Links with France strengthened

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Links with Wetherby’s twin town have been strengthened following a visit to France by a delegation from the West Yorkshire market town.

Wetherby Twinning Association sent 16 members to Privas in the Ardeche region to build on the friendship first started in 1992.

Cindy Bentley, Chairman of the Wetherby Twinning Association, said that it was one of the best visits she had experienced.

“The French hosts were, as always, incredibly hospitable and generous,” said Wetherby town councillor.

“Long live the entente cordiale,” she added.

The party, which stayed with host families, enjoyed an official reception with the Mayor, a darts competition and barbecue.

“Each official visit always includes a darts and a boules competition for the McGill Challenge Trophy,” explained Coun Bentley.

“Using a dart board hung loosely on a tree was apparently the reason why Wetherby lost this time, having won the previous two matches.”

The following day, a coachload of French and English ‘jumeleurs’ or ‘twinners’ arrived at the Caverne du Pont d’Arc, a stunning replica of a series of caves containing incredible paintings dating back 36,000 years.

And a visit to France wouldn’t be the same without a ‘degustation’ at a vineyard and this was the next port of call where the group was able to indulge in a series of wine tastings before picnicking in the shade.

The afternoon ended with a visit to a medieval chateau.

“The final day saw what has perhaps become the main event of the weekend, the boules competition,” added Coun Bentley.

“A Wetherby team had previously won twice, so the French were determined to win this time – and they did, but it was a close call.”

The winning team was presented with the McGill Challenge Trophy which Privas will keep until the next visit to Wetherby in 2020.

“It was a particularly successful visit and a wonderful experience,” added Coun Bentley.