Report on the visit to Toussus-le-Noble

At the end of May Diane and John Holme and Sue Woolston visited the village of
Toussus-le-Noble, in France, at the invitation of the village’s twinning committee.
The visit was arranged by District Councillor John Williams. Toussus is six miles
south of Versailles, 315 miles from Duxford via the Channel Tunnel, a journey
which we did in one day at a leisurely pace.
Toussus has a population of 1200 people (Duxford is about 2000). It has historic
aviation links with the oldest working airfield in France (1907) and it was where
Maurice Farman designed and built his famous biplane. Today it is one of the four
Aeroports de Paris although its runway will not take large planes (the largest is a
Cessna Citation).
There are a number of reasons why Toussus is seeking a link with Duxford. Most of
the surrounding villages have formed twinning links, mainly with villages in Germany.
Toussus wants an English link and already has historical associations with
the UK – there’s a memorial in the village to the British Admiral Ramsay who masterminded
the Dunkirk evacuation, but was killed in an air crash at Toussus airfield
in 1944.
The school is keen to establish links with our primary school. They envisage that
the first stage could be to do something with IT and correspondence, with children
emailing each other, and then perhaps talking to each other on a video or webcam
link. Another idea for a link was for a music link – perhaps a choir or chorale or
between the Saturday Workshop and the Toussus music associations.
We feel that this idea is worth pursuing. We need to get support from the parish
council, the primary school and the IWM, as well as people in the village to make it
work. A proper organising committee is needed to ensure steady progress is made.
If you’re in support of the idea please let me know.

John Holme

article paru dans "The Duxford Chatterbox" july 2009