Nether Stowey Twinning Association

Dates for your diary

1-3 June - Visit to Theillay with walking emphasis (not exclusively) - open to all, details from M Barry

has been in existence for some 20 years

Its purpose is to enable our community to get to know and appreciate another in a foreign country; a chance for individuals to make new friends and groups to exchange experiences.

In the past activity has been mainly a case of individual members of each community’s association making exchange visits year and year about.

The pictures above are from our twinning visit of 2013. A walk round the village included a view of the lovely mediaeval house still in use in the village. The cakes are made by a member of the Theillay twinning committee who is also the village baker. The canal is in nearby Vierzon where there is a unique Art Deco war memorial, well worth a visit.

But after 20 years, a number of changes are proposed and are already being effected for the future – to enable us to grow and evolve to meet the developing needs of the community.
Current efforts are moving us towards:

1. Acting as a hub to enable exchanges between community groups. As examples of this:

* Theillay brought a primary school party over as our guests;

* Theillay’s firemen invited ours over to celebrate the feast of the patron
saint of firemen – which couldn’t be accepted due to date challenges;

* we have recently expedited and partly hosted a visit by 20 Theillay
ramblers. I’d like to think we can field a group of walkers for a return visit.

Suggestions for the future might include:

* artists and their excellent annual exhibition
* gardeners
* church groups
* a walking group
* sports-based groups.

An initiative needs to come to the Association from such groups first.

Theillay is also thinking fresh ideas – and is offering us thematic visits – eg chateaux or wines and vineyards or a number of other suggestions.

2) Flexibility is also a direction we are mutually agreed on implementing – with variable times of visits and variable sized groups being much more common in the future.

We had made initial efforts to form a Quantock Twinning Forum in conjunction with Williton and Watchet with the hope that Stogursey and Minehead would also come on board later – with the aim of sharing experiences and logistics and events – but this is now on hold.

The Association is also a community social club, with a popular range of annual events, some for members only, some open to the public.

These can vary with demand and normally include such events as a series of pub quiz nights, boules match with BBQ, safari supper, open gardens day, guided walks, Christmas party  – even a murder mystery evening. Some of these are used for fund-raising purposes so that the Association can fulfil its primary purpose of encouraging twinning. Others are free or designed to just cover their cost.

Twinning is an excellent concept and it can work very well. It can be hampered by operating within communities where younger members are failing to get involved, where securing external finance to support exchanges needs a larger operation than a small community can support, and where distance of the twin is felt as a barrier for older members.

But nonetheless – it works and is definitely beneficial to a community.

Membership costs £5 per person, £10 per family (inc 2 children).

Contacts: M Barry 733100, R Pickard 733062