The Twinning Association is open to everyone and anyone. There are no pre-requisites other than the wish to socialise and perhaps help out occasionally with events.
There is no requirement for members to speak french or even go on the french trips since many members simply enjoy the Association's Hayling Island based social events. For more information on the current organisation and on becoming a member please look at our organisation page.
The French town of Gorron lies almost due south from Hayling Island, some 95 miles from Caen. This means it is close to both Normandy and Brittany and lies rougly 20 miles from the surrounding cities of Rennes and Le Mans. Visit the Gorron page to see the map. The town is situated on the river Colmont in the heart of an agricultural region noted for its good food, wine and cider.
Gorron is a typical small French regional town with an old town centre, small locally owned shops, and strong sense of community. It has a population of 3,000 (or 20300 if all the 27 surrounding villages which form 'la communaute de communes' are taken into account). Participation in sport is one area where Gorron stands out. There are excellent sporting facilities and some 18 sports clubs covering a wide variety of activities. Gorron also has a 250-seat cinema plus the cultural centre 'Espace Culturel Colmont' which can accommodate up to 900 including 312 in tiered seats and 4 schools. It’s main industries involve the manufacture of furniture, stainless steel dairy machinery, shoe making and the French pork delicacy 'rillettes'.
Hayling Island started twinning with Gorron in 1997, after many years of social exchanges between the two communities rather than the normal Council led route. Charters where formally signed and exchanged in 1998 and are now proudly displayed in the Library in Elm Grove. In rocognition of the twinning Gorron appears on the welcome signs, we have a 'Twinning' tree outside the library and a Gorron roundabout at Beachlands. Gorron has similar recognitions including the 'Rue de Hayling Island' – previously Rue Victor Hugo.
The aims of the Hayling Island Gorron Twinning Associations are to promote social, cultural, educational and sporting links between groups of all ages. Every other year there is a visit from Hayling Island to Gorron where individuals and families spend a weekend being hosted by French families. There is always a full and varied programme of tours and visits to local attractions along with evening events. The following year the Gorronaise visit Hayling Island on a similar basis. In addition to these visits there is normally a visit to the Fête de la Musique in June. The twinning has been a long-term success as it has proved educational and very enjoyable – many of the Gorronais are now close friends.