By Simon Hacker
Wotton’s annual exchange with French twin town Beaumont-le-Roger is the latest victim of the Coronarivus outbreak.
“Sadly, we have had to cancel because of the situation in both countries,” North Nibley resident Martin Lee, chairman of the Wotton Twinning Society, told the Wotton Times. “In Normandy and across France they have even less freedom of movement than we do, but we have been able to make a new plan for our counterparts to come over to see us next May.”
The exchange visit would have been due to be held from May 29th to June 1st in Wotton – and would have been the first visit from friends in Normandy since the formal process of Brexit was set into motion earlier this year. Fortunately the Society reports that the cancellation of the trip has incurred no expenditure.
“Clearly, we won’t be holding any meetings or social events for the foreseeable future, but we have a slot for Town Hall Teas on Sunday 21st August in Wotton, so hopefully things will be back to something like normal by then.”
The Beaumont-le-Roger Society was founded in 1987 expressly to “promote friendship and broaden the mutual understanding of the cultural, recreational, educational and commercial activities between Wotton under Edge in Gloucestershire and Beaumont-le-Roger in Normandy”.
Meanwhile, Beaumont le Roger has been making national headlines across France for the passing away of the nation’s oldest hairdresser.
At the age of 96 when he died on February 7th, Rene Michaux had been cutting hair at his premises in Rue Chanteraine for a staggering eighty three years, having first picked up a pair of scissors at the age of 10. He was still working at his shop, modestly billboarded “Coiffure”, up until the day he died, and had become a national figure for his consistent service.
M Michaux told news network France3 at the age of 95: “It’s my life to see people. I love to cut hair. For me, the best way to die would be to leave this world holding a pair of scissors”. His wish was nearly granted. The residents of Beaumont-le-Roger are sad to lose this local character, who adored driving around in his 2CV.”
The town has subsequently pondered changing the name of the street where he traded to Rue Michaux, but no decision has as yet been taken.
You can see M Michaux in action here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?t=9&v=362668424480462.