Tenterden Fire Crew take French Leave
Based on notes from Matthew Card
Like many good ideas it started with a casual remark. Matthew Card wondered out loud “Does Avallon have a fire station?”. After a bit of discussion and some research, plans were made for five Tenterden Firemen to visit our French twin town of Avallon for the weekend.
Henry Edwards put the group in touch with Noelle Clermonte his counterpart in the Avallon Twinning Association. Not only was there a fire station in Avallon but the visit coincided with its community open day on the Saturday.
At 4.30am on Friday 13 September Crew Managers Colin Millen and Michael Benn accompanied by Matt Card, Joe Millen and Chris Lamprell, mounted 3 bikes with 2 pillion passengers and set off for France. Almost 10 hours later they arrived safely in Avallon, tired and thirsty. The group were welcomed by Eric, the proprietor of Les Capucins Hotel where they stayed for the weekend.
On Saturday, the Mayor of Avallon, introduced them to Vincent Bruey the Captain in charge of the fire station, where they were treated to demonstrations, a tour around the vehicles and the station and entertained with food and drink. “It was a very informative and interesting experience and well worth the effort”, said Matthew.
Later that afternoon, there was an opportunity to explore the town of Avallon and sample more regional hospitality.
The return trip on Sunday was via Vimy Ridge WW1 cemetery then a stop in Calais for Moules et Frites, before crossing the channel and home to Tenterden.
Matthew summed it up, saying “We all had a lovely time and hope to welcome the French fire fighters over here next year. I hope this will be the start of a regular exchange. “
[Avallon is twinned with Tenterden]
Photos: Matt Card, Tenterden