From: Alan Oliver (former Ripon Hornblower), Rue du Pont, Ria, France.
I READ with interest the "online" story of Ripon wanting to twin with another town, and could only wonder if people knew that Ripon is already twinned with a town here in France. The reason that I now live and work in France is because of a visit by Ripon City Band, and later Wakeman Brass, to the town with which Ripon is twinned – Foix.
As Foix did not have a brass band, the council of Foix put us in touch with the nearest town with one, Pamiers, and we played and visited all the lovely towns in the area - Mirepoix, Limoux, Ax-les-Thermes and the magnificent walled city of Carcassonne. I absolutely adored the place, the culture and the style of the area, and harbored an ambition to one day live there, and so it is.
The band attended a civic reception in their honour at Foix, and the band from Pamiers visited Ripon on several occasions, and I'm sure that some people will remember the band's younger members playing in the guise of "Los Gringos" on the St Wilfrid's Parade.
If one looks on the website of the "francophile" magazine "France", on the town-twinning page it lists Ripon as being twinned with Foix since 1957, and should communication have lapsed – on both sides – what a perfect reason to restart them with the 50th anniversary about to come.
Having lived here for a little over a year, I can assure my fellow Riponians that a warm welcome will be awaiting, along with scenery comparable with the Yorkshire Dales. Cathar ruins comparable with Fountains and a generosity and friendliness comparable only with Yorkshire, as Mr and Mrs Roberts, South Crescent, can confirm!