Between 5th and 10th June 2023, students from Blanchelande College visited their counterparts at the Jaques Prevet College, Masnieres - arranged through the St Peter Port Twinning Group & the Education Team of the RGLI Trust.
During a great week with brilliant weather the students had a full itinerary, staying with their counterparts families and completing a very full itinerary.
Amongst the weeks activities was a visit to a coal mine complete with underground experience as part of the 420 km gallery site - the area as prolific with coal as that in the the North East of England.
Then a visit to the underground chalk mines at the Wellington Quary to hear where soldiers dug and sheltered themsleves before their surprise Allied spring offensive of April 1916.
A further visit to Arras allowed the weary visitors to climb to the top of the city’s ancient bell tower and take a guided tour of the main squares which were destroyed during the war, and its fabulous rebuilding efforts that restored many of the old buildings.
The week would not have been complete without spending time at the school for the students and a very special moment for our Chairman with the presentation of welcoming pictures from year four (seen below).
Students also went bowling, shopping for souvenirs, a tour of the WW1 sites of Masnieres, pizza and frites shops and towards the end a very thoughtful and respectful laying wreathes at the Guernsey Memorial to the RGLI in Les Rue Vertes, where they fought so galently and lost so many men 104 years ago.
A huge thank you for the effort and support go to Blanchelande College, St Peter Port Constables, Jaques Prevet College, Masnieres Mairie and States Education, in the persons of Francis Noblecourt, Agnes Lecras, Christelle Gaudin, Sarah Moores, Zoe Lihou, Jon Williams, Jean Marie Labre, Rob O’Brien and many others.
There is much enthusiasm to continue the connections on both parts - from the municipalities, schools and students - so that the RGLI Trust is already preparing to begin organising a larger trip for 2024.