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October 2005

TWINNING / PLOUYÉ 2005

Seventeen of us arrived in Brittany from different directions for the Twinning visit - those who arrived on the Roscoff Ferry being met by a duet of Breton pipers thoughtfully provided by our hosts to blow away the cobwebs of a channel crossing.

The festivities commenced with lunch with the members of the Plouyé Twinning Committee in order to introduce us all to Breton cuisine and prepare us for “Le Weekend”.

There is now a Carrog Corner in Plouyé, an amenity area in the middle of their village at the centre of which stands a “Menhir” of Breton granite. Our visit was to mark the occasion of the official opening of the site, presided over by Marcel Le Guern, the mayor, Marc Parayre (President of the Twinning Committee) and Rhys Webb, representing Carrog. To mark the event our delegation presented a slate plaque, suitably inscribed in Welsh, which will in due course be erected in the area.

Presentation of the Menhir. Ian Lebbon and Rhys Webb from Carrog and Marcel Le Guern (Mayor) and Marc Parayre (President of the Twinning Committee) from Plouyé.

Toasts were drunk to the future of the twinning and we were then entertained to more cuisine followed by a dance and a magnificent firework display.

Sunday morning gave our party the opportunity to either attend church or take a gentle guided stroll around the historic parts of the village. In order to keep our cultural levels topped up we visited the nearby town of Pleyben, with its historic church and Breton museum. Breton mountains are slightly smaller than Welsh ones and we returned to Plouyé via the highest one, Roc Trevezal, which at 384 metres is only a gentle stroll for Carrog Three Peakers’ but compares very well with Scotland for the quantity and ferocity of its insect population!

Our hosts had anticipated our hunger after a long day and prepared a BBQ in the grounds of the ruined chapel of St. Maudez before we retired to Ty Elise - the ancient Plouyé tavern which has been run for the last 25 years by a Welshman from Merthyr Tydfil!

In accordance with the mottoes of the trip - “No sleeping on Tour” and “Go with the flow” we were all up early on Monday for a visit to the Coreff Brewery in Carhaix, where the Managing Director (and Town Mayor) gave us a personal tour and encouraged us to taste his different brews. We were then allowed to rest on the banks of the river with a picnic provided by our hosts.

Plouyé still holds its own agricultural show much as Carrog did in years gone by and it was a pleasure to be invited by the local show committee. We were treated to the sight of Holsteins whose milk production was phenomenal and to work horses that one of the party observed ...were too big (1800 Kg.!) to go in an Ifor Williams horse box... .

Rhys Webb presents the Best Beast in Show at the 2005 Plouyé Annual Agricultural Show

Agriculture is still a serious business in Plouyé and there were no less than 2 MPs and a government minister enjoying the day and circulating in temperatures of over 30 degrees. Rhys Webb was asked to present the trophy for the best beast in the show. Traditionally the annual show prizes are presented at a grand dinner in the village hall to which all of our party were welcomed and where the impromptu entertainment was provided by whoever could get to the microphone first. This feast consisted of five courses and unlimited wine and was the opportunity for us to make further presentations as a thank you for all the hospitality that we had enjoyed. In his speech of welcome the show society president promised that next year all of the Plouyé farmers would visit Carrog, but that they wished to bring their animals with them!

We have all brought back happy memories of the visit and hope to welcome a return party from Plouyé next year.

There will be a meeting of the Carrog/Llidiart y Parc Twinning Association in the near future to which, as in the past, all are welcome.


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