After the Second World War, twinning with European countries began in earnest in a bid to rebuild links between these countries. Therefore it is no surprise that a majority of the twinning links were formed with France and many of these earliest links still flourish today.
The aims behind establishing a twinning link was to offer "ordinary" people the opportunity to build friendships, to encourage understanding of the different cultures and to exchange cultural experiences.
Tredegar is twinned with Orvault, a flourishing town on the outskirts of Nantes in Brittany. This partnership began in 1979 with the signing of the Official Twinning Charter established to forge the links forming between the two towns.
Tredegar Twinning Association is the foundation stone on which these strong links with Orvault have been built. Founded in 1979 and now in its 40th year (2019) the Twinning Association continues to actively encourage and participate in exchange visits by families, school children, local organisations, sports groups and students.
The family exchange continues to take place bi-annually over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, with Orvault and Tredegar in alternate years welcoming guests. It is the Twinning Association who organises the itinerary for the French guests which will always contain a cultural visit to places of interest in the area, social events such as a dinner and dance, free time to spend with the host family and a Civic Welcome Reception hosted by Tredegar Mayor and Tredegar Town Council. It is a similar itinerary when Tredegar residents are guests in Orvault.
Lynne Price, Secretary for Tredegar Twinning Association, writes:-
"The aim of the Association is to develop and strengthen the mutual understanding of the cultural, recreational, educational and commercial activities of the linked Towns. Membership is open to anyone who supports these aims whether or not you speak French or you are able to host French families when they visit Tredegar.
Social and fundraising events are organised throughout the year to finance the visits by our French guests. These include Cheese & Wine cabaret nights, themed social evenings, car treasure hunts, duck races (or in our case plastic ball races!) and wine tasting nights to mention just a few.
Throughout the years many lasting friendships have been formed between families of the Twin Towns and we are eagerly looking forward to our next visit to Orvault which will take place over the Spring Bank Holiday in May.
We meet on the first Monday of every month and we welcome new members.
Following the recent (April 2018) visit of our Orvault friends, Yvon Patte (President of the Twinning in Orvault) sent the following message: