THE UK’s relations with its Continental neighbours may be in flux, but ties between Tenbury and the French town of Pont-du-Casse remain as close as ever.

A group of 36 Tenbury residents of all ages enjoyed the hospitality of families in the similarly-sized French town, which lies in southeast of the country near the city of Agen.

This year’s guest programme included a guided tour of Agen’s historic centre, a visit to a local castle, rides around the area in locals’ classic cars, and attendance at the town’s open-air “gourmet market” where local food and drink, coupled with music and dancing, kept the thousand-plus crowd entertained long into the balmy summer night.

The trip also gave a chance for twinning regulars the Tenbury Town Band to entertain their hosts at Pont-du-Casse’s swanky Petit Paradis club, where visitors also joined locals in some traditional dancing.

Many of the group also took the opportunity to prolong their stay and explore the wider area afterwards.

Tenbury has regularly sent and received groups as part of the twinning initiative, which began in the early 1980s.

The town twinning movement goes back many years.

It became increasingly popular after the Second World War when towns and cities all over the country started to twin with with countries in Europe.

The idea was to build relationships and encourage greater awareness and understanding between countries after the two wars in the first half of the 20th century.

A key feature of the twinning arrangement have been exchange visits between linked towns usually undertaken on a alternative year basis

A group of “Cassepontins” is due to visit Tenbury in 2021, with the twinning association planning fundraising and social events in the meantime – see or Facebook for updates.