Blogs | The depths and delights of Dieppe
17/09/2018 - 14:18

Hand in hand

41831307 1794369040659112 685605088294600704 o <p>With Brexit and &lsquo;Scallop wars&rsquo; headlining the news in the past few weeks, it is needless to say that Anglo-French relations haven&#39;t been at their best lately. Being born in Brighton and having grown up in Dieppe, I am the first to be saddened by this, although as usual the media is only telling half of the story. Seen from Dieppe, a town which has shared very strong relations with the UK for centuries, the whole picture is indeed far from being bleak, and the general atmosphere here is actually quite positive.</p> <p>As I already underlined in this blog, the ferry line which links Dieppe to Newhaven is still going strong and passenger numbers are slightly on the rise. This goes to show that despite the weakness of the pound, many British citizens are still choosing to visit France, and especially Normandy, where they feel at home while experiencing a break from the norm. Dieppe of course is often the first port of call for many visitors, a town where they receive a warm welcome and can savour the best of France as soon as they set foot off the ferry.&nbsp;</p> <p>Hundreds chose to stay in Dieppe over the past ten days, when the international kite festival was in full swing. This years&rsquo; event was bigger and better than ever and attracted tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. The festival gained international press coverage, with many British papers sharing photos of the colourful parade and crowded seafront. I was pleased to hear so many people speaking English while strolling around town last weekend, like a reminisce of the good old days which saw British visitors pour into Dieppe when the ferry docked right bang in the heart of town. When tourists return to Dieppe after many years, they are generally surprised to discover how much the town has changed, although it has retained its spirit and atmosphere.&nbsp;</p> <p>Graham Percey and his buddies can certainly confirm! The &lsquo;Made in Newhaven&rsquo; team have just returned home to the UK after spending ten days in Dieppe, where they exhibited and sold works by talented local artists at the Effet Mer pop-up art gallery on the Quai Duquesne. The initiative was a great success and the Newhaven gang met lots of friendly Dieppois who asked them to come back again soon. Another British artist who has recently received a very warm welcome here is Brighton-based singer and songwriter Adam Davis, who has already played three times in Dieppe this year and who even has a small fan base in town!</p> <p>Forget the doom and gloom: Dieppe still has its arms wide open to British visitors, artists and investors and can play an important role in strengthening the relationship between France and the UK in the months and years to come. Vive l&#39;entente cordiale !&nbsp;</p>

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