Bere Regis & District Twinning Association
is Twinning all about?
aims to promote and foster friendship and understanding between
the people of a community in this country with those of one overseas.
In particular it aims to encourage visits by individuals and groups
between the two communities, and the development of personal contacts,
and in doing so to broaden mutual understanding of social, cultural,
educational, recreational, civic and commercial activities.
does it operate in Dorset?
County of Dorset is twinned with La Manche, a Department of north
west France in the Basse-Normandie region. A total of nineteen
towns or villages in Dorset have twinning partners in La Manche
and eight towns are twinned with locations in France outside La
Manche. Individual twinning groups are supported by the Dorset
Twinning Association whose aims are to support those groups and
promote activities to further the aims of twinning and to continue
to develop links between Dorset and La Manche.
did Bere Regis become involved in Twinning?
group of villagers who had a love of France and wanted to know
more about the people and their way of life than can be found
out just by taking holidays there, decided to set up a twinning
group. The Dorset Twinning Association assisted the process by
providing details of three French communities of a similar size
to Bere Regis who had expressed a desire to twin with an English
one. Opportunities were provided for visits both ways to explore
the other communities. The information gathered on the three French
communities was circulated throughout the village, and as a result
of a vote Bere Regis opted to twin with Cerences, a village in
Normandy between Coutances and Granville, about 1½ hours
drive from Cherbourg.
association between the two communities has continued to flourish
and the twinning achieved its fifteenth anniversary in 2012. We
believe we are one of the most successful twinning groups in Dorset
with a membership of around thirty families involved. This size
of membership enables us to make our formal visits to France by
coach, which is probably advisable, bearing in mind the enthusiastic
and alcoholic hospitality proffered by our French counterparts!
how does Twinning operate between Bere Regis and Cerences?
visit each other’s village, as a group, on alternate years.
Photographs from the 2011 Trip to Cèrences below (click
each Photograph to enlarge it) -
from both communities are matched up and entertain one another
for a weekend, usually in September. Some families group together
for meals and other activities, which helps by mixing the different
levels of language. Entertainment basically means providing sleeping
facilities, meals and visits to places or events of interest on
the Saturday and Sunday. All this, plus simple interaction between
the families gives the visitors a flavour of the host’s
way of life, what the local community is like, what they eat and
drink, and the culture and traditions of the country they are
visiting. The full English breakfast will produce cries of amazement
from first time visitors and the traditional English roast on
the Sunday is a winner! On Saturday night everyone assembles for
an evening of feasting and entertainment provided by the host
community. The two communities exchange corporate gifts and the
host association provides a small locally themed individual gift
for all the visitors. It is expected that the visiting family
will bring a gift for their host family in thanks for their hospitality.
The pairing of families can change from year to year but some
pairings have formed lasting friendships and also visit one another
outside of the umbrella of twinning.
is important to emphasise here that fluency in the language of
the visitors is not a necessity, and this should not put anyone
off. Natural reserve and concern about communication soon disperses
as friendships and understanding develop from the convivial atmosphere
of a group of people sat around a table enjoying good food, with
perhaps a little something liquid to loosen tongues and dispel
inhibitions. It is surprising how the odd word of the foreign
language, some sign language or mime, and a good English/French
dictionary on the table can lead to a hilarious and relaxing time.
Without exception, we have always had positive feedback, even
from those people on their first twinning with little or no knowledge
sounds interesting. How can I/we get more information or become
Bere Regis group holds regular fund raising events throughout
the year to enable us to provide the formal entertainment and
welcome for our guests and to contribute towards the cost of transport
when we visit France. We have just held our main annual formal
Twinning event this month (September 2014) when Cerences visited
Bere Regis for the weekend. We will be going to Cerences for a
similar event next September.
you would like to join us, please contact our Membership Secretary,
Sue James on 01929 472113, or by e-mail here.
The current annual membership fee is £10 per family. We
will then include you in our circulars and give you information
on our next fundraising event.
you would like more information, please contact our Chairman,
Roger Angel on 01929 472163 or e-mail here
or our Secretary, Bob James on 01929 472113 or e-mail here.
If necessary we could arrange for a Committee Member to visit
and talk to you on an individual or group basis.
James, Association Secretary, September 2014
Bere Regis Village Website 2014 - Site by Chola Design