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Bonne Année - Gutes Neues Jahr - Happy New Year to you all!

This is the year that we in Ottery and Pont l’Évêque shall be celebrating the signing, 40 years ago of the twinning charter that linked our towns in enduring friendship.  As the prospect of Brexit looms even larger, it becomes increasingly important that we underline our belief in the importance of international communication and understanding.  The twinning committee in Pont l’Évêque is planning a celebratory visit for us in June (see below).  I hope that many you will sign up to take part in those festivities.

Our AGM this year on 16th February will also be significant, as several long-serving committee members are standing down.  We need you to come forward to offer your services – without your help the committee, and thus the twinning association itself, will not be able to continue in its present form.




7.30pm at West Hill Village Hall.

As in the past, we shall begin the evening with the AGM (see agenda posted on our website), which will be followed by a social gathering and supper.

At this meeting several committee members will be standing down from the committee (although not the association!) after many years’ service.  Amongst those leaving are:

Committee members, Hilary Stratton and Hugo Gehring

Vice chairman, Tony Potbury

Treasurer, Hugh Sutherland

Accommodation officer, Gill Spence

Liaison officer for France, Sylvia Gehring


As you can appreciate, the remaining committee members would not be able to cover all these posts so it is essential that we have someone to come forward to take the place of those leaving.

In particular we need two volunteers prepared to take responsibility for arranging accommodation for visiting groups, and for liaison with the committee in Pont l’Évêque.  Both Gill and I are happy to be on hand to mentor and advise a successor, but after more than 60 years of service between us, we feel it is time to move on!

If you believe you can help, please contact me (without obligation) on 01404 813560, or chairman Mark Rix on 01404.813123, markrix@talktalk.net.


Following the AGM ‘business’, there will be a finger buffet, plus a glass (or two!) of wine. There will be no charge – just come along and enjoy the evening.  As usual, all donations to the buffet (sandwiches, savoury nibbles .. etc.) and/or good quality prizes for the raffle will be gratefully received.


At the AGM we shall be taking bookings and deposits for our June visit to Pont l’Évêque.




1st – 4th JUNE

Last year we celebrated in Ottery the 40th anniversary of the founding of our association and the initiating of contact with Pont l’Évêque.  This year it is the turn of our friends in Pont l’Évêque to mark 40 years since the actual signing of the twinning charter that consolidated the link between our two towns.The dates for this visit were specifically chosen to fall during the Summer half-term to enable school-age children to participate.  Friday 2nd June all youngsters are invited into the secondary school in Pont l’Évêque, we therefore look to receiving applications from families and teenagers.  Arrangements for the visit are still fluid, but we shall be taking our own coach, leaving Ottery fairly early on the morning of Thursday 1st June – coach to Portsmouth – ferry to Caen, arriving in Pont l’Évêque around 10 pm.  Our hosts have arranged a varied programme including Friday’s school visit for youngsters and a festive dinner on Saturday evening.  We shall leave late morning Sunday to take the ferry at Caen for our journey home. We expect to be back at in Ottery around midnight.

We shall be taking names and deposits at the AGM, but it would greatly assist us if you could let me, Sylvia Gehring, have your names as soon as possible, so that I can forward an advance list to France.

Total cost for the visit, including transport is £170 pp, with children under 16, £85. Deposit £35 pp.


Other events in the pipeline: The Crêpe stall; the Car Treasure Hunt – more details about these later – and



As yet we have no further details to give you of this visit from our German friends, but if you are able to host, please give Richard Whittington a ring on 01404 813606, email: mewhittington@btinternet.com . He will be delighted to hear from you!


Best wishes / Cordialement / Grüße, Sylvia Gehring

pp. Ottery St. Mary Twinning Association

Recipe Book:  This will mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary. The recipe book will have recipes from Ilsfeld, Pont l'Eveque and Ottery St. Mary. Kings School pupils have participated in the artwork and colour plates are being used for sections Books will be on sale from April at £6 a copy .. It is a fundraiser and so if you want one as an ideal gift for friends and family please contact Sylvia Gehring ASAP



This is the page with information about events run by the Ottery St Mary Twinning Association.

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