Pupils from Brynteg and Bryntirion Schools recently played hosts to sixteen students visiting our area from Villenave d’Ornon, our twin town in France. Bridgend Town Twinning Association, along with staff from the schools, arranged a very comprehensive programme of visits and activities for the week.

After spending the first weekend with their host families, the students travelled by local train to Cardiff where they thoroughly enjoyed an interesting tour of the Principality Stadium followed by an afternoon exploring Cardiff.

A highlight of the week must have been the activity day the students enjoyed at Margam Park Adventure. Ben Bailey, the director and programme designer of the Adventure School, prepared two very different activities. Splitting the group, one half tried their skills at paddle boarding, getting very wet in the process, while the remaining half cycled their way around the park using the mountain bikes. There was a lot of laughter and fun as they changed over activities, with youthful energy a joy to watch. Even the weather had improved and the sun shone warmly allowing the students to enjoy the picturesque scenery at Margam Park. A tired but exhilarated group returned to Bryntirion School where they gave a presentation to local students.

Other visits included a tour along our beautiful Heritage coastline where they explored Dunraven and Ogmore Castles and also a full day at the Museum of Welsh Life at St. Fagans. Both sets of students enjoyed evening activities together when they went Bowling and also danced the night away at a Disco in Bridgend Tennis Club.

Bridgend Town Twinning Association and staff from both schools would like to say a huge “Thank You” to local families for hosting these students. At a time when modern languages are often being phased from our schools, isn’t it refreshing to know that Bridgend has a close link with our twin towns in Europe? These links enable our young people to make, and hopefully keep, friends from other countries with different cultures.

Many of the members of Bridgend Town Twinning Association have adult friends from these countries that have lasted for many years. We are now looking forward to welcoming a group from Hechtel-Eksel in Belgium and in May the Chorale du Lac from Villenave d’Ornon will be spending a few days in Bridgend. During their stay they will be joining Tabernacle Choir and Trelales Primary School in an evening concert of light music at Tabernacle Chapel, Derwen Road on Friday, May 18th at 7pm. Tickets are available from choir members or payment can be made at the door. The Chorale will also be performing in Porthcawl at All Saints Church on Monday, May 21st at 7pm. They will be joined on this occasion by Sounds Familiar and Mynydd Cynfig Primary School Choir. We would like local residents to support these concerts in order to make our French friends feel the warmth of a Welsh welcome.

If you are interested in knowing more about our association please visit our website at bridgendtowntwinning.co.uk or contact our secretary Mrs Madeleine Walters on 02920 892011. We are always looking for new members with new ideas.