France came to enjoy the area and play table tennis; a cultural, social and sporting enterprise. The sport of Table Tennis is what has brought both groups together.  The exchange was primarily organised through Whalley Table Tennis Club and the East Lancashire Table Tennis League who supported it wholeheartedly. Friendly matches were played at Whalley Community Centre and the Hyndburn Table Tennis Centre (based at the Hyndburn Leisure Centre, Accrington).

The Thursday evening took on a more formal note and a competition was arranged. They joined in with other players from different clubs with the East Lancashire area; Best Centre, Doals TT Club, Ramsbottom TT Club, and Hyndburn contributed to a very worthwhile endeavour. Howard Whewell won with Dominic Siddall as the runner up.


Vihiers was twinned with Whalley and friendships are still maintained today. Volunteer hosts provided accommodation, food and travel for the party; they enjoyed days out to Browsholme Hall, Lancaster Castle, Bolton Abbey, Oswaldtwistle Mills, Botany Bay, Bashall Barn etc.  The combined group and other supporters enjoyed an excellent barbeque on Friday evening.  The Vihiers group presented the Table Tennis organisations with a plaque to celebrate their visit.

Vihiers enjoyed their stay and the weather could not have been better. We hope a group of players will visit France next year.  We would also like to extend this idea to other table tennis groups from other parts of France and elsewhere.

Harry Rawcliffe
East Lancs TTL Hon Sec.