Twinning is a marvellous way to increase the understanding between people of different countries and cultures. By bringing people together, it helps us to understand the differences and similarities of
people from different walks of life in another country; and if you are learning French at school or at an evening class, what better way to improve the language?
Differences in the way people speak or cook or dress, or in their religion or the colour of their skin can breed misunderstandings. Misunderstandings cause fear and fear can breed hatred, as witnessed
by the many conflicts that have raged over the centuries.
How did the twinning start?
Ever since the Second World War, communities have been encouraged to form a friendship or "twinning" with a town in a different country but with something in common.
When the new Matlock Town Council was formed in 1983, it wasn't long before councillors looked for a "twin" town. This culminated in the present "friendship" with
Eaubonne, which was eventually signed officially in 1992.
Why twin with Eaubonne?
Eaubonne is about 20 km north west of Paris, the capital of France. Like Matlock, Eaubonne used to be a spa town, where people came to take the "water treatment". Like Matlock Bath, it betrays its origins in its name -
Eau = Water, Bonne = Good, so Eaubonne = Good Water
What do we do?
Members of the twinning association can be as much or as little involved as they want to be. There are opportunities to meet at social events organised throughout the year, but our main activity is the annual trip to Eaubonne or Matlock.
The French visit us in the "odd" years (2003, 2005, 2007, etc). Members stay with "host" families whilst in France and play host themselves the following year, usually but not always to the same family.
Some members form close friendships with their hosts and visit each other more often. Other members have no involvement, apart from the annual visits.
We try to ensure that you are hosted with people of a similar age, and if you are a smoker, we'll try to pair you with smokers. You do not need to be able to speak French - of course it makes life easier if you try
just a little to learn the basics, but you don't have to. We have members who are fluent and members who don't know more than a dozen words. If your house or flat is not big enough to play host to visitors, don't worry.
We have members in the same situation and their French family can usually be accommodated elsewhere, usually with someone who may not belong to the twinning association but is happy to take occasional guests.
Information on this page was taken from Matlock Town Council‘http://www.matlock.gov.uk/news-events/matlock-eaubonne-twinning-association2 or to find out more www.eaubonne-matlock.com