Town Twinning

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

GEMINI

 NEWSLETTER  OF  THE  WESTBURY  AND  DISTRICT  FRENCH TWINNING  ASSOCIATION

Take a look at the latest Newsletters:

Gemini November 2017

Gemini October 2017

10th May 2017       

Next event:  Saturday 10th June – Boules match and meal at Holt.  

Future dates for the diary:

Saturday 22nd July – Cream Tea and quiz

A barbecue is also being planned for late summer and any other ideas for get-togethers would be very welcome.  What would you like us to do?

Very important reminder – Subs are now due so if you haven’t already signed up please do so as soon as possible.  At the AGM it was decided not to increase them so they remain at £7.50 per person.  Please be warned that if you are not a member our insurance will not cover you.

Boules and Lunch Saturday 10th of June

A provisional booking has been made for a lunch at the Tolgate Inn, Holt, to be followed by a boules match or if wet we can play skittles.  Please will you let Ron  know if you are interested because hiring the boules court will depend on numbers and we need to let the Tolgate know as soon as possible. The meal will go ahead whatever the number, and once we know you want to come we will send you a menu to choose your lunch.

Please reply to Ron Coleman, over this coming weekend or no later than Tuesday the 16th of May.

By email:  veracoleman@blueyonder.co.uk   or  Telephone 01225 768911 

Cream Tea and quiz

We will be holding an afternoon cream tea and quiz on Saturday the 22nd of July at 3.00 pm in the United Reformed Church Hall.  We do hope you will find the time to come and would appreciate you letting us know if you will be attending.  The cost for the afternoon will be £5 and we will have a raffle. 

NEWS 

A message from Pamela Witton

Everyone safely back home – many many thanks once again to all your team. Everyone had – as always – a fabulous time. Thanks also for the card; tears were flowing as I read all the messages. It was a very hard decision deciding not to come this time, but I knew it just wasn’t possible with John in his present condition. He’s not likely to improve, but at least we have a room now where we can accommodate next year. There – we’re already planning! Big big thanks to everyone.

Chateau du Loir visit to Westbury 2017

Our friends from CdL arrived almost spot on time and very soon all the guests were chatting happily with their hosts, both for the first time and those returning again.

The Civic Reception at Westbury Leigh Church Hall was attended by just over 80 people and was a great success.  Our thanks to Eynon Catering for stepping in at very short notice and providing us with some delicious cakes. We were pleased to welcome the Mayor and his wife, The Reverend Rhona Floate, several other Town Councillors, and a young lady just about to take her A level exam in French, who came to speak with Elisabeth hoping to set up a pen-pal arrangement with one of her grand-children.  She mailed me since the meeting to thank us, as her confidence has had a huge boost. We wish her good luck for her exam.

The visit to Milestones Museum in Basingstoke was enjoyed by French and English alike and we managed to find seats for all those who requested to travel on the coach.

We arrived a little before the requested time of arrival and were soon queueing for the first coffee of the morning.  Milestones had previously warned us that if all the people on the coach arrived at once for service in the cafe that it would be difficult for the girls to cope, so I apologise for forgetting to tell you.

The celebratory dinner on the Saturday evening, again at Westbury Leigh Church Hall, was attended by 74 people. The comments about the evening have all been favourable and it was evident that all our guests enjoyed themselves, and hopefully the hosts as well.  We did witness two gentlemen having a long discussion in French, until a host reminded them that they were both English!!  There was laughter all round. 

Our thanks again to Steve Eynon for the catering, to all the helpers for arranging and clearing the hall etc., standing in as temporary hosts, taxi-ing those unable to drive around and of course to all of you for making the weekend such a success. I have already mailed Pamela about dates for next year and we hope to sort something out when we visit her soon.  Hopefully it will be one of the last 3 week-ends in April or early May 2018, hopefully avoiding all the bank holidays around this time.

Please send in any reports you would like to share with our members.

AND FINALLY

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: postmaster@jeandew.plus.com

Peter on 826657 email: petergillam@blueyonder.co.uk

Pam  on 822892 email: beesandbells@btopenworld.com 

WHAT IS TWINNING ?

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.

WHERE IS CHATEAU du LOIR – OUR TWIN TOWN?

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.

WHAT DO WE DO?

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.

WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?

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.”

ARE YOU INTERESTED?

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

22.04.2013