Welcome               Bienvenue



Special Announcement 19th March 2020


Due to the Coronavirus situation, and in compliance with government advice, all of our activities are postponed until further notice.

We will be posting "News Items" to advise you of our proposed programme, as and when information becomes available.

In the meantime, you may contact us by email as below, or you may call Hilary Miles 01206 504314 or Jim Duffy 01206 514143

Stay well, we look forward to when life will get back to normal and we will again bring you an interesting programme of activities.

CAFC Committee

6th May 2020

In the absence of an AGM this year, we have published below our Chairman's and Treasurer's Reports and our Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2020




1.  Introduction


2.  Where and When does The Colchester Anglo-French Circle meet


3. Our Programme


4. Membership Subscriptions


5. How to contact us


6. Colchester Twinning Society


7. Chairman's Report for the year 2019-2020


8. Treasurers Report for Year ending 31st March 2020


9. Statement of Accounts 2019/2020

An Introduction to The Colchester Anglo-French Circle



The Colchester Anglo-French Circle was started in 1970 to promote and enjoy all things French. We will celebrate our 50th Anniversary during October 2020. We are a friendly, mixed group of people interested in the language, art and culture of France. We discuss its history, the diversity of its landscape, its haunting songs and music, the uniqueness of its cuisine, its famous wines and our travel experiences.


As well a some entertaining talks by visiting speakers (some in French, some in English), members can also share their own experiences. We also have some musical evenings, quiz and games evenings and social events, all with a French theme.


Everyone is welcome. We start our meetings informally with tea and coffee, the environment is friendly and relaxed, there is an opportunity to converse in French if you wish. It is not necessary to be fluent in the  French language.

2. Where and When does The Colchester Anglo-French Circle Meet


We meet at The Christchurch Hall, Ireton Rd, Colchester CO3 3AT


Meetings take place twice a month (on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays) starting at 7.30pm (usually until 9pm)


The meetings take place from September until June, with a break during the summer months.


There is free parking at the Church, and plenty of parking nearby.

3. Programme 2019-2020


We have an interesting  programme of the planned activities and presentations which are published for each season which starts in September and ends in June. 

The programme will be regularly updated on our website.


2019 Events


Wednesday 15th May

Deux Icônes Françaises.   A talk in French by Georges Pauli


Wednesday 5th June

Le Tour de France            A talk in French by David Fallows


Wednesday 19th June

Fête Estivale        


Wednesday 18th September

 La Rentrée                   


Wednesday 2nd October

Life and Times of Toulouse Lautrec     A talk in English by Paula Short


Wednesday 16th October

How I became a Francophile            A talk in French by Iva Salis


Wednesday 6th November

Becoming Bilingual                    A talk in French by Matthew Duffy. Matthew grew up in          Canada and was educated in English and French


Wednesday 20th November

Avignon and The Colchester Twinning Society   A talk in English by Nigel Hildreth (Chaiman of Colchester Twinning Society, and in French by Lois Pertee 


Wednesday 4th December                Fête de Noel

Come along for wine and a buffet. There will be games, music and a raffle plus good company and good conversation. 


Recent Events

Wed 15th January     Comedian Raymond Devos

Retired French Lecturer Allen Martin will talk in french about the famous comedian and clown Raymond Devos


Wed 5th February Riviera at War Historian Lee Doughty returns for a talk in english on the Riviera at war


Wed 19th February      The French Revolution, La France1789-1815

French Teacher Ian Sydenham returns to talk in french about the French Revolution.


Wed 4th March             French Conversation     

An informal evening of french conversation, along with a" bring and buy"sale of cakes books and plants.


Sadly all of the following planned events have had to be postponed as of 18th March 2020, due to the Coronavirus problem.

As soon as restrictions are lifted, we will re-plan our programme with new dates wherever possible.

The new programme will appear here, and will be circulated to all members.



Wed 18th March            An Evening of French Songs

Gwendal Moele, already very popular and well known to our members, and famous on the folk circuit returns. He will entertain us with an evening of french songs. Don't miss it! 

Wed 1st April                  "Arras, a Town of Surprises", by  Christopher Howard

This popular presenter has already pleased us on a number of occasions on french related subjects, he is a very accomplished presenter. This presentation will be in English.

Wed  6th May                  The Annual General Meeting

Normally attended by the Mayor, at which there will also be a review of the past year, and a look forward to upcoming events.

Wed 20th May                  An Evening with Julie Langevin

Julie will talk in french on an aspect of contemporary France

Wed 3rd June                   La Dernier Vol de Lt Alfred Evans

Jim Duffy (an AFC committee member), will tell a facinating story in french of an american pilot who took off from Boxted Airfield, just after D Day and crashed in a farmers field near Beauvais. The french farming  family have visited Colchester, and Jim has visited their farm near Beauvais.

Wed 17th June                   La Féte Estival

This is a lovely social event which marks the end of our season, before we take a summer break until September.


Future Event Dates

Meeting dates for your diary 2020,


16th Sept

7th Oct,                  21st Oct  (The 21st will be our 50th Anniversary celebration!)

4th Nov,                18th Nov

2nd Dec (Fete de Noel)


Meeting Dates for your diary 2021

Jan   20

Feb    3

Mar    3,  17

Apr   21

May    5, (AGM) ,  19

Jun    2,  16 (Fete Estivale)

Sept   15

Oct    6,  20

Nov    3,  17

Dec    1 (Fete de Noel)

4.    Membership Subscriptions 


There is an annual membership subscription which is currently £20.00 per annum. Subscriptions are due to be paid each year at the AGM in May. 

Visitors are welcome at all meetings (Guest fee is  £5.00 which includes refreshments).

5.   How to contact us



Email  Our Committee email addresses are

             hm@colchesteranglofrenchcircle.co.uk (Hilary Myles)

         cr@colchesteranglofrenchcircle.co.uk (Cheryl Rich)

         jd@colchesteranglofrenchcircle.co.uk (Jim Duffy)

Emails to any of the above addresses will be received by all three committee members and will be responded to by the committee





6. Colchester Twinning Society


Twinning is the means by which communities which find they have certain common histories, interest, sizes or other connections, come together and form a civic link.  The original impetus was to form links between communities which either had been on opposite sides in the two World Wars, or which had been allies, and wished to continue friendships.

Twinning now exists to promote peace, friendship and international understanding. This gives opportunities to the Twin Town inhabitants for travel, sport, cultural visits and foreign language improvement.

Colchester is twinned with Wetzlar in Germany, Avignon in France and Imola in Italy.  We meet for meals, visits to the twin towns, talks and other social events.


Please look at our website http://colchestertwinningsociety.co.uk

and Facebook  https://en-gb.facebook.com/colchestertwinning

Contact us at email    colchestertwin1@gmail.com


7. Chairman's Report,  May 2020


I am pleased to present my report for the year 2019 – 2020. As we are in the midst of the Coronavirus lockdown our AGM cannot take place. This, therefore, must be the strangest AGM report in the history of the Anglo-French Circle. It is sad that our meetings came to an abrupt end as membership was growing, enthusiasm was high and we had much to look forward to. We were anticipating our Fête Estivale at the Hare & Hounds and planning our 50th Anniversary Celebrations as well as putting in place an interesting programme for our Autumn / Winter season. When meetings resume we will, of course, reschedule the Anniversary Celebration and re-arrange our speakers but, realistically, it may be a long time before this happens. Following last year’s AGM, we enjoyed a lovely evening at the Hare & Hounds for our Fête Estivale. It was very well attended and the food was excellent – a most enjoyable occasion. We commenced our 2019/2020 programme in the usual way with La Rentrée. The meetings before our enforced lockdown were very enjoyable and informative and, as ever, we are grateful to our many varied and talented speakers. We had a good balance of talks in both French and English covering a wide range of topics. We learnt a great deal about French History, Politics and Famous People from these presentations as well as from the first-hand accounts from Iva Salis and Matthew Duffy regarding their introduction to the French language. Our French Conversation and Bring & Buy evening was most enjoyable and little did we realise that it was to be our last for the time being. I would like to pay tribute to the tireless work of your Committee. Each of them have their unique talents and as a whole succeed in contributing to the success of the Anglo-French Circle. Jennifer Ingham has decided to leave the Committee and we would like to thank her for her hard work over the years – we will miss her. This, of course, leaves a vacancy and so if anyone feels able to help please let us know. My final thank you is to all of you for your support and willingness to help in so many ways – suggestions and ideas from you regarding future events are most welcome. To paraphrase the words of the song “We’ll Meet Again” – I do know WHERE but I don’t know WHEN! Please take care and stay safe.

Hilary Miles - Chairman




First, I would like to thank David Branson for his willingness to examine the annual accounts for us once again, for checking the records so thoroughly, and for his recommendations and guidance, all of which has been very much appreciated. As you will see from the statement of accounts, total income for the year was £1,881.90 and total expenditure was £1,607.35. The resulting profit was £274.55, compared with a profit of £7.47 the previous year, the success of our recent fundraising efforts, as described below, being one of the reasons for the increase. It should also be noted that this year’s profit would probably have been around £100 less if we had not had to cancel the meeting on the 18th March 2020 because of Covid-19. Subscriptions remained the mainstay of our income and came to £950. Encouragingly, membership was unchanged at 50 as, although some members did not renew their subscriptions, we have been delighted to welcome several new members during the year. Payments from visitors, at £179, were slightly down on the previous year, though still represent a useful contribution to our overall income. The reduction was largely due to the fact that, in 2018/19, a total of 18 visitors had attended Gwendal Moële’s musical evening whereas we had to cancel this year’s event, which had been due to take place on the 18th March. The Fête Estivale in June was well supported, and ticket sales amounted to £535. Proceeds from fund raising have been grouped together with donations in the accounts this year, rather than being included under “Events”, as in previous years. This is because the funds raised have been used not only for events, but for our other activities too. Thanks to the generosity of our members, both by providing splendid raffle prizes, donations and supporting our efforts generally, the total under this heading came to £217.90. Turning to expenditure, the principal item was for hiring the church hall. The total cost of £580 was a little higher than in the previous year because of a rate increase from £40 to £42 per meeting at the beginning of September. We paid £84 in advance for the meetings on the 18th March and 1st April 2020 which were subsequently cancelled. However, Christ Church have confirmed that they will hold this money to pay for future hire. This sum is shown in the accounts under the heading “Sundry debtors”. The cost of speakers was £237.95. If we had not had to cancel the 18th March meeting, the total cost would have been comparable with last year’s figure. Throughout the year, the committee continued to monitor our finances very carefully and endeavoured to contain costs by achieving a careful balance between the number of external speakers, talks from our own members and social evenings. Excluding the Fête Estivale, which is largely self-financing, the total cost of events was £78.52. Expenditure for the Fête de Noel was less than the previous year, when we had provided a buffet and had paid a substantial fee to Quire, but attendance had been disappointing. This year, we had an enjoyable evening which was well supported, and at the same time we were able to conserve funds by providing entertainment ourselves and inviting contributions from members for the festive table. The cost of refreshments, administration and miscellaneous was comparable with the previous year. Having obtained competitive quotes for insurance, we decided to stay with Zurich Insurance, whose premium at £99.31 was unchanged from the previous year. Recognising problems faced by non-profit organisations such as ours because of Covid-19, our insurers have recently advised us that they are extending our period of cover by three months so that our renewal date, instead of being at the beginning of October is being deferred until the beginning of January next year. David Branson has audited the accounts for the year to 31st March 2020 and has concluded that they are a true and fair representation of the activities of the Circle and I trust they will be acceptable to all our members. Should you have any queries, I shall be happy to answer them. Please use the contact details shown on our website and your queries will be forwarded to me. Finally, looking at the accounts overall, we continue to “keep our heads above water” and your committee have therefore decided to hold annual subscriptions at their current level, i.e. £20. This amount will only become payable when we are able to resume our meetings. From that point onwards, your committee will continue to monitor expenditure very carefully, aiming to achieve value for money but, at the same time, providing our members with an enjoyable and varied programme and, hopefully, a wonderful celebration of our 50th Anniversary.


Jill Wilson – Treasurer 


Statement of Accounts