A TOWN ceilidh has been organised to welcome a delegation from the wine capital of France looking to twin with Helensburgh.

Le Taillan-Médoc, in Bordeaux, is sending seven people, including two from the mayor's office, for six days in April.

So a ceilidh has been organised at the Helensburgh Civic Centre for April 15 to welcome them with a proper knees-up.

The £12.50 tickets covers the dancing from 7pm to midnight, with a break in the middle for a square sausage and tattie scone breakfast rolls.

The band Crowded Croft will be providing the music on the night at the 18+ gala.

Helensburgh Community Council (HCC) was given an update recently on the visit that was Le Taillan-Médoc initiative after early overtures from Helensburgh in 2020.

The delegation will be stayong at the Riva Boutique Hotel from April 15 and work is underway to set up a programme of events and meetings.

Le Taillan-Médoc is in the northwest of the wine capital of France and twinned with Castelnuovo-Berardenga in the Italian region of Tuscany back in 2000.

A twinning arrangement could lead to exchanges for schools, language initiatives, business links and more.

HCC member Tariq Durrani gave the group an update and said: "The visit of the delegation is timely in that we can explore opportunities for exchanges of young people, sports teams for schools, schools’ visits, language initiatives, business ties, Rotary Club joint projects and more.

"The recent opening of direct Easyjet flights between Glasgow and Bordeaux, from June 2023, with advance fares from £45 one way, is an added impetus for cementing ties with Le Tailin .

"The intention is to have some formal meetings with the delegation, and including visits to the Hermitage Academy and Lomond Schools and the Hill House."

In January 2020, COSLA encouraged Scottish communities to twin with towns or cities from a list in France and Germany.

HCC picked Le Taillan-Médoc at their last meeting before the Covid-19 lockdown started.

Helensburgh Twinning Association promoted links with Thoars, in France, for fourty years, and HCC began to communicate with Le Taillan-Médoc in Zoom meetings.

Although the mayor of Le Taillan-Médoc wrote to HCC with an invitation to formalise ties between the towns, Covid continued to overtake the efforts.

The Médoc is a triangular peninsula with the Atlantic Ocean and long sandy beaches to the west. Le Taillan is an entry point to the peninsula.

As well as being an historic region for wine, the town also has two football fields, a dojo, skate park, a cultural centre with a music school within a forested park.

In a letter to HCC in 2020, then mayor, Agnes Versepuy, wrote: "Our town, Le Taillan-Médoc, is seeking an English-speaking twin town, more particularly in Scotland.

“Indeed we like the culture and the traditions of this beautiful country.

“We confirm our desire to get in touch with the town of Helensburgh.

“Our wish is to create fruitful exchanges between our inhabitants and especially between the younger generations through sport and culture among other things."

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