In 1986, David England discovered that the seaside town of Benodét in southern Brittany was looking for a similar Cornish town with which to twin. Knowing Benodét well from holidays spent in the area, he met with the then Mayor and other interested parties, and upon return called a public meeting in Torpoint for those interested, as a result of which it was decided to form the Torpoint & District Twinning Association. This covers an area bounded by Crafthole, Sheviock and Portwrinkle to the west, and encompasses Antony, St John and Wilcove.
Our Twin town, Benodét, is situated some twelve miles south of Quimper in southern Brittany at the mouth of the river Odet. It is a holiday and yachting centre, with miles of sandy beaches. Torpoint, situated at the mouth of the river Tamar, is a working, rather than a holiday town, but the lovely Cornish countryside and beaches are only a stones throw away. A contingent of one hundred Benodetois descended upon Torpoint for the initial visit, and since then we have gone from strength to strength.
Hosting is on a reciprocal basis, and many firm friendships have resulted through the years. There is a thriving Boules (Petanque) club within the Association and Torpoint have been County champions on numerous occasions.
Torpoint Twinning offers you the opportunity to:
:- Make new friends in Benodét, where you will be welcomed as a guest, not just as a tourist.
:- Stay with a French family, sharing their way of life, culture and cuisine.
:- Host French guests in your home, sharing your lifestyle with them and showing them the delights of Cornwall.
Torpoint Twinning is affiliated to the Twinning committee for Cornwall. This umbrella organisation represents 27 towns and villages throughout Cornwall who are Twinned with towns and villages in Brittany. It also represents links with Germany and Italy. Each November the County Committee for Cornwall holds the Annual Weekend Conference in a Cornish Hotel. The aim of the weekend is to meet and get to know each other in a relaxed social atmosphere, to share our experiences and successes and to report formally on the Twinning Year and elect next year's County Committee.
Finally, Torpoint Twinning is entirely self-financing, all monies being raised through social and fund-raising activities.
Some examples of these activities are.
Cornish evening, Harvest supper, Wine-tasting evenings, Boules and Barbecue, Salmon and Strawberry soiree, Christmas Dinner, Salmon and Strawberry soiree; Coffee mornings, Sunday lunches Barn and Cornish Dancing, Quiz Night, Staging a float in the local Carnival.