We are the Twinning Association of the town of Wellington (Shropshire) and the surrounding area.
The Association was set up in 1998 with the broad aim being to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the communities of Wellington and a similar one in France. Châtenay-Malabry, an outer suburb of Paris, was chosen as being of a similar size with an industrial background and a population including a proportion of people of ethnic origin. Like Wellington is one of a group of townships making up Telford, Châtenay-Malabry is a member of the group forming Hauts de Bièvre.
The relationship encompasses a growing range of activities of a cultural nature. Wellington’s Brass Band has played at several concerts in Châtenay-Malabry and also entertained our visitors when they have been in our town, whilst musicians from Paris have paid reciprocal visits to Wellington. A choir from our area has also been on a visit to Châtenay and we are keen to continue this musical relationship. The Twinning Association has arranged contact between churches in our two towns and, on several occasions, military veterans have joined our local British Legion and townspeople for the service of remembrance and Armistice Day parade in Wellington town centre. Members of the Wrekin Arts Association have had paintings and other artistic objects exhibited in the Châtenay-Malabry arts exhibition.
We are also trying to encourage any sort of sporting links and one junior football club has already played in a tournament in Paris and hope to return in the future. We have had invitations to send athletes, fun-runners or walkers to take part in the annual Châtenay festival of running. The Tour de France cycle race regularly passes through Châtenay-Malabry and our members have planned visits to the town to coincide with this event.
Appreciating that young people are our future, we make every endeavour to bring together students from schools and colleges in Wellington and Châtenay-Malabry. There is regular correspondence between students from most of the Wellington secondary schools, giving an opportunity for students both to make friends and to practise and improve their knowledge of each other’s language, history and culture. The Twinning Association has helped to arrange exchanges or visits for several schools and colleges. Exchanges with primary schools are obviously more difficult to arrange but one school in Wellington has already had a successful visit from a school in our twin town. French is being introduced on a voluntary basis in some primaries and, with the proposed introduction of foreign languages in the curriculum, we hope that they will avail themselves of the opportunities for real contact with French children.
The Association has a regular monthly meeting on the third Wednesday of each month and this is held at the Cock Hotel, Wellington starting at 7.30pm. Feel free to turn up, or get in touch in advance using our Contact page. We hold a wide variety of events throughout the year – have a look at our Events page. We’re always on the lookout for new ideas for social events, so please do get in touch with any suggestions!