It was in July 1989 that Linlithgow welcomed one hundred and twenty visitors from Guyancourt for the second formal town twinning ceremony, following the first signing in Guyancourt a year earlier. Their visit happily coincided with the visit of Her Majesty the Queen to the town to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the granting of the charter to the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow. Thirty years later and after many exchange visits over the years, the Linlithgow Twinning Association welcomed 62 visitors from Guyancourt and a further 4 from Guyancourt’s German twin town of Pegnitz, to the town over the Easter weekend to celebrate this anniversary. Following a welcoming reception on Good Friday evening in the Linlithgow Rose Social Club, the visitors and their allocated host families spent the rest of the evening in the family homes. In many cases the hosts and guests were renewing old friendships established over the 30 years but there were also a number making their first visit to Linlithgow.
On Saturday morning the visitors split into three groups, one of Ramblers joined with the Linlithgow Ramblers making for an all-day ramble near Bridge of Allan, the second made their way by coach to Bannockburn and spent the morning in the battlefield centre, while the third made their way into the Wine Cellar of Linlithgow Palace and were entertained by Quern in a presentation of the ‘Auld Alliance’. This historical presentation was read in French by two of the guests while the accompanying music and song was provided by Quern. Groups two and three then joined together in Linlithgow for lunch before exchanging their venues for the afternoon sessions.
On Saturday evening, all the guests and hosts made their way to the Beancross Hotel for a Twinning Party. Provost Tom Kerr made a speech of welcome and offered small gifts to the officials from Guyancourt and Pegnitz. Ken Richardson, president of Linlithgow Rugby Club presented a quaich of friendship to Guyancourt noting that the Rugby Club, whose first visit to Guyancourt in 1987 played a big part in the formation of the twinning, still continues its annual rugby exchange with Guyancourt.
On Sunday morning some of the visitors made their way to the Easter morning service atop Cockleroi Hill while the local Ramblers welcomed their French guests for a ramble out of Swanston. Others spent the day with their host families, in and around Linlithgow, many commenting on the marvellous variety of shop window displays in the High Street commemorating the 30 years of town twinning. In the evening an informal musical evening was arranged by the Association in the Burgh Halls, the highlight being a demonstration of dancing by the Jean Shannly dancers..
The short weekend visit came to an end on Monday morning as the visitors left for home after another thoroughly enjoyable twinning weekend. The glorious weather all weekend was the icing on the cake!