Town Twinning

Westbury is twinned with Chateau du Loir, a quaint town located in the Sarthe region




 3rd March 2017      

Next event:  Saturday 25th March – Silent Auction

Future dates for the diary:

Visit from our friends in Château du Loir 27th April to 1st May 2017

Saturday 25th March – Silent Auction

The Silent Auction will be held on Saturday the 25th of March starting at 7.30 pm at the URC Hall.  We will start with the bring and share supper followed by the Auction.

There will be time for you to browse what is on offer and to make any bids you may wish to, secretly on slips of paper.  After a short break to count all the bids we will reveal who has “won” each item, all proceeds will go towards the funds and for the visit this year.  Although we don’t need exact numbers it would be useful to know if you intend donating any goods so that we can be ready with enough auction slips.  Please let Jean know if you are bringing anything for sale and how many items, it would also be useful if those donating could come by 7.00 pm.

Chateau du Loir visit 2017

Our friends from CdL will be arriving on Thursday 27th of April and leaving on Monday the 1st of May.  The members in Château have had their meeting and I have a list of people participating this year.  There will be 37 guests coming to visit us and among them there are lots of single people.  As our numbers of hosts available is going down please would you think hard about any friends that you think may be interested in joining Twinning and see if you can help us to recruit new members, or perhaps just for hosting this year. I think we are nearly sorted with hosts but we could do with some reserves incase of emergencies.

We will visit Milestones Museum in Basingstoke on Friday the 28th of April.  You can look at the museum website by keying in to your search bar Milestones museum Basingstoke or go

The celebratory dinner will be on Saturday the 29thof April at 7.30 pm at Westbury Leigh Church Hall. Please don’t forget that if you are not hosting you can still join in with the vin d’honneur, the trip and the meal.



Thanks to all of you who came to the AGM and made a donation towards the food.  I am sure you will agree that the soups were delicious and my apologies for there not being enough salad as a lot more of you came than we had expected.  Membership has been held at £7.50 per person and is now due, if you haven’t already renewed please do so as soon as possible.

Ken’s Funeral

I am sure that all of you who attended Ken’s Funeral will agree that it was a lovely service and his daughter Jo gave an amazing summary of the man we knew.  We have made a donation to the family’s chosen charities in memory of Ken and in thanks for all the work he did as our Treasurer for around 20 years.  You can listen to an interview Jo gave to Wiltshire Radio on the Dorothy House website,  or search for Dorothy House Winsley.  You will then need to scroll down to ‘news’ and then on to ‘more news’ and it is towards the bottom of the page.

Sad News

On a sad note we have just heard that Sophie Annetts is very ill. Sophie, along with her late husband John, were members of Twinning back in the Soisy-sur-Seine days as well as with Château du Loir.  Our thoughts are with her.


Thank you all for your comments – please keep sending them in.  We welcome any more items of news from you so if you have anything you would like to share with our members, please send them to an email address below.  We would especially like more of your feedback on any of the events.

For further information or replies for any of the events please phone or email:

Jean  on 864935 email:

Peter on 826657 email:

Pam  on 822892 email:



The dictionary definition of a “Twin Town” is a town that has civic associations, such as reciprocal visits and cultural exchanges with a foreign town.  The Twinning Charter was signed by both Towns in the year 2000, in Westbury during May and in Château du Loir in September.  A framed copy of the charter can be seen in the Laverton.

To those who belong to The Westbury and District French Twinning Association “Twinning” means having the opportunity to make friends with families in Château du Loir, welcoming them back to our homes, furthering our knowledge of their way of life,  perhaps improving our spoken French, and having a lot of fun.

Twinning is open to all ages, either as a single person, a couple or a family group, for which there is an annual subscription.  We distribute our newsletter which we call “Gemini” (meaning Twins) on a regular basis to all our members.


Château du Loir (note the missing “e”, this is the small river Loir) is situated between Le Mans and Tours in the region of Sarthe.   A busy main road runs through the centre, it has an important railway junction, is in a beautiful rural area, and is about the same size as Westbury.  The town does not have a Château and is not on the Loir but there are lots of interesting places close by to visit and the Châteaux of the Loire are only an hour away.

Should you visit the area and travel through Château du Loir you might see a Red Telephone Box situated outside their Station.  On our visit in 2002 We presented the town with the telephone box, in complete working order, having been purchased, refurbished, transported and erected on site, under the guidance of the late Mayor Cllr John Annetts.  John organized the whole project and carried out a lot of the hard work assisted by members of the Twinning Association and various businesses in Westbury.  The telephone box is admired and used daily by the local people.  For our 10th anniversary we presented the town with a White Horse weather vane that sits on the roof of the Tourist Information Office and they presented us with a beautiful patchwork made by some of the ladies in their Twinning group.  This is displayed in the Laverton building.


Throughout the year The Association hold fundraising events to raise the money to welcome visitors from our twin town.

These events have included short walks with a cream tea, skittles and fish & chips, sausage and mash night, barbecues, beetle drives, treasure hunts, silent auctions, coffee mornings, quizzes, treasure hunts, safari dinners, Burns nights, a film evening, visits to the theatre, and probably more. These events are aimed at having some fun and meeting others, and normally end up with food of some sort. Even though we are aiming to raise funds the cost of participating is kept low so it is always good value for an evening out.

We visit Château du Loir and they visit us on alternate years.  They come to us on odd years and we go there on even years.  These visits are usually made over a long weekend, and include organized events and time for hosts to spend with their guests as they wish.  The visitors stay with host families and usually become very good friends.  There seems to be no problem with the language barrier even though not all speak French.

Many people think of Twinning as “Wining and dining” and yes, it is an important part of the weekends. However, during receptions and evening events you have the chance to enjoy the company of all the members both French and English, experience the way they celebrate, their music, the different way they present their food etc., there is also plenty of time to talk about and compare the problems the people face in their daily lives, and more often than not they are not dissimilar to ours.  There is also a misconception that the visits are a cheap way to visit France.  This is not true as members pay for themselves to travel and to host when the visitors return, however it is not as expensive as travelling independently.


We can also act as a contact for other organizations to make an acquaintance with an opposite number in France.  We have recently managed to make a link between a primary school in Westbury with a similar school in Château du Loir.  We know they have clubs for Judo and swimming, they also have a lovely sailing lake very close by at a leisure area that also offers archery, fishing, walking and just enjoying the countryside.  “A choir from the Château du Loir area performed with the Philomel Choir at All Saints Church in Westbury during April 2013.”


We are always pleased to welcome new members, simply contact one of the numbers below to find out more.

Chairman – Jean Dew – telephone 01373 864935 Vice Chairman – Peter Gillam – telephone 01373 826657 Secretary – Pam Clark  – telephone 01373 822892