Ilfracombe/Ifs French Twinning Association

Ilfracombe Ifs Twinning Association

You may have noticed on the three signs coming into Ilfracombe that we are twinned with Ifs, a town on the edge of Caen in Normandy.

So, what is Twinning all about?

It began as a way of bringing Europeans from all sides together after World War II and became even more popular in the UK after we joined the Common Market all those years ago. Our government and councils encouraged cities/towns to find a twin city or town across the Channel as a way of creating friendships and understanding between people in different countries.

The idea of twinning Ilfracombe and Ifs came from school exchange links between Ilfracombe College and Claude Monet College, with the first Twinning weekend of the two towns held in Ilfracombe, in April 1991.

In alternate years we go to Ifs and then the French come to us, for a long weekend, usually over the first Bank Holiday weekend in May. We place French people with an English single person/couple/family according to their circumstances, as best as we can and they live with you for the weekend, with everyone taking part in all the group activities together. Both sides use the ferry service from Portsmouth to Caen, and in 2023 we are going to Ifs.

Most people make great friendships and even lifelong friendships. It is always a very busy, hectic and enjoyable weekend, both when we are in France and when the French are here. In Ilfracombe, we meet throughout the year for social and fundraising events; almost every month there is something going on. All of these get-togethers are building up to the weekend with our French friends.

Our annual Membership fees range from £5 to £16. Juniors are free.

We welcome new members and if this is something you might be interested in joining, we can be contacted through our Facebook page: Click for link or cut and paste the following text into your browser