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Friends from France in Falkirk

CCT meet French Friends in Falkirk

Forty-eight French Canal Restorers and two members of the Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) recently enjoyed a visit to the Falkirk Wheel.

The Association for the Restoration of the Canal de Berry (ARECABE) and CCT established an Information Exchange Agreement in 2010. The agreement has led to reciprocal visits to the two restoration projects.

Following ARECABE’s second visit to the Cotswolds Canals in 2011, Andre Barre and Madeleine Thonniet (president and secretary of ARECABE) took a somewhat circuitous trip home via Edinburgh and The Falkirk Wheel.

Such was the pair’s awe & enjoyment of Scottish canal engineering at Falkirk they felt the experience should be shared with their ARECABE colleagues.

Madeleine’s superb organisational skills produced a bespoke trip for ARECABE members.

The assemblage of forty eight left Vierzon, south of Paris on Sunday 29th April 2012.

An overnight coach and ferry journey via, Zeebrugge and Hull saw them arrive in York for lunch before travelling on to Edinburgh. The entire tour was facilitated by a friendly and knowledgeable bi-lingual guide.

CCT’s Polly and Neil Fothergill drove to Scotland to meet and dine with the ARECABE party on their first evening in Edinburgh. They also accompanied them to Falkirk next morning for the highlight of the tour.

Quelle Spectacle!

French speaker Polly sums up her own, and our French friend’s reactions…

“Words really cannot describe the awesome design, beauty and spectacularly simple efficiency of the Falkirk Wheel. It really is a wondrous experience.

“There was not one of us who were not amazed at the quiet, smooth ride. The stunning views of the mountains in the distance added to the experience. If anyone has not enjoyed a ride on this stunning boat lift then they seriously have something to look forward to on their next visit to Scotland. It is definitely on the list of things to be repeated if given the opportunity!”

Plans pour l'avenir

All forty eight Friends from France had a wonderful time. Plans are already in hand for the group to make a return visit to the Cotswolds in April 2013 to catch up on progress of the restoration.

Click here to read about ARECABE’S earlier visits to The Cotswolds

Click here or on the icon above right to learn more about ARECABE’s own restoration project