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SIDMOUTH: nniversary year for twinners

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Most towns in the UK are twinned with partners in France or Germany, but it may come as a surprise to know that Sidmouth is linked with a town in Switzerland called Le Locle.
With the original charter being drawn up in 1984, this year marks the 30th Anniversary of that link and on Friday, March 21st, Sidmouth Twinning Circle held a coffee and crafts morning in St John’s Hall in order to raise funds for a visit planned in 2015.
Exchange visits take place every two years, and visitors are put up at committee members homes, often allowing long lasting friendships to develop.
In September last year about 20 people from the twinning circle went over to Le Locle, and had their photograph taken in Sidmouth Square.
French speaking Le Locle, which is so close to the border one can walk to France, also has a link between its secondary school and Sidmouth College – a reciprocal exchange took place in 2012, and it is hoped that that may be revived in the future, providing an invaluable experience for pupils studying the french language.
It was hoped that a musical group from Switzerland would be able to visit this year to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Sidmouth Folk Week, and the 50th anniversary of Britain in Bloom (of which Sidmouth in Bloom is a part), but unfortunately plans fell through.
“We want to promote the twinning and encourage people to join our circle,” said Anne Bishop.
“Membership is open to anyone and speaking French is not essential. All the money raised goes into an account, and only comes out again when they visit. It can be very rewarding.”
Anyone who is interested in finding out more can contact secretary Linda Blay on 01395 516761 or if they prefer, they can email

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