The business of twinning is administered by a committee of volunteers consisting of an honorary president, who is the incumbent Chair of the Community Council, an annually elected executive committee, consisting of a chair, secretary and treasurer, other committee members, who volunteer at the annual general meeting held in February and two members of the Community Council who are delegated each year by the Community Council. Meetings are held regularly approximately every two months or more frequently when planning exchanges.
The underlying ethos of twinning is an exchange of ideas and experiences of life in our communities and to develop a better understanding of each other’s culture.
There are many ways that this is done in communities around the British Isles that are twinned with cities, towns and villages throughout the world. In Broughton and Bretton the twinning developed through cultural exchanges, sporting events and school exchanges. Throughout the 17 years of our twinning there have been various exchanges and visits both to and from Auzeville Tolosane.
The longest running exchange was the participation of teams from our junior football club, the Super Saints, in the Tournoi d’Autun. This is a football tournament that is held in a neighbouring village to Auzeville every Whit Holiday. Teams of under 15s and under 17s took part and finally in 2005 the senior team won the tournament.
The Hawarden Singers have made two trips to Auzeville Tolosane and given excellent concerts both in Auzeville and in Toulouse. They have also hosted a return visit in 1991 of the Auzeville Choral who also gave concerts in North Wales.
In 2004 we were invited to take part in a craft exhibition in Auzeville Tolosane. The committee asked crafts people from Broughton & Bretton and Flintshire if they would like to go over to represent North Wales Crafts in France. The visit was a resounding success and our French friends were impressed by the quality and diversity of the crafts on show. A group of Auzeville Tolosane primary school children visited the exhibition and were able to get some hands on experience of spinning.
There have also been some exchanges involving the schools of St. David’s and St. Richard Gwyn. Student from both these school have been to France and hosted students from Auzeville Tolosane. Our junior school is not excluded and there has been a long running exchange of information using emails between the Broughton pupils and their counterparts in Auzeville Tolosane.
The main cultural exchange visits have been between adults from both communities. Each year we are invited to visit Auzeville Tolosane and we invite the Auzevillois to visit Broughton and Bretton. These visits are a chance to experience life in our twin community as we stay with an Auzevillois family and they in turn stay with a North Wales family. This gives each person a chance to experience a way of life that they may not be familiar with. In addition these visits give each community a chance to show off our respective countries to each other. To this end and in response to requests from our French friends we have organized trips to Scotland, York, The Lakes and Cardiff, as part of the week the Auzeville Tolosane delegation spend with us. This was in addition to trips around our locality. We see this, as do the French, as part of the twinning experience. Not only do they find out about North Wales but experience something of the total British way of life albeit in small touristy chunks. In return when our delegations go to Auzeville Tolosane we have visited other nearby regions to give us a flavour of French life.