Twin towns celebrated this past weekend

Release Date: 10 October 2017

Events to mark the 40th anniversary of the twinning agreement between Richmond upon Thames and Fontainebleau took place across Twickenham this past weekend and included a special performance from the European Youth Orchestra.

Talented students from music schools in Richmond, Fontainebleau, Konstanz and Lodi came together for a weekend of intensive rehearsals, culminating in a stunning performance by the 70 strong orchestra at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday evening.

The Mayor of Richmond, Cllr Lisa Blakemore, hosted a dinner at St Mary’s University on Saturday as part of the celebrations. The Mayor was joined by M. Frédéric Valletoux, Mayor of Fontainebleau; Gwenaël Cler, Deputy Mayor and Councillor Odile Jaquin. The two Mayors signed a certificate to mark the 40th anniversary of the twinning union.

Richmond Music Trust celebrated their musical association with Fontainebleau, Konstanz and Lodi by making presentations to the Directors of each music school.  During the dinner, music was provided by The Saul Quartet, local young musicians all studying at conservatoires.

A friendship pledge between local twinning support group, Richmond in Europe and ARCIF, their counterparts in Fontainebleau was signed during the dinner.

The weekend’s festivities also included a church service to commemorate the 40th Anniversary on Sunday at St Mary’s Church before a plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Richmond at Orleans House Gardens. The public was then invited to view an exhibition coordinated by Richmond’s community of artefacts and arts celebrating the borough’s twinning with Fontainebleau, accompanied by music from the St Margaret’s Elastic Band. The weekend concluded with a performance from the European Youth Orchestra at the Live Lounge, Twickenham, organised by Richmond Music Trust.

It follows the recent bike ride from Fontainebleau to Richmond, which the Council’s cycling champion, Cllr Jean Loveland took part in along with 17 other cyclists.

Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Cllr Lisa Blakemore said:

“I was delighted to host a dinner on Saturday evening to celebrate our longstanding twinning relationship with Fontainebleau.

“I would like to thank the European Youth Orchestra for their superb performance on Sunday night and for being part of the celebrations across the weekend.”

Chris Cull, Chief Executive of Richmond Music Trust said:

“We were very pleased and proud to be hosting the European Youth Orchestra in Richmond. The young musicians worked incredibly hard over the weekend and the concert was absolutely superb.  I’m sure it is an experience they will all remember for a very long time”

Town Twinning is a social agreement between towns, cities, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. 

Richmond in Europe has further information and photos of the weekend on their website.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Lyle Skipsey on 020 8487 5182. 

Reference: P468/17

Updated: 17 October 2017