TENBURY Wells French Twinning Association and guests had a murder on their hands at their latest social evening and fundraiser earlier this month. 

St Michael's village hall was filled with around 60 diners for the murder mystery evening, some veterans of many French exchange trips, some new to the group.

Performed by local association members, Bad Vintage was an intriguing and at times droll tale of how Max Litre came to be found dead in a vat of his own wine during a soirée at his estate somewhere in deepest France.

Between courses, each table then had a “stab” at explaining which of the motley crew of characters did the dastardly deed, their motive and opportunity.

The ambience was not a million miles away from that of Tenbury's long-standing twin town, Pont-du-Casse, near Agen in the southwest of the country - though the town is more famed for plums than wine. A 40th-anniversary trip to the town is planned next year.

Between regular exchange trips, the last of which brought around 40 Cassepontins, as the French people are known, to Tenbury last summer, the association runs a number of social events locally.

Its chair Elizabeth Weston said that while the evening had raised nearly £200 for funds, the  main purpose had been to bring existing members together and to give potential new members a flavour of its activities.

“The feedback has been that it was a very entertaining evening with lovely food that everyone seems to have enjoyed,” she said.

“Hopefully we have found a few new members.”

Around 30 Cassipontins previously stayed with local hosts over the weekend of August 4 to 7 last year, in a tradition of exchanges going back nearly four decades.

Among the activities laid on for them in the 2023 trip was a visit to the Tenbury Agricultural Show, where they met show president Anthony Bunn, a trip to Powis Castle, Welshpool, and a choral mini-concert at St Michael’s church.