Pupils recreate first ever Gosport council meeting for French visitors

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YOUNGSTERS have shown a group of French visitors about how their local council began, on the 250th anniversary of its creation.

The 18 children from Bedenham Primary School gave a re-enactment in period costume of Gosport Borough Council’s first ever meeting outside the spot where it happened in the town’s High Street precinct.

The re-enactment of the twinning with Gosport and Royan in France took place on Sunday morning in Gosport High Street. Pictured are Ty Neville (11) who played a narrator, a towns person and a candlestick maker, and Liberty Cappa (10) who played a Lady and a narrator - both are pupils of Bedenham Primary School ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131346-1902)

The re-enactment of the twinning with Gosport and Royan in France took place on Sunday morning in Gosport High Street. Pictured are Ty Neville (11) who played a narrator, a towns person and a candlestick maker, and Liberty Cappa (10) who played a Lady and a narrator - both are pupils of Bedenham Primary School ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131346-1902)

That meeting took place in The India Arms on May 19 in 1763, but it is now a furniture store.

Gosport was playing host to visitors from its twin town – Royan in France. At 54 years it is the longest twinning in Europe.

Deputy headteacher Angela Foice said: ‘This all gives them a good understanding of where they live and helps them to feel part of the community.

‘They do learn French at school and we have a school in Royan that we exchange pen-pals with, and some of those children have come over on this visit. It’s through that link that we were asked to take part in this.

‘The twinning has been a long-running thing and it is important that we keep that going.

‘The children have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it is something different for them to learn about the council in their lessons.’

Jayden Milton, 11, took the role of town crier during the presentation.

The year six pupil said: ‘It has been really fun learning all about the history of Gosport.

‘I didn’t know about any of this before and now I want to learn more

‘The teachers help make it a lot of fun – I didn’t know history could be so enjoyable.

‘I’ve never been to France, but I do have a French pen-pal from school, and I want to go.’

The new mayor of Gosport, 
Cllr John Beavis, is also the chairman of the twinning association.

He said: ‘It has been an outstanding visit.

‘We were in HMS Sultan on Saturday with all the sporting groups, and that was a great success – Sultan’s support has been tremendous.

‘And the children’s performance on Sunday was marvellous, our guests thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

‘Relations between us and Royan are very good and we are trying to get more young people involved.

‘It’s all about that exchange of cultures and learning about each other.’