Verwood and Three Legged Cross Twinning Association - UK
 "Currently Twinned with Oree d'Anjou in France and
Liederbach in Germany."

2007 fm France

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Canton of Champtoceaux visit to
Verwood & Three Legged Cross
(May 2007). 


Our French friends from Verwood’s French twin town District (Canton) of Champtoceaux visited Verwood in May with 57 visitors hosted by local families from Verwood and Three Legged Cross.

The Canton of Champtoceaux consists of 8 Communes plus that of Champtoceaux itself, These are Bouzillé,  Champtoceaux, Drain, Landemont, Liré, Saint Christophe La Couperie, Saint-Laurent-des-Autels, Saint-Sauveur-de-Landemont and La Varenne. Visitors were from a wide age range and included one family with young children. 

The mayor of Saint-Sauveur-de-Landemont M. Andre Martin guided the coach to the The HUB car park to arrive at 15:45 where they were welcomed with refreshments in The Hub.  Guests and hosts, were then introduced, some for the first time, but others greeting old friends they had known for over 20 years.

At this initial meeting it was nice to see Ron and Dorothy Curd, now both in their nineties particularly as Ron was one of the Councillors involved in the initial Twinning with Champtoceaux and for many years was on the committee of the twinning Association. It was also nice to see M. Alain Levoyer with the party who at the time of the initial twinning was the Mayor of Champtoceaux.

It is with regret though that M. Carr from La Varenne who was heavily involved in the Twinning on the French side, passed away last year, in his 90's. though it was still a pleasure to visit  and share a bottle of wine with him in 2005. Our best wishes to Mme Carr.

At 9:00 on Friday (The first full day) a visit to the Ancient Technology Centre at Cranborne was arranged. This inspiring educational Centre comprises numerous reconstructed buildings from throughout history. They have been built with the help of more than 80,000 Dorset school students and older volunteers, over a period of 15 years, using a a combination of ancient skills and archaeological evidence. Luke Winter showed the visitors around (in English) and his information was ably translated by Pascal Barnes for the benefit of our French Friends. 

The Centre is situated in Cranborne Chase, and the site itself consists of building reconstructions from throughout history that have been built from locally harvested materials.

Top RoundhouseThe Centre specialises in exploring how people lived in the past. How our ancestors fashioned tools from flint or bone, how they kept out the cold and fed themselves? How did they make rope and string from the plants around them and how did they make fire? The Centre staff and visiting groups are in the first stages of constructing a new residential facility in the form of a Viking Longhouse. Why not visit their website at

At 11:30 it was necessary to leave the centre to travel to Ocean Village in Southampton for a fish and chip lunch followed by a "Three Rivers Cruise" on a Blue Funnel line ship which lasted for over 3 hours .  The trip leaves the River Itchen and travels down the Solent before entering the River Hamble and on this day due to the state of the tide traveled as far as "The Jolly Sailor" public house, famous for its place in the English TV series "Howard's Way". On returning  to the Solent our catamaran sailed past the Ocean Terminal (Departure point for Titanic and many other famous liners) and up the River Test passing 3 extremely large container ships. We returned down the Solent in time to see the P&O ship Artemis set sail and there was also great excitement amongst our visitors because they saw the Queen Mary II set sail. This was all the more interesting for our visitors as she is  French built at the port of St. Nazaire, not too far from Champtoceaux.

After a day with their host families on Saturday when many took their guests to visit the "Heathland Heritage Centre" in the morning, there was a soiree at The Hub in the evening. This included a meal followed by speeches from the representatives of the Twinning Associations and Verwood Council, including M Alain Levoyer and was followed by a barn dance for the rest of the evening. The party left for France after lunch at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and arrived back home at 3:30 a.m. in the morning - Partly because the driver had to have a 3/4 hour break at "l'aire du Mont St Michel".

A good time was had by all with the new word for the trip - "Marvelous".




pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.



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