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 March 2019

Gemini February 2019

Gemini January 2019

13th March 2019

Next Event: Saturday 23rd March 2019 – Quiz Night

Future dates for the diary:

Saturday 23rd March 2019 – Quiz night
Thursday 11th April – Monday -15th 2019 – Visit from Château du Loir.
Saturday 25th May- Skittles vs Bradford-on-Avon Randonneurs date to be confirmed.
Saturday 20th June – Ascot Horse Racing Ladies Night – put on your best Hat!

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

QUIZ NIGHT – 23rd March 2019
The quiz is ready all we need now is you. The hall will be open from 7.00pm and we will start at 7.30pm with a bring and share supper followed by the quiz. We hope to have teams of 4 or less and there will be prizes for the winning team. Cost for the evening will be £5, and we will also have a raffle. It is always useful if we know how many are coming so please let us know.

2019 visit from Château du Loir – 11th to 15th April 2019
This is another reminder of the dates when our friends from Château du Loir will visit us, they are from Thursday 11th of April until Monday the 15th of April. You all should have received a mail containing the programme and other information about the visit, if you haven’t please get in touch with Jean.

Our thanks to all of you who will be hosting, the list will be circulated to you very soon. For those of you who are not hosting, please let me know if you would like to join in with any of the functions when we are all together, for instance the Reception at the Laverton, The trip out to Swanage, (sorry the coach is full) and the celebratory dinner. We need to submit our numbers to the Council, the Steam Railway, and most important the Caterer.

In the past various groups have joined together for outings during the weekend. Alf has asked us to let you know that he will be taking his guests to the American Museum in Bath. If you would like to join him please contact him on 01225 755727 or email: alfran44@btinternet.com

NEWS
Thanks to all of you for coming to the AGM and I hope you had an enjoyable evening. This year it was 43 years ago that Westbury first twinned with Soisy-sur-Seine and 19 of those years we have been twinned with Château du Loir. Do we feel a celebration coming next year? The committee members remain the same as before and thanks to Barbara for volunteering to join us. The membership subscription remains at £10 per person, if you haven’t yet paid yours, please do so as soon as possible. Thanks.

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.