Emotional tributes to Gerry on twinning trip

The singers at the service in Bonnetable Church EMN-160509-121436001
The singers at the service in Bonnetable Church EMN-160509-121436001

Tributes have been made to one of the leading figures in Horncastle’s highly successful twinning association with French town Bonnetable.

Gerry Moulson was a driving force behind the association but passed away just before the most recent trip to France.

A highlight of the visit to Bonnetable was a concert, in the town’s historic church.

It featured a performance by the Banovallum Singers.

It proved to be an emotional event as officials from Horncastle and Bonnetable remembered Mr Moulson who was chairman of the Banovallum Singers - as well as playing a leading role in the Twinning Association.

A 39-strong group had left Horncastle on August 26, setting off from Stanhope Hall and heading for Bonnetable in the Sarthe Region of France.

Seventeen hours later - and after a channel ferry crossing and a break in in Rouen - they reached their destination,

The first day (Saturday), spent with host families, included a BBQ at the home of Jacques and Renee Gouhier who took part in the first twinning visit 30 years ago.

There was time to explore the town, including the gardens of a chateau owned by the community. In the evening, a dinner dance was held in the magnificent Salle Melusine.

Sunday morning was spent visiting the Comis, a local agricultural show and fair held on open ground near the centre of Bonnetable. Animals, vintage tractors, local crafts and produce were all on display.

The high point was on Sunday evening with the concert.

The concerts have become a tradition of visits but the year’s was an extra special and moving event for the two French choirs and members of the Banovallum Singers.

Monday featured a visit to ‘Terra Botanica’ - a recently built EEC funded park devoted to plants and nature.

Anyone who had reservations about spending a day in a theme park had their doubts blown away. The entire site was fascinating, exciting and even physically challenging.

Acting Association chairman Andrew Poole said it was easily one of the best trips in the 30-year ‘partnership’ between the towns.

The Association exists to promote friendship between the two towns. The next twinning trip will be in 2017 when the French visit Horncastle. For details visit the Twinning Association Facebook page.