Jarrow marks 50 years of friendship with French twin town

The 50th anniversary of a South Tyneside town twinning arrangement has been marked with a special celebration.

Jarrow and French town Epinay sur Seine have been twinned for 50 years, with residents from both towns benefiting from cultural, sporting and business links.

On a visit to France, the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Richard Porthouse and the Mayor of Epinay, Herve Chevreau, signed a charter renewing the links between both towns.

Four young dancers from South Tyneside – Spike Easthope, Elishia Cook, Rachel Swan and Eroy Chan – worked with choreographer Conor O’Kane to perform a special dance at the Anglo-French reception.

The Mayor of South Tyneside said: “South Tyneside has a very proud and rich history of successful town twinning, with links established between various schools, cultural groups and sports and leisure projects.

“This is a momentous year for both towns.

“It has been a real privilege to mark half a century of friendship.

“I look forward to our communities making memories for the next 50 years.”

Épinay sur Seine was twinned with Jarrow in 1965 and South Tyneside Council continued the relationship after Local Government reorganisation in 1974.

An exhibition of portraits entitled 50 Crusaders has been launched and will tour libraries, community centres and other venues in Jarrow until December.

South Tyneside’s other French town, Noisy-le-Sec, which is twinned with Hebburn, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.