Wiltshire Publications

Westbury says ‘Au revoir’ to French delegation

ADELEGATIONfrom Westbury’s twin town, Chвteau du Loir, took in the sights of Westbury and the surrounding area recently. 

The group of 38 visitors stayed in Westbury for a long weekend between the 19th and 22nd April.

Visitors enjoyed a official reception at the Laverton, a day trip on the Saturday, and a visit to the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace and gardens in Wells.

A French delegation visits Westbury every two years, and in alternate years, a delegation from Westbury travels to Château du Loir. Château du Loir, is situated between Le Mans and Tours in the region of Sarthe.

A great visit

Jean Dew, chair of the Westbury and District French Twinning Association reports,

“Following a text message from the French group as they cleared customs in Portsmouth, the time of arrival was brought forward by half an hour.  Just as we were arriving at the pick up point the coach pulled in and lots of excited visitors were meeting their hosts, some they already knew and others were making acquaintances for the first time.

“We were soon all on our way to the Laverton Hall for an official reception hosted by the Mayor after which we retired to hosts for a meal and for the visitors an early night.  When you take into account the time in France is an hour ahead of us, they had been on the road since 3.00am in the morning English time.

“The Saturday was free for hosts and visitors to do as they wished.  Many of the groups joined with others and visited all sorts of places, some to Bristol, Avebury, Stonehenge, the Somerset Levels and Lacock, to name but a few.  On Saturday evening a celebration dinner was held in the Laverton Hall attended by 94 people.

“On Sunday, the whole group plus other Twinning members not hosting, made a visit to Wells.  Highlights as usual were the cathedral plus the Bishop’s Palace and gardens. However, for the first time ever, an Artisans Fair was being held in the palace that many of the visitors found very interesting. The architecture of the palace is stunning and the treasures to be found in there amazing.

“There was time to visit the cathedral before lunch for some and after for others, this being to accommodate the staggered lunch that was eaten in the vicar’s hall and catered for by the Chapter 2 Cathedral Restaurant.  This enabled all of us to take guided tours of the palace gardens that took 75 minutes and covered all aspects of the gardens, the moat and the wells of Wells.  It was a fascinating tour with lots of history and information about the water courses around Wells.

“Dinner on the Sunday evening was with hosts and again many groups joined together.

“All too soon we were gathering at 5.00am to see our visitors onto their coach for their return journey and, before we had time to think, we were receiving thank you emails and phone calls.  Another wonderful weekend had been spent with our twinning friends; seemingly over in a flash but as always, leaving some of us with translation fatigue and all of us with lots of happy memories.”