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Orchies Town Crest
Orchies Town Centre
Kelso's Twin Town - Orchies
The twinning originated from an exchange between the High School of Kelso and the Collège du Pévèle in Orchies which began in 1980. This exchange led, in 1987, to the formal signing of the charter twinning the two towns. Since then, the exchanges have continued in an extended way with groups of adults representing different interests exchanging also.
Orchies is a town of 7000 situated on the road between Lille and Valenciennes in Northern France. The town is 15 miles south of Lille but only 100 miles from Calais, on the motorway. It has excellent transport links to the nearby towns of Arras, Tournai, Lille and Valenciennes. It is very close to the border with Belgium, and as a result suffered in both World Wars being attacked by both sides. Like Kelso it is in a rural setting with agriculture all around, but, unlike Kelso, the surrounding area is very flat. The other main employers of the area are the marble works and the chicory factory.
Its main features are the Town Hall, the Market Square and the church. Like Kelso it is big enough but not too big, and is proud of being the 'town in the country'. It, too, has primary schools, secondary schools, a swimming pool, tennis courts, sports halls etc. and all the facilities of a modern country town. There is a market every Friday in the main square. The surrounding countryside with its towns and villages is full of interesting buildings and places to visit, dating back, in some cases, to medieval times.
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