Friedrichsdorf Archena Twinning Home Houilles France

                    HOUILLES became Chesham's second twin town - it                        seemed a  logical step. The community on the north-western outskirts of  Paris was already  twinned with Friedrichsdorf when Chesham joined the family in 1980.

After 'bedding down' with Friedrichsdorf, a party of Chesham Town Twinning Association members visited Houilles on an exploratory trip and welcomed a similar party from France, visits which led to both communities deciding that it would be right to forge further links in 1986.

Houilles has a population of around 30,000 and, like Chesham, has an immigrant community. It is a busy market town within easy reach of Paris, Versailles, St Germain-en-Laye and Maisons Laffitte,and of the La Defense business area of Paris and of the magnificent Stade de France sports stadium.

Houilles was also the home of Victor Schoelcher, the man credited with leading a campaign to end slavery in the French colonies, notably in the French West Indies. It was this connection which led to the twinning of Houilles with the town of Schoelcher, in Martinique, some of whose residents have visited Chesham with the Ovillois (how the people of Houilles describe themselves).

The twinning committee in Houilles has extended the family even further, forging a link with the Portuguese town of Celerico de Basto in 2006. In the town's main park, Parc Charles de Gaulles, visitors can find the Jardin de Chesham. You can also visit the twinning committee's website at

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