Uckfield Mayor Cllr Ian Smith welcomed French visitors to the town this afternoon by greeting them in their own language.
He had invited guests of the Uckfield Twinning Association to a reception at the town council offices where a charter formally recognising links between Uckfield and Arques La Bataille in France was unveiled.
David Sudbury, chairman of the local association, was there for the ceremony with his opposite number from Arques La Bataille Laurence Tassus who thanked Uckfield families for their hospitality and the town council for organising the reception.
The party of about 20 visitors from France arrived last night. Some climbed Mount Caburn, overlooking the village of Glynde, this morning and had lunch at Middle Farm, Firle, before returning to Uckfield in time to see a steam train arrive at the railway station. A video of the train chugging along can be seen here.
This evening the visitors plan to visit East Hoathly to see the bonfire and torchlit processions held in the village to commemorate Armistice Day in 1918.
Tomorrow they are due to go to the remembrance service at the Airmen’s Grave on the Ashdown and the party is due to travel home on Monday.
Mr Sudbury said the Uckfield Twinning Association was flourishing. It was continuing its links with Quickborn and a visit was organised there this year. Also association members went on a trip to Rouen to see a tall ships Armada. The festival is held every five years and attracts sailing ships from across the world.
Seven young people attended a youth camp in Arques and next year a youth camp will be held in Finland.
Mr Sudbury said he was grateful to the town council for their support for twinning ventures and to the Mayor for hosting a reception.
He said the twinning association would welcome new members who were interested in international links.
“Joining us offers a great way to make friendships and to give young people the chance of practising languages while meeting young people from abroad and going abroad themselves,” he added.