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Carnoustie Town Twinning group seeks new faces to help celebrate 30-year French milestone

Carnoustie Twinning Association members Jan and Simon Scott and Anne and Max Fordyce. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.
Carnoustie Twinning Association members Jan and Simon Scott and Anne and Max Fordyce. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

Carnoustie Twinning Association is hoping a new injection of interest will boost a milestone anniversary for the organisation.

In 2022, the Angus group will celebrate a 30-year tie with the town of Maule, south-west of Paris.

And those three decades have seen many friendships forged in a strengthening of the Auld Alliance.

The community in Les Yvelinds department of Ile-de-France was chosen through a centuries-old association with the Angus town.

And in 1997 the small village of Aulnay-sur-Mauldre, around two miles outside Maule, was added to the twinning charter.

But recent years have seen interest dwindle.

And while a 2022 visit to France is already planned, it may only involve a handful of people.

Early enthusiasm

Twinning Association chairwoman Jan Scott says it is a far cry from the success of the group’s early days.

The blossoming entente cordiale saw dozens of people taking part in exchanges to and from France every year.

“In the 1990s we had a coach load of families going over,” she said.

There would be at least one annual visit in each direction, sometimes more.

The Maulois made Carnoustie gala week a regular date on their calendar.

Carnoustie twinning
A reception in Carnoustie town chambers to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning link.

And it brought an extra treat for visitors at the town event.

Jan added: “The twinning association took a stall and we served crepes which our French guests made.

“We always try to put on a full programme here and we would take speakers and singers to France.”

The last twinning trip was in 2020 when the French friends enjoyed Burns’ night in Carnoustie – just as the global coronavirus pandemic was about to strike.

French culture

Jan said she and husband, Simon, had enjoyed many special occasions through the twinning tie.

“We have attended a family wedding, a christening and others in the group have also been able to experience a part of French life that they otherwise might not have as ordinary tourists.

“And the group has also had some joint trips to other European cities – Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin.

“The 30th anniversary celebration is planned for Maule from May 16 to 23.”

Carnoustie town twinning
Jan Scott, Anne Fordyce, Simon Scott and Max Fordyce of Carnoustie Twinning Association.

She said: “We are planning a poster campaign in the near future to publicise the trip and hopefully get more people interested.

“It would be really nice to take current members and some new members to France.

“I really would encourage people to think about becoming involved.

“You have to pay for the flight and your own expenses, but accommodation is generally with hosts who are members of the association.

Maule
Allee de Carnoustie in Maule. Supplied by Simon Scott.

“We understand people may be a bit reluctant to be planning something, but even notes of interest would be great at this stage.

“It is great that we have reached this important anniversary and it would be lovely to see it marked with some new faces coming along.”

The centuries-old connection

The twinning tie was forged on a historic link between the French town and Panmure Estate, just north of Carnoustie.

The clan Maule of Scotland claim descendancy from Gaurin, son of Pierre de Maule who came to Britain during the Norman invasion of 1066.

In the following 100 years the Maule family were linked to the then kings of England.

It resulted in William de Maule being given lands at Fowlis in Perthshire in 1138.

And around 1175 the barony of Panmure was granted to Philip de Valoniis, but later passed into the hands of the de Maules.

Panmure estate
The lodge houses at the entrance to Panmure Estate.

The family dropped the ‘de’ in later years and simply became known as Maule.

The Maules were closely linked to the Scottish kings and in 1646 Charles I created the Earldom of Panmure for Patrick Maule, who was one of his staunch supporters.

The estate later passed by marriage to the Earl of Dalhousie.

But it was sold by the family in 1950 to pay death duties, and the mansionhouse demolished in 1955 its final sale lead to the estate being broken up.

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