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The Normans are Coming!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Dorchester is going to be on the end of a new Norman invasion this weekend, as no fewer than 53 visitors from Dorchester’s French twin town of Bayeux arrive on a very special visit organised by the Dorchester-Bayeux Society.

The Dorchester-Bayeux Society is the oldest twinning society in Dorchester, and aims to promote and participate in twinning events and exchange visits that have included music and sports groups, and local schools.

For this weekend’s visit, the visitors will arrive in Portsmouth on Friday afternoon on the MV Normandie, before heading to the Council Chamber in theDorchester Town Hall for a civic reception.

They will be spending Saturday with their host families, and also taking advantage of Heritage Open Day, which allows free access at all National Trust venues to non-members. There will be a Traditional Victorian Harvest Fair at Max Gate from 12 noon to 5pm, with entertainments including fiddle music, games and craft activities.

On Sunday our Gallic cousins will be treated to a Ceilidh and Hog Roast with music and dancing from the Captain Thunderbolt Barn Dance Band at Herrison Ballroom, Charlton Down Village Hall. It will be an informal evening with plenty of opportunity between dances for everyone to move around and meet old friends and new visitors.

On Monday morning the Bayeux visitors will visit The Keep Military Museum and / or take part in a walking tour of Dorchester, followed by a light lunch at the Wessex Royale Hotel on High West Street. Finally, to round off the afternoon they will either do a walking tour of Poundbury, a guided tour of the Dorset County Museum or a demonstration of Dorset Button Making.

Here’s hoping our friends from Bayeux all have a fantastic time here. There is a big historical link between our two towns, as it was the Dorset Regiment that liberated Bayeux from the Nazis in 1944, and we hope visits like this weekend’s serve to strengthen our already strong bond for the future.

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