Beaminster's twinning group celebrated 45 years of twinning with a visit to the French town of Saint-James.

The visit was led by Beaminster Town Council chairman, Craig Monks, accompanied by the twinning group including founder member Margaret Greenham, now in her 80s.

Councillor Monks said the celebratory visit was filled with 'heartfelt connections, cultural experiences, and unforgettable memories'.

An official reception was held for the group in France with speeches from Mrs Greenham and Mayor David Juquin of Saint-James.

Beaminster families were hosted by local residents and were taken to the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial, which pays tribute to the 4,410 brave men who rest there after the D-Day landing and subsequent conflicts. 

After a dinner, showcasing the best of French cuisine, wine, and hospitality, Cllr Monks presented a painting of Beaminster, crafted by the talented local artist Joan Hudson, as the group's gift to Saint-James.

The Beaminster Twinning Group visited a French market in town and the charming town of Avranches, enjoying a picnic at a picturesque dairy farm, savouring the taste of freshly produced local delicacies.

The highlight of the trip was a flight over the majestic Mont Saint Michel in two four-seater planes.

Cllr Monks said: "The exhilarating experience was heightened when I took control of the aircraft, much to the amusement and concern of my fellow passengers, David and Christophe.

"The breathtaking views of Mont Saint Michel from above left an indelible mark on our memories."

Cllr Monks said that the trip, his first trip with the twinning group to Saint-James, 'will forever hold a special place in my heart.'

"It rekindled memories of my school exchanges and allowed me to experience the real France once again. Celebrating the 45th anniversary of our twinning relationship was not only a time of reflection but also an opportunity to invigorate the younger residents of both towns to become part of this incredible experience," he said.

He is urging anyone who wishes to take a similarly exciting trip and who wishes to explore France and open their doors to new friendships to get in touch with the twinning group.

For further details and contact information, please get in touch with Valerie Jepps at