Town Twinners From Noyon Visit Hexham


The first visit from our French twin town since the pandemic took place from Friday 26th – Monday 29th May. The trip marked thirty years of the connection with Noyon, a town in Picardy, north-east France, and was blessed with superb weather.

Guests arrived by coach on Friday evening and were met by their Hexham hosts. On Saturday all reassembled for the trip to Beamish Museum, which allowed the French visitors an insight into the past way of life in the north east. On the return journey there was also a brief stop at the ‘Angel of the North’ statue.

On Sunday hosts were free to show their guests around Hexham and surroundings until a ceilidh given by Hexham Village Band at 4.30pm. The musicians performed in the bandstand in the Abbey Gardens, so the event was open to the general public, a way of celebrating this special visit with everyone in Hexham.

The Mayor, Derek Kennedy, hosted a reception in the Great Hall of the Abbey. Marianne Corder, the Chair of Hexham Town Twinning Association gave a welcome speech in French, with two speeches from the Noyon side. Jacques de Franssu, President of Noyon’s town twinning committee, pointed out that Hexham and Noyon were connected in the Roman world by important roads and that those who built Hadrian’s Wall might have come from Noyon. He also paid tribute to John Lynch and Bertrand Labarre who set up the Hexham-Noyon connection in 1993.

Many thanks to all those from the Hexham Town Twinning Association for all of their hard work and for hosting our guests from Noyon so superbly. We look forward to all seeing each other again soon.