FOUR teenagers have continued the link between Dunbar and its French twin town which stretches back more than two decades.

Alex Fairbairn and Anna Stevenson travelled to Lignieres last month for three weeks.

Meanwhile, Eilidh Hunter and Ruth Patterson have also visited France and spent at least three weeks in the Lignieres area, which is to the south of Paris.

Sixteen-year-old Anna, 16, felt her French had improved through the three-week visit and told the Courier: “You have to speak French. My French was OK but I think when you get there you feel like your French is awful.

“You just feel like it is difficult to communicate but it does get a lot easier being there and the longer you are there.”

An official link between Dunbar and Lignieres was formed 22 years ago, in 1994.

Since then, representatives from the Dunbar and District Twinning Association and their counterparts have enjoyed annual visits to each town.

Last year, the link was cemented with a street in the East Lothian town named Lignieres Way.

Alex, Anna, Eilidh and Ruth are the latest to make the trip to France, with members of the public and the Dunbar and District Twinning Association visiting in October. Anna, of Bayswell Road, told the Courier about her experience: “We stayed with seven different families, so we were living in and around Lignieres.

“We did some work experience while there in a restaurant, the tourist office and in a vet. Then at the weekends we explored the area and did some fun things; we went zip lining and to a theme park. It was all quite fun and good to get the experience of lots of different things.”

The teenager, who had to write a short essay for the twinning association about why she wanted to be involved in the trip, plans to keep in touch with some of the friends she made while in France.

Richard Smeed, chairman of Dunbar and District Twinning Association, was glad to see the annual visits were still proving popular.

He said: “It is an exchange system. We sponsor our locals to get out there and they do the same and we get folk from Lignieres who come and stay with us for about three weeks in the summer.

“We host them and fix them up with work experience.

“I think they improve their French certainly but in the case of 16-year-olds, I think it is a lot more.

“They get the experience of being independent in a foreign country, which I believe is important for their life experience and hopefully they get a lot out of that.”