The achievements of the twining

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The twinning between Llandysul and Plogonnec was made official by the signing of the charter on 16th July 1988 and 20 August 1989 . Signs at the entry to the towns on the main roads symbolizing the twinning were put up in Plogonnec in 1989 and in Llandysul in 1992. An unnamed car park in Plogonnec was baptised Llandysul Square during the signing of the Charter ceremony.

The adults’ exchanges started in 1987 and have continued on a yearly basis. The tendency now is for the people of Plogonnec to travel to Llandysul during the weekend of Ascension and for the people of Llandysul to travel to Plogonnec at the time of the twinning committee’s fest-noz, on the last Saturday in August or, failing this, during the autumn half term. These trips take place alternatively every year.

The itinerary for the visits are always based on a theme, for example economic development, environment, language, European construction, etc… Thus, Welsh people have had the opportunity to visit, in Plogonnec and the surrounding area, a small agricultural farm, a cheese farm, a distillery, the fish auction in Guilvinec, the HENAFF factory, the botanical garden of Brest , and have taken part in lectures/exhibitions on minority languages, Young people and Europe and Breton products.

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Visit of the factory Hénaff- 2003

Plogonnec inhabitants have had the opportunity to visit the centre of renewable energy in Machynlleth, the Welsh culture in the National Eisteddfod, the National Library of Wales, the Botanical Garden, the silver and gold workshop, the industries in Llandysul (the Tregroes Waffles factory and the Printers and publishers of Gwasg Gomer) amongst other visits and have had many talks on such subjects as sustainable development, the leader programs, Antur Teifi, the National Assembly of Wales, Cwmni Iaith Cyf.

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Visit of the botanical garden 2000

If some people from the first trips keep visiting the twin town, it is because real links have been forged between the two towns and between families. It is this which has atracted new people to join the twinning. The famous “Celtic cousins” are above all and before all friends, happy to meet again every year to exchange and share their cultures and of course to have fun!

Since the beginning, one of the priorities of the committees was to involve young people in the twinning. As early as February 1988, 12 young Welsh girls went over to Plogonnec for a week. In turn, they welcomed their friends from Plogonnec to Llandysul two months later. These exchanges between young people have continued in subsequent years. The Welsh-medium secondary school of Llandysul is also involved in the twinning in offering those students studying French the opportunity to take their work experience in the schools and shops of Plogonnec.

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Work experiences 1995

In 1998 and 1999, ULAMIR (local union for animation in rural area) and the Ceredigion Youth Service, together with the twinning committees, organised youth camps for the young people in the two towns. The young people learnt to work in a team with people from another country, whilst as the same time doing something useful for the community. Those projects involved the creation of a VTT (mountain bike) circus and the renovation of a playground in Plogonnec as well as development of footpaths and benches in Llandysul. Of course, those trips also allowed them to discover the twin town and to have fun!

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Trips for adolescents have since then been quite frequent, but exchanges for younger children (primary schools) have needed more time to be establish. In June 1991, pupils from Llandysul came to a primary school in Plogonnec for a few days. However, it is only now, 10 years later, that a real exchange has started. 26 children from the primary schools of Llandysul and Tregroes went to Plogonnec in June 2001 and in May the following year 24 pupils from the primary schools of St-Egonnec and Saint-Albin discovered Llandysul for the very first time. The exchanges are now well established and pupils from Llandysul and Tregroes went to Plogonnec in June 2003 and the pupils from Plogonnec returned the visit in June 2004.

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Schoolchildren of Llandysul- 2001 Schoolchildren of Plogonnec - 2002

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Schoolchildren of Llandysul- 2003 Schoolchildren of Llandysul- 2004

Schools and pupils are not the only people interested in the opportunities offered by the twinning. Sport is also involved. In May 1990, young football players from Llandysul taking part in the “Mondial Pupille” in Plomelin stayed with families of Plogonnec. At about the same time, the veteran football team of Plogonnec took part in a tournament in Llandysul. Another team followed their steps in 1994 and welcomed back a Welsh team in August 1995. Results of games: hoping for happy victories for each part and even better for the third half-time!

Bretons and Welsh footballers - 1995

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Another step was made in 2001, when the twinning committee in Plogonnec decided to create a post using the European Volunteer Service (EVS) scheme. Rhidian Jones, coming originally from Carmarthen in Wales , stayed for ten months in Plogonnec. He was involved in the local life, talked about Wales to the inhabitants of Plogonnec, and learnt the Gouren (Breton wrestling)… During his project, he also gave English lessons to the schoolchildren and worked with ULAMIR and the children centre of Guengat.

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In 2003 - 2004, Katell Pennaneac’h, coming originally from Plogonnec, spent 10 months in Llandysul under the EVS scheme. The project was the creation of a website (the one you are just visiting). To improve her knowledge of Welsh culture, customs and way of life, she was involved in the primary schools of Llandysul a’r Fro, the Ceredigion Youth Service and Llandysul a Pont-Tyweli Ymlaen office in Llandysul. She also learned to speak Welsh and obtained an A Grade in a Welsh national exam.

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Katell receiving her Welsh certificate during the Eisteddfod

During these years, in order to facilitate the joint meetings, both committees set up traditional dance lessons open to everybody and languages lessons: English and some Welsh in Plogonnec and French and some Breton in Llandysul. To raise money for trips, they organized different events: bingo, jumble sales, crepe evening, fest-noz, concerts, cheese and wine evenings, quadrilingual wish cards etc. Since 1992, grants have been given by Europe towards the adult exchanges.

Also, the Plogonnec committee benefits from an annual town subvention since its creation. The Community Council of Llandysul has also supported the twinning financially. All of these activities add another dimension to the cultural life of the towns and create links between all the inhabitants and some societies. Some individuals benefited from meeting new people in their own community as well as in the twin town through the twinning. All the achievements of the twinning by year

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