis de Buxton, so we were all really looking forward to welcoming our friends back to Buxton...

Friday 21st April - l'Arrivée

The much anticipated arrival of les Amis de Buxton, in the usual Rose Voyages coach, at the Buxton Community School was followed by a fine reception buffet in the Gothic Hall. Deputy Mayor (and Twinning Association member) Graham Oakley gave the Welcome Address. It was really great to see our Amis finally back in Derbyshire.

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Saturday Morning: Commemoration

The Buxton Oignies Twinning came about as a result of links between the towns which were forged during the darkest days of the Second World War. During every twinning visit our two Associations join together in an act of remembrance to pay tribute to those who died as a result of the tragic events that occurred over 80 years ago.

You can read more about the historical wartime links between Buxton and Oignies here.

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The Parade gets under way in front of the Town Hall

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Fairfield Brass Band

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The young Oigninois reciting a poem learned off by heart, in memory of the soldiers who died during the fighting; "Merci pour votre courage"

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The Last Post

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Véronique and Sabine with the Twinning Flag

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Councillor Ollie Cross, Mayor of High Peak lays a wreath on behalf of the Borough Council

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Derek and Richard laying wreaths on behalf of the two Twinning Associations

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Mr and Mrs Mayor meeting some Petits Oigninois

The Friends of Oignies would like to thank the Fairfield Band for their participation in the parade, and Celebrant, Fiona Sloman for the eloquent and moving humanist service.

Saturday Reception at the Bath Road Centre

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The post parade buffet at the Bath Road Centre gave us all another opportunity to socialise and catch up on news from either side of la Manche. Many thanks to Nicolas Thévenette for providing ample supplies of excellent bière, from his own micro brewery in Oignies - La Brasserie Alceste. Cheers Nicolas!

Chilling in the kick-box corner

Jim's Tour of the Famous, Unusual and Curious Sights of Buxton

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Jim in full tour guide mode - in both English and French

Below: A selection of Buxton's curiosities featured on the tour

Jim Marriot's guided tour of Buxton on Saturday afternoon proved to be very popular with French and English families alike. The itinerary included many of the local sites featuring in his weekly pictorial countdown to this year's visit (available to view here). A very entertaining couple of hours included many fascinating facts and quirky anecdotes relating to the town and its history. There were plenty of surprises and curiosities, even for those who have lived in Buxton for many years.

Many thanks to Jim for organising the event, and for the excellent series of 48 pictures and commentary comprising the weekly countdown to the 2023 visit.

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The final stop on the tour was the Devonshire Dome, completed in 1879 it was, at the time, the world's largest unsupported dome

You will find details relating to the these Buxton features, along with many more from around the town and its surrounding countryside; all included in the complete 48 week countdown here

The magnificent Hargeaves window display, created by Martin the proprietor, in honour of the French visit to Buxton

Coming Soon...

- Harry Potter at the Palace

- Bakewell and Thornbridge Hall

Buxton 2023 Photo-Montage

2023 Photo-montage

Another year and another fantastic twinning visit, full of fun, friendship and laughter. 5 days spent in an atmosphere of warmth and fellowship, with the Albert Boitrel games contested in high spirits and joyous camaraderie. The selected venues were sublime, and even the gardens were wonderful.


There was also a moment for contemplation during the remembrance service, when a group of the younger visitors showed their appreciation and respect for the soldiers who gave their lives in combat, their poem, recited by heart, declaring: Thank you for your courage!

- Sylvie Ossowski

  • Click the <PLAY> button on the screen below to start the movie.

  • To zoom to full screen click at the bottom right of the player screen.

Presentation by Sylvie Ossowski. Photos by Alain Cieslak, Véronique Bernard and Edmond Abram. Many thanks all.

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