By LAUREN ROGERS
Friday, February 22, 2013
Young filmmakers were left disappointed after a trip to Great Yarmouth’s twin town of Rambouillet in France was cancelled.
Alistair Nicholls, Ryan Martins and Connor Eke were meant to be travelling to the French town today, but the weekend visit was cancelled by the Great Yarmouth and Rambouillet Twinning Association after a “mix up” meant there was no where for the teenagers to stay and travel costs were rising.
Hilary Evans, chairman of the twinning group, approached the teenagers about a trip in 2012.
The youngsters, who are in their final year at Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston, soon started planning.
They hoped to make a documentary about life in Rambouillet for film company Face Melting Productions - a company they run with fellow students.
They would have spent three days in the town, near Paris, interviewing residents, exploring the area and comparing life in Rambouillet with life on the east coast of England,
Once home, the documentary would have been screened at Great Yarmouth Film Festival.
However, after the twinning groups in Rambouillet were unable to find a host families for the youngsters to stay with and hostels in Paris were deemed too far away, Mrs Evans decided to call the whole trip off.
Rosemary Nicholls, mum of 15-year-old Alistair, has accused the twinning association of letting the boys down - and not treating them with respect.
She said, with 57 years of experience behind them, the group should have pushed harder to find host families.
“Why did they treat three young aspiring and creative students so badly?” said Mrs Nicholls.
“No blame lies with the Academy; in fact they have always encouraged Ryan and Alistair with their film making.”
Mrs Evans said she was very sorry the trip which she instigated had been cancelled - but a combination of factors had made it impossible.
“The visit was cancelled because our friends in Rambouillet were unable to find accommodation for the boys and local hotels would not allow 15-year old-boys to stay without an adult in the room with them,” she said.
“The nearest youth hostels are in the centre of Paris and would have involved driving through Paris in the rush hour, and adding considerably to the travel time.
“The boys, their teacher and the youth worker would then have to travel by tube and train to Rambouillet and back each day - a further cost.”
The initial cost of the trip would have been around £500 and was covered by a grant, but all that extra travelling would have pushed the total over £700.
Mrs Evans said the association would have needed another grant to cover those costs, even after she and a colleague, who would have been the main driver, had paid for themselves.
“I am very sorry the boys have been disappointed,” said Mrs Evans.
“I am myself as I particularly wished for them to experience our twin town and find out why they are making a film to encourage other young people to become involved in twinning.
“It is not a decision which was taken lightly by me or my colleague, who would have been the main driver for the party. But driving on unfamiliar roads through Paris rush hour did give cause for alarm.
“While my colleague was not happy about the situation but would have done so if other difficulties had not made the trip impossible.”
Yarmouth was twinned with Rambouillet in 1956.
Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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