Wimborne Minster is twinned
with Valognes, France and Ochsenfurt, Germany
The Wimborne/Valognes Twinning Association was founded in 1968 under the auspices of Wimborne Town Council and is one of the oldest such associations in the country. Valognes is a town of similar size to Wimborne and is situated about 13 miles south of Cherbourg in the Manche Department, which is itself twinned with the county of Dorset.
The objectives of the Association are to foster and promote goodwill between organisations and individuals of these two communities in a variety of ways, e.g. school exchanges, exchange visits and by encouraging a greater knowledge of the other community’s environment and lifestyles. Anyone interested in furthering these objectives may become a member on payment of a small subscription, which includes a quarterly newsletter.
The Association currently has around 200 members who enjoy a full and varied programme of events throughout the year, which help to raise funds for the entertainment of our French visitors, usually a group of about 25 to 30, on their visits every other year, hosted by members. In alternate years, a group from Wimborne visits Valognes when they are in turn hosted and receive a very warm welcome and a full programme of entertainments. Many lasting friendships have been formed in this way.
Ochsenfurt is Wimborne’s twin Town in Germany. It is situated south of Würzburg, roughly half way between Frankfurt and Nurnberg, and stands on the River Main, a navigable tributary of the Rhine. This area of northern Bavaria is famed for its beers and white wines.
The region has had a connection with Wimborne since 740 A.D. when nuns from the powerful monastery in Wimborne were sent as missionaries to that part of Germany (Franconia). They are remembered to this day as Patron Saints of towns and villages there.
The Wimborne/Ochsenfurt Twinning Association was founded in 1989, when Wimborne Minster Town Council agreed to the formal twinning of the two towns.
Some visits have been made by specific groups e.g. students, orchestral musicians, choirs, scouts and sportsmen, but the majority of the exchanges have been general visits to and from Ochsenfurt, usually in alternate years. This enables members who do not belong to any formal group to stay with a family and get to know people, the picturesque town and the surrounding area. Visitors from the Wimborne area have always been most hospitably received.