Soham Twinning Association

Past Events

12th Oct 2013 We were treated to a trip to the 2013 Fête de la Courge, (or Pumpkin Fair!) held in the gorgeous grounds of Bouthéon Chateau in October courtesy of Hervé and Michelle Wauquiez who were our kind hosts during our stay and made us so welcome. The weather wizard was not wonderfully kind, but we enjoyed some colourful displays and interesting stalls selling all sorts of exciting wares, mostly food and drink (but not all!). In the evening a fabulous feast was laid on serving hot food (pumpkin pie of course) and various drinks and we completely filled a huge marquee with supportive locals who turned out to enjoy the fun. Our Chair was able to make contact with Jean-Claude Schalk, (le Maire), and various other town dignitaries who were delighted to see us and thrilled we could come. After the dinner a band provided music for listeners and dancers until well into the night. Brilliant! Photos can be viewed under the “Gallery” tab or click this link.

13th July 2013 A great idea turned into a great day out for members, local Twinning groups from the area, friends, family, neighbours, all to enjoy the weather, the games, Pimms, the party atmosphere, music and anything else we could think of to celebrate Bastille Day, which took place on Saturday July 13th in the grounds of one of our member’s home – thanks to Vivienne and Alan. The weather was beautiful, everyone who came entered into the spirit of the day; we had face-painting and cakes, picnics and a raffle. Oh, and a quiz, thanks to our ever bountiful and creative hostess!!
It was fab fun, and went on until long after sunset , all survivors enjoying the sultry evening sunshine, drinks, conversation and well-deserved relaxation. Please look at the photos under the gallery tab and relive the moment! Vive Le Quatorze Juillet!

9th June 2013 Our 3rd Annual Treasure Hunt which went ahead on a cold, overcast Sunday in June was supported by a surprise turnout by members of the public! Luckily it didn’t rain and the 30-mile or so course was fun to follow as no-one got wet or hot! Many thanks to Rosemary and John Aitchison for providing the clues and to Soham Football Club for the venue. It was a relatively difficult course – the clues were cryptic, and spotting the answers relied upon a keen eye and a quick brain! Starting at 11:30 and finishing around 3pm it was 4 hours or so of enormous fun and gave us an excuse to explore the Cambridgeshire (and Suffolk) countryside and hone our observation skills. Prizes were given out back at the Football Club and congratulations go to all who took part, but in particular to the Cawthorne Family, winning for the second time in two years. Please see the pictures in the Gallery section. If anyone would like to take part in our next Treasure Hunt but is unsure how to join in, please contact us on (01353) 721440

27th May 2013 STA took a stand at the Soham Carnival on Bank Holiday Monday May 27th 2013 to promote the organisation and attract new members and to have an excuse to run a fun tombola. We were blessed with good weather, if a little windy, and the crowd turnout was the best for many years. We were also fortunate to obtain a spot in a very good position outside the Scout hut close to the entrance, so passers-by were attracted to our stand. The tombola prizes were very popular with the children and at the end of the afternoon all but 4 had been won. Several new people expressed an interest in joining the association and several more showed an interest in the Car Treasure Hunt to be held on June 9th. See “Events” tab for more info and “Gallery” for pictures of the stand.

23rd Apr 2013 Quiz night at “a Tasca” Portuguese café was a great success (Click here for pictures). We played to a packed house - slightly squashed, but happy and enjoyed wine, snacks and a raffle too – thanks to all those who kindly donated prizes.

Thanks also to Rosemary and John who provided the clues and to Sam for the picture round – appropriately enough all about monsters (St George connection there).

Results were as follows:

7th with a respectable 71½ points – the Sardines
6th with a well earned 79½ points - the Newcomers
5th were Resistance with 81 points
4th, just in front, with 82½ points were the Burwell Bashers – lovely to have Diane and her guests from the Burwell Village Twinning Association along to support us
3rd were the Orchard Company with an awesome 86 points
2nd with a whopping 91 points were the incredible Quizimodos and -
1st clocking up an unbelievable 94½ points were the Fentastic 5 – fantastic is right!

Thanks also are offered to Catherine and her staff at “a Tasca” who looked after us throughout the whole evening and made us feel so welcome.

Our Quiz night will now be an annual event – watch the website for more details for next year.

20th May 2012 Our 2nd annual Car Treasure Hunt took place,and what fun it was even though the weather was cold, but kind, in terms of rain. The teams took part with unbridled enthusiasm, and the clues took us to some of the prettiest villages in Cambridgeshire. This is such an unusual and exciting event we have decided to make it a regular yearly date on our busy calendar, but we do need your support!
Huge thanks to Rosemary and John Aitcheson who plotted the route and set the clues, and thanks too, to the Fountain Pub, who hosted the prize-giving and helped with publicity. Also thanks to “The Brook” who let us sell tickets and coupled it with a discounted Sunday brunch for partakers! Wow!
See you all next year!

14th Apr 2012 A good turn-out for the STA Quiz night despite very cold weather outside (or maybe because of it!) rendered a fun evening for all with much frivolity amid the serious business of dissecting the questions and much head-scratching and subtle whispering was employed! The 10 rounds of really quite unusual subjects were totted up by Peter Beer on the computer and the eventual winners amid a very close score were serial quiz-goers – "Laurel" and "Hardy". Well done, you guys! The evening was rounded off with a raffle with exciting prizes and thanks must go to all who donated those and for the refreshments at the interval.
Special thanks, of course, to Rosemary and John Aitcheson who did the hard work researching the questions and to Viva Centre for providing the venue. We all had a great time, learned a lot and made some lovely new friends. So successful have our quizzes become that they are set to be an annual event, so literally, watch this website for more to come!

8th Oct 2011 A small party (John and Rosemary Aitchison, John and Sheila Kirkham and your webmaster to carry the bags). Went to Andrézieux-Bouthéon for La Fete de la Courge, or their Pumpkin Fair. Despite the worst weather for many years we were made very welcome and entertained extremely well. There are some photographs here.

24th Sept 2011 Jean-Claude Schalk, the Mayor of Andrézieux-Bouthéon and his deputy Gerard Brot came to the Soham Pumpkin Fair with their wives to celebrate five years of being twinned with Soham. The Mayor gave copies of his book about the restoration of le Chateau de Boutheon to members of the team who carried out the twinning back in 2006, and Anne Pallett, the chair of Soham Twinning Association gave Andrézieux-Bouthéon a hand-decorated plate with a design of St. Andrew's church on it. Photos can be seen here.

22nd May 2011 A great time was had by all who attended our very first Car Treasure Hunt held Sunday 22nd May. The instructions were cleverly worked out and took the teams all around the area visiting the prettiest of the local villages. It took ingenuity and detective work and all the teams worked very well together deciphering the complex clues displaying a heartening camaraderie of spirit ! Back at The Ship for the results and the raffle the winners were announced and we offer huge congratulations to the Cawthorne family of Poppyfields in Soham: Dad Duncan, Mum Sarah and daughter Bethany. Sadly other daughter, Katherine, was unable to attend due to being poorly. Well done, and thanks for joining in.
Thanks must be expressed to all those who contributed –
  • Rosemary and John Aitchison who devised the route and produced the clues
  • Josh Schumann who hosted the triumphant finishers award ceremony at “The Ship”
  • Maureen Hardingham who provided the refreshments
  • Soham Books who took advance details of participants
  • Peter Beer who ran the raffle
  • All who so kindly donated prizes for the raffle: Lloyds Bank, Chatterbox, Cambridge Building Society, James Graven Budgens, The Co-op

All winners will be announced at the Soham Carnival, 30th May 2011. Photos can be seen here.

7th Oct 2010 A party from Soham (including a Journalist from the Newmarket Journal) visited La Fete de la Courge in Andrézieux-Bouthéon, and stayed with local families. A tour of the beautiful Beaujolais district was organised, with a visit to the Chateau de la Chaize and its winery where there was some wine tasting performed. The visit ended at the annual pumpkin fair or Fete de la Courge. Pictures of what went on can be found here.

13th May 2010 Thirty people came over from Andrézieux-Bouthéon, and were all accomodated in local households. they were entertained with visits to Cambridge and Ely, and were given a guided tour of Anglesey Abbey. Not only did they extensively explore the gardens of the abbey, they also walked around the Wicken Fen nature reserve afterwards before settling down to a well-deserved English Sunday dinner at the Fountain in Soham. There are some pictures here.

5th Feb 2010 The STA held a cheese and wine evening with a difference at the Viva centre. The evening was a quiz on the theme of cheese and wine, with tastings organised so that teams could try to identify the various wines (from merlot and shiraz to Xarel-lo and Elderflower) and cheeses (from cheddar to ricotta). There was a lot of tasting going on - people must have really wanted to be certain about their answers...

29th Oct 2009 Jean Montschien (conductor of the Andrézieux-Bouthéon choir) has another trick up his sleeve. He is also the leader of L'Orchestre Monty, a tango band. When Anne heard them play in France, she resolved to get them a booking in Soham. They performed a very well received concert, and also included a 'tour' of the local area. There are some pictures here.

10th Oct 2009 A party from the Soham Pumpkin Fair committee attended La Fete de la Courge in Andrézieux-Bouthéon, and demonstrated what can be done to pumpkins and squashes with a collection of household cutlery, kitchen implements and tools. There are some pictures of the results here.

4th Jul 2009 A party from Soham attended La Fete des Bords de Loire in Andrézieux-Bouthéon, and enjoyed the excitement of the fair, the display by the Camargue Cowboys, the brilliant Gypsy/Flamenco concert in the evening and not least of all, meeting up with old friends. There are some pictures here.

April 2009 Soham Village College continued their exchanges with their corresponding school in Andrézieux-Bouthéon. The next will be in September.

28th Mar 2009 At long last Soham has been able to add "Twinned with Andrézieux-Bouthéon" to the green road signs at the major entrances to the town. The ceremony was performed outside the Viva centre at 11am, followed by a small reception inside. One of the new signs was unveiled by the Mayor of Andrézieux-Bouthéon, Jean-Claude Schalk, and there were several official speeches. In addition, just before this, the Mayor formally opened 'The Paperclip', the smallest stationery shop in the county. Afterwards there was a celebratory lunch at the Churchgate Inn. The event was widely advertised and was open to the whole public. It was a joint Twinning and Soham Town Council event, and was very well attended. This year also marks our 3rd anniversary, and was also the reason for the ceremony. There are some pictures here.

13th Dec 2008 The Twinning Association raised some more money for the new road signs, but not enough for six to be fixed to the existing welcome signs. (In January the Council agreed to help fund the balance of the cost of the signs and also help with the costs of a simple unveiling ceremony).

9th Nov 2008 Some French ex-soldiers came to Soham at the invitation of the British Legion. They took part in the street parade and the war memorial ceremony. Some of the Twinning Association members played their part by offering accommodation during their stay. See some pictures here.

27th Sep 2008 The Twinning Association had a small stall at the Pumpkin Fair and raised about £100 towards new town twinning signs.

27th Sep 2008 The Twinning Association had a small stall at the Pumpkin Fair and raised about £100 towards new town twinning signs.

30th Jun 2007 Soham were invited to create an English pub at the Fête des bords de Loire. Read all about what happened here, and see some pictures here.

30th Sep 2006 A party from Andrézieux-Bouthéon attend Soham's Pumpkin Fair. See some pictures here.

29th May 2006 Fiona Ross and Jean-Claude Schalk sign the twinning charter in Soham. See a description on the Soham Online site here.

15th Apr 2006 Rosemary Aitchison and Jean-Claude Schalk sign the twinning charter in Andrézieux-Bouthéon. See a description on the Soham Online site here.

15th Oct 2005 Rosemary Aitchison and The Soham Pumpkin Fair committee visit the French Fete de la Courge at Andrézieux-Bouthéon. Read Jenny Fletcher's description of the visit here. Additional photos can be found on the Soham Pumpkin Fair Website.

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