IMAGES: Harrogate twin town student exchange

Students from Harrogate’s twin town in the French Pyrenees enjoyed a week in Yorkshire.

Sunday, 29th March 2015, 12:00 pm
The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Jim Clark with Amelie Puissegur. (1503173AM1)

Staff and students from the Lycee Edmond Rostand in Bagneres de Luchon, Harrogate’s twin town in the French Pyrenees enjoyed a week of glorious spring sunshine and Yorkshire hospitality.

The students, who are all aged 18, enjoyed a civic reception in the town hall hosted by the Mayor, Coun Jim Clark and the Mayoress Coun Shirley Fawcett.

Mike Newby, director of Visit Harrogate and Coun Nigel Simms, Mayor elect for 2015 -2016 also attended and expressed their warm support for this renewed Anglo-French partnership.

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Jim Clark with Amelie Puissegur. (1503173AM1)

Hosted by students in the Associated Sixth Form, the students attended lessons at St John Fisher Catholic High School where they were welcomed by headteacher Rob Pritchard.

He said: “I attended the students’ presentation of Luchon, and found it fascinating. St John Fisher staff have already visited the town, best known recently for its Tour de France associations. It’s an exciting link for St John Fisher School and our languages department.”

Mme Corina Aranda and M Nicolas Davoine, who accompanied the students, both expressed their delight at the renewed link: “Harrogate is a beautiful town which has only recently come to the attention of French people. Our students have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our hosts.”

The students had a conducted tour of the Pump Room Museum, hosted by Christine Stewart, and later in the day Sir Thomas Ingilby generously opened the doors of Ripley Castle, where the students had to get to grips with the complexities of the English Civil War.

The visit marked the first Luchon exchange students to visit Harrogate for over 25 years. The Harrogate/Luchon Twinning Committee, chaired by Mike Newby, has other exciting plans in mind, in the first instance a significant Harrogate presence at the annual Luchon fete des fleurs between August 21-23.

Dennis Richards is on the Harrogate-Luchon twinning committee. He writes the monthly School Matters column for the Harrogate Advertiser Series.

Corina Aranda, english teacher at the Lycee Edmond Rostand in Bagneres de Luchon said: “There are virtually no words to tell you how fantastic our stay was.

“Harrogate is a really beautiful and welcoming town.

“Every single one of us, staff and students, have been delighted to stay in your community.

“We understand now how pleasant it is to live in Harrogate. You indeed live in a beautiful part of England, Harrogate, Ripley castle, Fountains Abbey, the Dales, every place we went to seemed equally beautiful.

“The students really enjoyed their stay, and we hope they will feel like going back later, on holidays or more.”

Twinning link - get involved

A Harrogate-Luchon twinning committee has recently been formed, with the involvement of your Harrogate Advertiser.

Anyone wishing to get involved with twinning events should contact Alex Johnston by email: [email protected]

Find out more about the twinning at our website:

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