Around the societies: October 2017

October 02 2017
Around the societies: October 2017

THE latest news from local organisations.


ON August 23, a party of 25 Wellensians, including the mayor Councillor John North, the deputy mayor Councillor Celia Wride and Councillor Colin Price, together with his wife Ann, converged on our French twin town Paray-le-Monial, for a five-day visit.

We were warmly greeted at the headquarters of Paray-le-Monial Twinning Association College Rene Cassin, before leaving to meet our individual hosts or to go to the Comfort Hotel.

On the morning of August 24, the mayor, deputy mayor and officials of Wells Twinning Association met with Jean-Marc Nesme, the mayor of Paray-le-Monial, and Daniel Gordat, the president of Paray-le-Monial Twinning Association, to discuss the twinning relationship between the two towns and the general political situation in Europe. The mayor, council and twinning association of Paray are very keen to re-energise the twinning relationship between our two towns, which everyone felt has waned over the previous few years. In particular, re-establishing relationships between community groups such as school children, sports clubs, musical associations etc is considered very important. We all agreed to work enthusiastically towards this end.

In the afternoon, the Wells party was split into two groups, 12 people that had previously visited Paray and 14 that had not. First time visitors were taken on a tour, in English, of the Basilica, Cloister and historic centre of the town, the second group visited an exhibition in the Charnoz Museum.

In the evening, an excellent dinner was provided accompanied by superb music, singing and dancing.

After a quiet morning on the Friday, we attended lunch in Digoin before cruising along the local canal and visiting a museum dedicated to the history of the canals.

On Saturday morning the party visited the local market, before departing for a tour of the beautiful town of Charolles.

On return to Paray another excellent dinner with music was provided for us.

We departed on the Sunday morning full of sadness at leaving, but with many happy memories. The people of Paray were truly warm hearted and made our visit most pleasurable. We look forward to a visit from them in the not too distant future.

Future twinning activities:

• Joint meeting with Wells City Council to plan future programme.

• Meet with Wells county councillor to develop community group interaction.

• Visit by Mayor of Bad Durkheim for carnival.

• ‘Sunday Lunch with a Difference’.

Dawn Payne


WELLS Refugee Action Group was started earlier this year by a group of local women in response to the dire plight of unaccompanied young children living unprotected in the open or in refufee camps across Europe.

To date the group has organised local collections of clothes and food before and after Christmas and delivered them to Care4Calais, raised funds and awareness at a charity stall in Wells Market and put on a very successful live music event opened by Michael Eavis at the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury, with all proceeds going to the charity Safe Passage.

Safe Passage is headed by Lord Dubbs who is trying to persuade the Government to live up to its promise according to the ‘Dubbs Agreement’ which is like the Kinder Transport before the last war started by an Englishman that allowed hundreds of children to survive.


FOR those of us who have never visited South Africa and for those who have, there will be an opportunity to experience the quite remarkable flowers and plants of the region at the next meeting of Wells & District Gardening Club.

So many of our vibrant summer borders benefit from the introductions of that area. From pelargoniums to osteospermums and other unpronounceable gems, our gardens, containers and window boxes would be the less colourful without them. So here’s a chance to relive some sunny glory when Rosemary Legrand, nurserywoman, photographer and traveller will present ‘The Spectacular Flora of South Africa’.

This will be a very welcome return visit from Rosemary whose family background is steeped in horticulture. The meeting takes place in Wells Town Hall on Thursday, October 12, at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome.

Visitors £3, members £1, refreshment included.

More details: telephone 01749 679182 / 673244.

Pip Harwood


THE Wells and Mendip Museum meeting room resounded with gales of laughter at the September meeting as therapist Serena Mason led 40 members in a laughter yoga session.

Laughing releases natural endorphins, boosts the immune system, releases stress and improves bodily functions by increasing oxygen intake.

The body benefits just as much from deliberate laughter as from the spontaneous kind, so members were encouraged to practise guffawing out loud to improve health and wellbeing.

Over the summer our garden party raised £150 for Breast Cancer Care and a Treasure Hunt Walk raised £54 for a dementia charity. The pink leather Radley handbag raffle raised £60 for group funds.

This year the craft group will be widening their horizons beyond sewing and knitting. Ceramic tile decoration and making delightful things from hedgerows are among the activities planned.

The quiz team are looking forward to representing Wells in the County Quiz Grand Final next month, having won the recent regional heat.

One member’s idea was submitted for what could become a national WI campaign next year: to address the increasing waste problems caused by disposable hygiene products like nappies and sanitary products. Members interested in current affairs are meeting in the pub in October to discuss potential future campaign ideas.

More women signed up to the Social Network, an informal email group that enables members to seek company for spur-of-the-moment social or cultural outings.

Good progress is being made on the 2018 programme, with plenty of opportunities designed for member interaction in addition to speakers and demonstrations. The £1 now collected on entry covers the cost of drinks and buys a prize draw ticket for Wells shop vouchers, keeping spending local.

The next meeting of Wells WI will be at the Mendip and Wells Museum at 7.30pm on Tuesday, October 10 (NB not the usual first Tuesday, due to a booking clash). We will be talking Women’s Health with Dr Jo Newton, and selling cake for Macmillan Cancer Research. New women are always welcome, and may attend as visitors before committing to join.

Veronica Howe


I WOULD like to invite anybody with an interest in Tinnitus or Hyperacusis to the next meeting of our support group, which is affiliated to the British Tinnitus Association and has run for seven years. These can be very distressing conditions which are often poorly understood, even by medical professionals, and are believed to affect around 20 per cent of the population.

It can be an enormous help to talk with others having the same or similar problem as you will get a very sympathetic and understanding hearing without being considered in the least odd or hysterical. We share experiences and strategies which make it much easier to live as normally as possible with these conditions.

We will next meet at 7.30pm on October 12 in the Community Room at Wells Fire Station and will have the pleasure of welcoming Parminder Munde of the Bristol Tinnitus Support Group. If anybody would like further information, please contact me on 01749 673044 or

Michael Rowe

• Picture, top: Departing Paray-le-Monial after the twinning association visit