RED, white and blue flags were proudly waved in Kilmacolm as the village made history by formally linking with a French counterpart 593 miles away.

French wine was the toast when a five-strong delegation from Mérignies, inset, arrived at the Kilmacolm and Port Glasgow Agricultural Show last Saturday to say ‘oui’ to a twinning agreement.

The momentous occasion came after 14 months of talks and exchange visits between the two villages.

It all began after Laurent Kochanski, a resident of Mérignies, wrote to Kilmacolm Community Council with the proposal.

Stephen Hampson, chairman of Kilmacolm Community Council, had the honour of signing the agreement on behalf of the village.

He said: “It was a great success, the French people seemed very pleased about it all and a lot of people came out to witness the event.

“This is going to be great for the area.

“There will be links between Kilmacolm Primary School and the primary school in Mérignies.

“We also hope to organise cultural events as a result of this — we have so many ideas.” It was the deputy mayor of Mérignies, Paul Dhallewyn, who signed from the French side.

Stephen said the village visitors were intrigued by the spectacle of the agricultural show.

He said: “They had not been to a village show before, so they thought it was very interesting, I don’t think they had seen anything quite like it.

“We also got them some wellington boots to wear which was quite funny, as they hadn’t been expecting to wear those.” After the show, the French delegation headed to Kilmacolm Golf Club to watch a trick show being staged there before enjoying a barbecue.

A delegation from Kilmacolm will travel to the French village on 12 July for the final signing ceremony there.