Downham Market with Civray twinning club celebrates its 40th anniversary

xxx_Members of the Downham Market with Civray Twinning Club with the tree given by Civray_Picture.Su

xxx_Members of the Downham Market with Civray Twinning Club with the tree given by Civray_Picture.Submitted - Credit: Archant

One straddles the gently meandering river Charente as it winds its way serenely through south west France.

The other sits on the somewhat straighter river Great Ouse, shortly before it flows into The Wash. Yet for 40 years, the two towns of Civray and Downham Market have enjoyed a special link, as twin towns.

Throughout those four decades, groups in both towns have tried to exchange cultures, languages and values.

To mark the anniversary, a party from Civray visited Norfolk for a civic reception at the town hall.

Town mayor Marion Ross, who is exchange secretary for the twinning club, said: 'I really believe in twinning. It's like an entwining of people. You develop very strong friendships, it's wonderful.'

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The partners from Civray - situated in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France - also presented the Downham club, which consists of around 90 members, a tree to plant in their twinning garden situated at the site of the old swimming pool, in the memorial playing field.

Each year, club members from Civray and Downham take it in turns to stay at each other's homes and in October of this year west Norfolk members will continue the 40th anniversary celebrations by travelling to France.

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David Whitby, mayor of King's Lynn, said 'great friendships' could come from towns twinning with others overseas, which he found out when he recently met with the King's Lynn with Emmerich twinning club, which had been running for more than 40 years.

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