Focus on twinning link with French lace town

A statue in Caudry portraying the French town's links with the lace industry
A statue in Caudry portraying the French town's links with the lace industry
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Fylde residents are being offered the opportunity to find out more about the area’s prospective second twin town ahead of the relationship being formally sealed.

More than 30 years after Lytham St Annes was twinned with Werne in Germany, negotiations are well advanced for a similar link with Caudry in northern France.

Links are already being established between schools in the two areas and, following a visit to Caudry earlier this year by a seven-strong delegation from the Lytham St Annes Twinning Association, officials are hopeful that the twinning liaison will be formalised when the French take up an invitation for a reciprocal visit later this year.

In the meantime, the local association is holding a presentation of photographs from Caudry – and then plans to make them available for display through the summer in local shop windows.

As well as images provided by Caudry’s Photographic Society, a series of photographs from the twinning committee’s recent trip to France will also be on show at the event being held at the Pensioner’s Hall in St Albans Road, St Annes tomorrow from 7.30pm.

Fylde mayor John Singleton and mayoress Geraldine Singleton will be attending, along with St Annes town mayor Coun Karen Henshaw and deputy mayor Carol Lanyon, who are both twinning association members.

Coun Tony Ford, chairman of Lytham St Annes Twinning Association, said: “Once the photographs have been shown, they will be offered to local businesses for their window displays.

“Hopefully some will be used to fill the windows of empty shops over the summer period.

“It will be a great way of increasing awareness of Caudry and we hope there will be plenty of interest.”

Caudry, which is some 100 miles from Calais, has a long history of lace making, with the first loom installed there in 1826 using parts from England.

By 1913, the number of looms had grown to 650 and they employed several thousand workers.

The population expanded from 1,926 in 1804 to 13,360 in 1911 and today Caudry remains, with Calais, the only town in France where lace is still made.

Coun Ford added: “Prior to our visit in March, the messages from Caudry emphasised the role of industry in that town but on arrival there, we were surprised to find a very clean urban environment with old-style architecture blending well with the modern new developments.

“Lace production is still in full swing well hidden among the buildings of the town and Caudry lace is worn by famous names including Angelina Jolie and George Clooney’s wife Amal Alamuddin.

“We are very much looking forward to the twinning link.”

Tickets for the photographic display, including refreshments, are available from Coral Thorn on (01253) 725400 or John Regan (01253) 781504.