By 2017 The Reverend Jane Lisvane
Saturday 27th May 2017
To Eardisland, to take part in the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the twinning of Eardisland with a remarkably similar community in Normandy, La Vieille Lyre; like Eardisland, a vibrant rural community, concerned with apples, cider, and beef (as well as tourism).
What I had not realised was the ancient close relationship between the two communities. This goes back for almost a thousand years, when Eardisland’s Norman overlord William Fitz-Osbern (who had arrived with William the Conqueror) raised taxes to support and enrich his abbey in La Vieille Lyre. But, as the Vice-Lord-Lieutenant Christopher James pointed out in his witty speech, the Hundred Years War intervened, and Eardisland thought that is was rather unfair to help subsidise the opposition…
I was able to explain the ancient origins and the modern role of a High Sheriff (not known in France) and, in keeping with the bilingual nature of the celebrations, my speech was interpreted into French by my husband Robert.
The occasion ended with lovely singing (in English and in French) by the Choir of Kingsland Primary School, in which we were all encouraged to join; and, in a week marked by the dreadful events in Manchester, the songs they sang reminded us of how love and understanding will always overcome hatred.
Best wishes to La Vieille Lyre and Eardisland for the next ten years of this very successful twinning.