Adastral Park Twinning Association

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Twinning is all about exchange visits and getting to know foreign cultures and languages. It’s a great way of making friends in other countries.  APTA is twinned with Orange’s (formerly France Telecom) Amiens section in France. We have annual exchange visits, alternating each year, such that over a 2-year period we travel to France once and act as hosts once. Plus, through the wider (international) twinning scheme, there are plenty of other varied events and destinations you can experience.

A general requisit is that when you offer to ‘host’ a Twinning visitor you are able to provide a bedroom, bathroom, breakfast and (usually) car travel to & from the various destinations in the programme. Typically, a Twinning programme extends across five days, with the visitors arriving and departing on the first and fifth days respectively. In general, meals and event costs during the programme are shared by all hosts and visitors, once away from the host’s dwelling. Most of the French twinners speak good English but there is every encouragement for us to make some conversation in their language especially when in France.

Recent APTA Twinning Programmes

Wednesday 27 MayArrival day (typically flying from Stansted to Frankfurt Hahn and bus to Darmstadt).
Thursday 28 MayGuided tour of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (am).
 Darmstadt city centre visit (pm).
 Barbeque in a local Grillhut (evening).
Friday 29 MayTour of Pasta factory in Grossfischlingen followed by lunch in their restaurant (am).
 Visit to Technikmuseum, Speyer. Time also to visit this fine town on the Rhein (pm).
 Dinner in a restaurant in Speyer.
Saturday 30 MayVisit to Bayerische Gartenschau in Alzenau (day).
 Alternative, visit to central Frankfurt-am-Main, optional 1 hour river trip on the Main (see photo below).
 Dinner with host (evening).
Sunday 31 MayDeparture of guests.
Boat Ride On The Main Near Frankfurt
Friday 21 AugArrivals day. Welcome party at Chris’s house in Martlesham Heath (evening).
Saturday 22 AugVisit to Aldeburgh area, including Church, seafront, Britten-Pears Foundation Snape Maltings. Evening meal with hosts.
Sunday 23 AugFelixstowe tour, including Felixstowe Ferry, Landguard Fort, Museum, Nature Reserve and tea in the café. Evening event, chez Tony & Philippa, Barbeque.
Monday 24 AugVisit to Woodbridge, including Museum, Shire Hall, river walk and Tide Mill. Hospitality at Tom & Carmel’s for tea & cakes.
Tuesday 25 AugDeparture day.
Wednesday 25 MayDirect to hosts’ homes due to lateness of arrival.
Thursday 26 MayMorning/ afternoon – visit to Woodbridge.
 Evening meal at Carmel & Tom’s house.
Friday 27 MayMorning: Visit to Snape Maltings, including shops and galleries adjoining the famous concert hall. Morning coffee then trip on the River Alde.
 Lunch – The Cafe at Thorpeness Meare.
 Afternoon: Hire a rowing boat on the Meare. Then, visit The Red House and gardens, the Aldeburgh former home of composer Benjamin Britten and musician Peter Pears.
 Evening – pub meal in Ipswich.
Saturday 28 MayMorning: Willow Grange Vineyard, Crowfield IP6 9SY. Guided tour and wine tasting
 Lunchtime & Afternoon - Baylham Rare Breeds Farm IP6 8LG visit. Economical lunch available in café/barn (e.g. home-made soup, sandwiches, cream teas).
 Evening meal at Tricia and Brian’s house in Felixstowe.
Sunday 29 May

Departure Day. Direct from hosts’ homes due to early departure.

Friday 26 AugArrivals day (typically travelling in shared cars via the Channel Tunnel). Bienvenue (welcome) party chez Brigitte et Herve in Amiens. Disperse to the various hosts’ houses.
Saturday 27 AugBoat ride on ‘Les Hortillonnages d’Amiens’ (floating gardens & wildlife on the Somme).
 Visit to the Abbeye de St Riquier, founded in 625, near Abbeville.
 Garden party chez Christine & Ghislain at their country property in Yvrencheux. Wonderful home cooked food and general hospitality.
Sunday 28 AugVisit to Senlis (near Paris). Roman ruins and a fine cathedral.
 Late lunch chez Francoise & Brigitte’s followed by a leisurely roam in the local nature reserve. Diverse birdlife etc.
Monday 29 AugVisit to St Valery sur Somme. Hospitality lunch provided by hosts in a restaurant on the estuary. Visits to Jeanne d’Arc ‘prison’ and the local church.
 Afternoon stop in a café.
Tuesday 30 AugDeparture day, return via Channel Tunnel.
Cathedral In Senlis
Monday 29 MayArrival day.
Tuesday 30 MayVisit to museum of ancient ship building, Mainz followed by lunch and a guided tour of Mainz.
Wednesday 31 MayVisit to the German Leather and Shoe Museum in Offenbach Mainz followed by lunch and free time.
Thursday 1 JuneVisit to political puppet museum. Farewell barbecue in a local Grill-hut (evening)
Friday 2 June

Departure day

Friday 25 AugArrivals day. Welcome party at Chris’s house in Martlesham Heath (evening)
Saturday 26 AugVisit to Ely. Guided tour of the cathedral. Picnic lunch in the cathedral grounds. Visit to Oliver Cromwell house. Boat ride on the River Ouse. Return in hosts’ cars.
 Optional evening meal in the Golf Hotel or Swallow pub, Ipswich.
Sunday 27 AugVisit to Bury St Edmunds. Meet in Nowton Park for a leisurely coffee and walk in the woodland. Visit and take on the Maze in the park. Brief visit to Bury cathedral. Lunch provided by hosts in the Cafe Rouge in central Bury.
 Evening garden party hospitality provided by Tony and Philippa at their house in Ipswich.
Monday 28 AugSizewell beach day. BBQ near the beach hosted by Eileen. Various beach games and kite flying. Optional swimming in the sea.
 Evening hospitality buffet and drinks at Eileen’s house in Felixstowe, as the farewell party.
Tuesday 29 AugGuests depart to travel home.
Guided Tour Of Ely Cathedral

APTA and International Twinning

by Armando Téllez-Velasco

  • BT International Twinning Federation (BT ITF) gathers UK groups made up of active and retired employees and was formed more than 35 years ago. Originally it comprised Post and Telecom people organised in various local regional groups, of which APTA is one. After the split (Royal Mail and BT plc) and the privatisation of business two different twinning organisations were formed, BTITF kept all telecom members organized in groups and Royal Mail had their own postal groups. BTITF has the organization support from BT HR and had financial support too; this last one has now diminished to nil. We are still "morally supported" and our President is the Head of Legal in Global Services. Several years ago the Royal Twinning organisation dissolved and BTITF invited all Postal employees to join.
  • BTITF has a national organization of which I am the Chairman (representing London Central) i.e. the official link between BT and Eurojumelages and the various UK groups. The National Secretary (Tony Gould, representing APTA from Ipswich) with responsibility of communicating to all UK groups, the Treasurer is Marie-Louise Wilkinson (representing Birmingham), International Secretary with the responsibility of communication with the Eurojumelages Secretary and a Language Course Director (Armando), Publicity is vacant waiting for someone to volunteer.
  • BTITF was invited to be part of the Eurojumelages Association (formed after the war) and as a result BTITF members and groups can join in the activities i.e. international meetings with other European groups, organised sport activities like OSCAR (walking and cycling) and take part in language courses run by each country. BTITF organises an English language course each year. BTITF has to pay to Eurojumelages according to the number of groups it has each year in the past BTITF paid (68 euros) for each of the 18 groups; a phenomenal amount of money.
  • BTITF has the right of being in the Eurojumelages board, and this year I was elected as Deputy Treasurer.
  • BTITF was originally funded by BT as part of the company activities; nowadays we don’t get any monetary support. We only get some kind of support to print the official certificates and the attendance of the President on the at last day of the course to hand out the Certificates to participants.

All UK groups are invited to attend BTITF’s AGM, and Tony Gould has represented APTA members at the meeting; Eileen attended the meeting once.

In resume:

  • More information can be found on the BTITF website, including a downloadable booklet (albeit not updated).
  • APTA can continue being part of BTITF and be part of the local organisation of groups in Adastral Park, as I see no conflict.


Armando Téllez-Velasco
Chairman, BT International Twinning Federation
Deputy Treasurer, Eurojumelages


Membership is usually informal, in that the APTA committee will usually invite a prospective member to one of our events and discuss how the applicant can get involved. There is no membership fee collected as the cost of contributing to a full Twinning event is essentially the equivalent of that fee and can vary from year to year.


Dr Chris Hatch

Chairman and Acting Secretary

Mr Brian Ellis


Mr Tony Gould


Mr Armando Tellez

International Twinning Enquiries