Twinners flag up 30th anniversary

The Swiss flag could be seen flying alongside the Union Jack for the Sidmouth Twinning Association w

The Swiss flag could be seen flying alongside the Union Jack for the Sidmouth Twinning Association week. Ref shs 4085-39-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Celebrations are continuing for Sidmouth Twinning Circle as part of its 30th anniversary with Le Locle in Switzerland.

Businesses around the town have decorated their shops red and white to honour the charter set up by the circle’s Sheelagh Michelmore and other members of the community three decades ago.

At the time, a party of 19 people arrived from Le Locle into Sidmouth to discuss the potential of twinning.

Mrs Michelmore, told the Sidmouth Herald in 1984: “It has taken a long time to arrange this trip, so we are just hoping everything goes to plan.”

Soon after 11.30am on September 29, 1984, it was made official that the two towns were twinned.

A charter was signed by Councillor Bill Turner and other members of the town council alongside Jean-Pierre Tritten, the president of Le Locle.

The original charter will be displayed in the window of Pure Indulgence for passersby to look at until Sunday, September 21.

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Fast forward 30 years and the current secretary of the twinning circle, Judi Horwood, said: “It was set up to form relationships.

“People did not travel 30 years ago. This gave people an opportunity to make friends and visit somewhere on the Continent.”

Starting last Sunday and running until September 21, Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce and businesses are marking the occasion by decorating the town.

In the last three decades, members of both towns have developed long-standing friendships.

Children from both towns have visited each other over the years and the twinning circle committee takes it in turn to take a trip to the other place.

Le Locle is highly regarded in the watch manufacturing business and in 2009 was entered into the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

For more information, or to join the twinning circle, call Linda Blay on 01395 516761.

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