WESTBURY has said “au revoir” to the French delegation from Château du Loir, Westbury’s twin town.
The delegation arrived in the town on the 28th April and left on the 1st May, enjoying the hospitality of their hosts and the events organised by the Westbury and District French Twinning Association.
A French delegation visits the town every second year, while a delegation from Westbury returns the visit in the years in between. The exchanges allow hosts and visitors to share a little of their culture and way of life.
And a particular highlight for the visitors was being able to celebrate the Royal Wedding with their hosts at The Duke in Bratton, watching the wedding in the morning with a hog roast and entertainment in the afternoon.
Jean Dew, chair of Westbury and District Twinning Association, said, “The French guests were enthralled at the wedding, the magnificence of the occasion, there was no way they were taking their eyes off the screen. One family ended up staying at home for the morning as the visitors had started watching early and wouldn’t leave the TV, even for the short journey to Bratton. Another family actually went to London for the day, just to be there.”
The delegation was invited to a reception hosted by the town council at the Laverton shortly after their arrival, where they were welcomed by Westbury Mayor, cllr Christine Mitchell, and had the chance to meet other hosts and councillors. Friday was spent at the celebrations at The Duke, while on Friday evening they enjoyed a celebratory meal in Westbury Leigh which was filled with much fun and laughter and even spontaneous music performances.
Spending the day in Bratton gave the visitors the chance to revisit Bratton’s community orchard and dedicate a tree to Martine Follenfant, who had been part of previous twinning visits before she died, and had aspired to give the orchard a French tree for their collection. The tree was planted by pupils from Bratton Primary School five weeks ago and Martine’s family said they were very touched by the dedication.
Saturday was a chance for the hosts to show their guests their favourite sights in the area.
Planning is already under way for next year’s trip, in what will be the 12th year of exchanges. Château du Loir, is situated between Le Mans and Tours in the region of Sarthe.
A busy main road runs through the centre of Château du Loir, 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.