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Twinning History

A brief history of the Hordle & District Twinning Association and our partnership with Yerville

Two Hordle residents chat over the garden fence. One John Fooks, is off to stay with a relative in France who is Mayor of his village. The idea of a twinning is born.

A steering committee is formed with John Hoy as Chair and a public meeting is held by the Parish Council which only attracts some seven people. Advice is sought from the International Twinning Association and a village C.V. is prepared for Hordle.

Sept 1987
Two French villages reply but Yerville is the best match. Mayor of Yerville Alfred Trassy-Paillogues arrives in Hordle with four council colleagues during which there is a reception to introduce them to various village organisations. They stay at the homes of John and Shirley Hoy, John and Jane Fook and Bob and Eunice Hartstone. The visit is a great success and the three English couples are invited to Yerville.

Nov 1987
Our three Hordle couples are warmly welcomed and spend a wonderful and unforgettable weekend in Yerville – so wonderful that they miss their ferry home with a very long wait for the next one! As soon as they get home another public meeting is held in the Hordle School Hall (this time very well attended) and a full committee is set up, together with a fundraising sub committee. The young are not forgotten as Yerville’s secondary school, Henry de Navarre is delighted to forge links with The Arnewood School.

3 July 1988
A formal twinning ceremony is held in Yerville with the signing of the Twinning Charter. Yerville’s Twinning President is Didier His.

4 Sept 1988
A similar ceremony and signing takes place in Hordle. Regular, family exchanges begin and take place with both sides visiting each year and sowing the seeds of longstanding friendships.

Also 1988
The Association sponsors The Arnewood School Orchestra to visit Yerville – the start of a decade of exchanges for the two schools to enjoy each other’s music involving some 1,000 children.

In the early years just 35 families belong to the Twinning Association. In the next four years this grows to 80 making it one of the forest’s largest twinning organisations. Over sixty exchange visits take place in the first ten years for many purposes involving schools, scouts, sports clubs and various village associations. There are even visits involving art exhibitions, concerts and football matches as well as Remembrance Day wreaths.

Yerville is presented with a New Forest oak tree.


Yerville football team arrives to beat Hordle 7-1 at its first (?) international match! The Twinning Association also sponsors 8 Yerville runners in the New Forest Marathon and Half Marathon, sparking an annual attendance on both sides of the Channel for many years to come. Other youth sporting sponsorships ensued.




telephone box 1992
Hordle presents Yerville with a beautifully refurbished red telephone box which sits in pride of place and the rue d’Hordle is also named as symbols of the friendship between the two villages.





milestone 1995
Hordle is presented with a milestone showing the distance to Yerville together with an oak bench, the latter lovingly made by Guy Couillard, Craft teacher and member of the first Yerville Twinning committee.
These are sited on The Orchards thanks to local developer Lewis Homes who also put on a reception.




Yerville market puts on an English stall.

May 1998
Hordle’s Yerville Gardens is formally named at a dedication ceremony.


May 2002
Hordle presents Yerville with a beautifully refurbished red post-box.