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 December 2018

Gemini November 2018

Gemini October 201

6th December 2018

Next Event:  Saturday 26th January 2019 – Not the Burns Night

Future dates for the diary:
Saturday 23rd February 2019 – AGM
March 2019 – Possible quiz night, more details later
April 2019 – Visit from Château du Loir – April 11th – 15th

For any of these events we need to know if you plan to come or not so we can organise the catering.

Not a Burns Night – Saturday 26th January 2019
As in previous years we will be celebrating Burns Night, except it will be the day after the official one this year, Saturday 26th January.  Supper will be the usual cottage pie, nips and haggis, and we ask you to bring a poem, song or funny story to entertain the rest of us.  No need to be serious! More details early in the new year.

AGM – Saturday 23rd February 2019
The AGM will be held on Saturday 23rd of February 2019 at the URC Hall starting at 7.30pm, followed by a supper – menu to be confirmed at a later date.  Please keep this date in your diary.  After supper there will be a short film show of past Twinning events.

NEWS

Christmas Decorations Demonstration- Saturday 1st December
The evening started at 7.30pm with a demonstration on how to make Christmas wreaths and table decorations.  Helen, who came to share her expertise, had partly prepared the items during the day and showed us how to finish them off, and how to make bows for all sorts of flower arrangements. Two of the decorations were then auctioned off for funds and the third went in to the raffle.  This was followed by a varied and plentiful buffet.  Apart from Helen we had two other guests for the evening and I am pleased to say they all thought how friendly we all were, so we hope to see them again in the future.  Thanks to all the people who organised, cooked etc to make this another successful evening.

2019 visit from Château du Loir
The week-end for the visit from our friends in Château du Loir will take place from Thursday 11th of April until Monday the 15th of April, please keep this date in your diaries, hopefully I will have a preliminary list soon.  It would also be useful if you could let me know if you are available to host on this weekend.

We have some new families with children who would like to come so we need to find some new hosts for them as they wish to stay with a similar family to themselves.  Also Josette’s daughter Sylvie would like to bring the two teenagers she mentors and her usual host cannot house them all, so please let me know if you have contact with any families you think may help us before I have to say they cannot come.  Twinning is all about including all ages so it would be a shame to have to say no.

Your comments:
Sorry – none again this month!  I am sure someone has something they would like to say.

AND FINALLY
Thank you all for your comments in the past – 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
Pam  on 822892 email: beesandbells@btopenworld.com
Mike on 302956 email: dpchevalblanc@blueyonder.co.uk

 

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 Jean, Peter, Pam or Michael, whose details can be found above.