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 September 2018

Gemini August 2018

Gemini July 2018

 

6th September 2018

Next Event:

Saturday 22nd September – Discover Things to do in Westbury.

Future dates for the diary:

Saturday 27th October – Horse Race evening
Saturday 1st December 2018 – Christmas Decorations Demonstration

Discover Things to do in Westbury Event – Saturday 22nd September
We need your ideas for the display and also volunteers to take a turn on the stall if you can spare some time between 10am and noon at the Paragon Hall. People may be interested in how you became involved with Twinning and what you enjoy about it. This event is part of the Westbury Festival and is intended for local groups to advertise what goes on in Westbury.   We have booked a table to participate in this event and hopefully we will gain some new members.  We need memorabilia from our 18 years twinned with Château du Loir and before that for over 20 years with Soisy sur Seine.    Please get in touch if you have anything to go on the table that you think might interest the people of Westbury. Please mail us or contact via the phone numbers at the end of this newsletter if you can spare any time even if it is just 30 minutes..

Horse Racing Evening – Saturday 27th October
This will be a fun evening, only wooden horses using human energy and ropes to race.  The mind boggles.  More details later in October Gemini but if you are curious and enjoy a good laugh please put the date in your diary.

NEWS

Barbecue – Sunday 12th August
The Barbecue this year was held in the lovely garden of Peter and Lindy Ager. We were so lucky with the weather, Saturday was very wet and the same had been forecast for the Sunday. For only the second time in our BBQ history we nearly cancelled it.  However we were persuaded to carry on and apart from a short shower it was dry. With tables in a large gazebo on the lawn and tables in the garage only left a few hardy souls who chose to sit exposed to the elements. The chefs did a good job with the BBQ food and the puddings were delicious as usual. Our thanks to all of you for braving the weather, to the cooks and to the pudding makers, but especially to Peter and Lindy for having us.

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.