Wetherby first began looking for a partner in France in the late 1980’s. The main criteria were that the twin town had to have a river, a bridge and a market and be of a similar size to Wetherby. Privas was, at that time, looking for a UK partner and amply fulfilled our criteria. They had already established a link with Weilburg in Germany in 1958, with Tortona in Italy in 1964 and Zevenaar in Holland in 1966. The official twinning document was signed in 1992.
Official visits take place every 2 years (although many informal ones happen on a regular basis). At the end of August 2014, a group of 16 members flew from Leeds/Bradford to Montpellier and then travelled by coach to Privas for a 4-day visit. See details under Events 2014. The last time our French friends visited Wetherby was in June 2012, when we were delighted to welcome a 20-strong delegation (which included the Mayor) for our Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and also to mark the 20th anniversary of our twinning link. We will welcome another delegation some time during 2016 and plans are already being made.
Up to now, we have received no external funding for our events or visits, unlike our French counterparts. Now that we have an official status as a Community Interest Company, we hope that we will be in a better position to access outside funding.
Over the years, many long-standing friendships have been forged, but like many Twinning Associations, our membership is getting older. We are trying to encourage younger people to join us by linking two of our local junior schools who teach French with schools in Privas (see school news).
We always welcome new members with open arms, so if you live locally and have an interest in all things French, please contact us.