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16 October 2014

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My Friends, My Cousins

By Richard Jones
January 2007, Caernarfon
A digital story from Capture Wales

Friends in Finistere

Twinning Celtic towns in different countries can bring cultural benefits, as Richard has witnessed at first hand.

"My favourite town abroad is in a distinctly non tourist area in Finistere, North Brittany, called Pen-ar-Bed in Breton, the end of the world.

Twinned with Caernarfon for the last 15 years, despite the initial opposition of narrow minded, insular councillors, Landerneau has played an increasingly important part in my life.

My wife Helen and I have become firm friends with Landerneau's mayor, Jean Pierre-Thomin and his family. And what a character he is, speaking English, French, Breton, and wait for it, Welsh.

His house is the tower of Babel - Jean Pierre speaking Welsh to us, French with his lovely artist wife Francoise, and Breton with his children.

Apart from the several times Helen and myself arrive incognito in our caravan, we exchange official visits every other year, an opportunity to cement friendships and extend horizons, and have loads of fun.

Oh yes, and to enjoy the famous Breton pancakes, at our very own adopted creperie, the Gwenn ha Du, Black and white, as in the Welsh, gwyn a du.

One of the most pleasing things for me is that there is a positive move to use more of the Breton language in public in Landerneau these days, which was one of the reasons for twinning with Caernarfon, where Welsh is the primary language.

So, a journey which started in confusion 15 years ago goes from strength to strength... and Helen and myself are already planning our next summer holiday, and guess where?"

Richard Morris Jones

Please tell us about yourself.
I'm an ex-journalist, producer, director working with companies like HTV, BBC and S4C. I'm now the Managing Director of Cyfle - a Welsh television training company.

What's your story about?
Twinning with Landerneau in Brittany. I chose this story as its a developing love story with Brittany.

What did you find the most rewarding aspect of the workshop?
The whole concept of digital storytelling.

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