Welcome to

Although the first steps were taken in 1977, it was actually in July 1978 that Witheridge officially became a twin with the signing of the Charter twinning Witheridge with Cambremer. Back in 1978, a large party of French guests visited Witheridge to witness the signing of the charter, which now hangs in the Witheridge Parish Church. The expressed objects of the Twinning being to develop co-operation, mutual understanding, friendship and also to enhance peace. To celebrate the signing, a procession wound its way through the streets of Witheridge led by the Mole Valley Youth Band. Also taking part were Scouts, Cubs, Pony Riders and Panda, a Pyrenean Mountain dog. In the evening a Grand Dinner and Dance was held in the Parish Hall.

The first Twinning committee, under the chairmanship of Fred Woolacott comprised off: Hal Junker, Andrew Feiling, Jenny Bidgood, Judy Junker, Pam Forder, Liz Cunningham, Chris Coffin, Kit James, David Temple, Toz Gibson, Brian Vanstone, Jean Bryant and Deidre Day.

Address on behalf of the Chairman of the Witheridge Parish Council at the Twinning Ceremony in Cambremer - June 1978

Mr Deputy, Mr District Councillor, Mr Mayor, Chairman/Chairladies of the Twinning Committees, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am proud to be here today representing Witheridge Parish Council on this notable occasion in the history of Witheridge and Cambremer. I bring you the heartiest good wishes from the Chairman of Witheridge Parish Council. He would dearly have loved to be present here today, and greatly regrets that it has not been possible for him to do so. I bring you also sincerest good wishes and congratulations from the whole Council.

It is perhaps, on an occasion both joyful and solemn, right to seek links between us in history, and it is true that we do not have to look far. Before I left Witheridge to come here I happened to look at names on our War Memorial to those from Witheridge who died in the two World wars, wars in which our two great nations fought and suffered for our democratic ideals and for the freedom that we treasure. Some of the men whose names are on our War Memorial served in the Devonshire Regiment - a Regiment whose fame is not unknown in the fields of Normandy, and whose motto "Semper Fidelis" - "Ever Faithful" is not the worst motto to have in our hearts and minds today. I have pleasure in congratulating all those who have been so active on both sides of the channel in all the work that has led to this Twinning Ceremony. I congratulate the Officers, the Chairladies, the Chairmen, the Secretaries, the Treasurers, the Members of the Committees, and all the people who have contributed to this venture by their efforts and their support, especially the people because in the last analysis this is what Twinning is all about, this meeting together of people, of children, of young people, of fathers and mothers, of grandfathers, grandmothers, of people from all walks of life joining together in equality and friendship.

It is of course right that the leaders of Calvados and Devon should meet together, that our National Leaders should meet together, that our Nations should join together with others in the European Community, that we play our part in the United Nations, how much more right it must be for us, the people, to meet each other and learn to like and respect each other - person to person, family to family - and to understand each other - how important this is now and in the future.

In conclusion, I express my gratitude to you all for the magnificent hospitality of Cambremer, and I look forward to welcoming you at the return ceremony at Witheridge.

Cambremer is a small rural rural village located in the "Pays d'Auge" region of Calvados, which is in Normandy, France. It is an area known for its vales, hedges and orchards, as well as being famous for its manors and its stud houses. The Cambremer region is proud of its rich heritage. Most of the buildings in the town centre date back to the 19th century and display a mixture of wood, brick and slate shingles. Thanks to the dairy production of Normandy's famous cows, you can discover many regional cheese specialities such as "Camembert", "Livarot", "Pont l'Eveque" and "Pavé d'Auge". The abundance and the quality of the apple trees make it possible to provide the famous "AOC Pays d'Auge" cider.

The Saint Denis Church is situated in the village centre. Its oldest part is the Roman tower which dates back to the 12th century. It is built out of stone from Caen, and the tower is finished in Modillion Cornice. The pyramidal steeple framework is crowned by an octagonal arrow head. Before the revolution period, the cemetery surrounded the church, as is still the case nowadays in many other villages in our region. The interior of the church is rather simple. The main altar dates from the period of Louis XV. The nave, formed of 5 spans, enlightened by 9 stained glass windows from the 19th and 20th centuries, is covered with a chestnut panel, vault-shaped like a an upturned ship hull.

Formerly, farmers met every week to sell their local products such as vegetables, butter, eggs, poultry and meat in the market hall. Since the end of the 19th Century, the village centre has not undergone many changes. Only the market hall has disappeared in 1962. In addition, a Post-Office was built in 1949. The new buildings and other constructions have not modified the general appearance of the village (the School buildings in 1956, the Police Headquarters in 1978, the Tax Office and the Social Centre in 1981; as well as a small building estate in 1980). Every year the village takes part in a national flowered village contest, with very satisfactory results.

Previous      Go to Top      Home       Text Version      Next Page

Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

Unless otherwise indicated on the page in question, the photographic images reproduced on this site belong to the Witheridge Archives, and, as such may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission. However, you are welcome to use any of the photographs belonging to the archive for personal and/or non-commercial use. Any material shown as not being owned by the archive may not be reproduced in any form without first receiving written permission from the owner of the material in question.