Around the societies: September 2017

September 02 2017
Around the societies: September 2017

THE latest news from local organisations.


OF all the gardening catalogues one gathers over the year, the spring bulb edition always appears to hold the most irresistible enticements. Right at the present time, of course, the garden is an overgrowth of foliage, flowers and weeds. But come the spring and those bare patches in the borders and pots will reveal themselves, and if
you are tired of more red and yellow tulips, then come along to Wells Town Hall on Thursday, September 14, when Micky Little of the regular medal winning nursery Avon Bulbs will talk about ‘Some Unusual Bulbs on the Way to Chelsea’.

Everyone is very welcome and admission, £3 for visitors and £1 for members, includes refreshments and a good chat.
For more details, telephone 01749 679182 or 673244.


WELLS Lions Club has presented £1,000 to Children’s Hospice South West, proceeds from this year’s May Fair in Wells Market Place.

In his first official duty as the club’s new President, Paul Clegg led a visit by members to Charlton Farm in North Somerset, just outside Bristol, which provides hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

The charity needs £3 million every year to provide this care, and relies solely on public donations. Wells Lions have supported CHSW since it was founded 25 years ago. The Lions were given an emotionally-charge guided tour of the hospice by staff member Kylie Gallagher and the mother of a young child whose final days were spent in care there.

Paul said: “Our support for this brilliant charity will continue next year. We’re planning another of our popular concerts at St Cuthbert’s Church in March, with Bristol Male Voice Choir who will be celebrating their 50th year. We’re also planning a charity dinner in partnership with The Swan Hotel, in February. Our target from these special events is £5,000 for Children’s Hospice South West.”


ON Thursday, July 27, Richard Hibberd, chairman, Bob Reynolds, treasurer, and Dawn Payne, secretary, represented Wells Twinning Association at the full Wells City Council meeting to make a presentation on the past, present and future of town twinning as perceived by Wells Twinning Association.

Wells Twinning Association has noticed changes in the way twinning is viewed by our twin towns, and felt that it would be beneficial to present to the city council how twinning has functioned historically and how the association viewed changes necessary for it to continue successfully. Richard delivered the presentation, extracts from which are printed here.

Wells’ first twinning arrangement was entered into with Paray-le-Monial following a casual holiday visit of Wells citizens including Wells city councillors to that town. A charter was signed in 1979 formally linking the City of Wells and the town of Paray-le-Monial.

Five years later Wells signed a similar charter with Bad Durkheim in Germany, which was already twinned with Paray-le-Monial.

After a number of attempts the council set up the current twinning association with a constitution that was approved in 1988. The Mayor of Wells has been the president of the twinning association from its inception and still is. Wells City Council also appoints one of its members to sit on the twinning association committee as a full voting member. Initially the city council made a substantial grant towards the running costs of the twinning association but this was withdrawn some years ago. WTA currently raises all the funding required to run twinning visits from social activities in the community.

In 2010 the council signed two friendship agreements, the first with a small German town of Bad Berka and the second with Kluczbork in Poland. There has been no contact between Bad Berka and Wells officially since the agreement was signed. However, Kluczbork in Poland has visited Wells and we have visited them. Kluczbork actually believes that it is twinned with Wells.

In 2012 the city twinned with the Comune Di Fontanellato near Parma in Italy.

WTA arranged to visit Paray-le-Monial from August 22-28 this year. The major intention behind this visit was to rekindle enthusiasm and rebuild the relationship which has lapsed recently. A party of 26 Wellensians including the mayor, the deputy mayor and Councillor Price were due to take part in this visit.

During their visit to Wells on June 16, Bad Durkheim committee members expressed strong dissatisfaction with the state of the relationship at present, particularly the lack of community involvement, interchange between the two communities and poor connection between the two councils. The Mayor of Wells has issued an invitation to the Mayor of Bad Durkheim to visit Wells for this year’s carnival. This has been accepted.

Kluczbork is very keen to learn our practices in politics, education, economic and social activities, and is very keen for exchange visits from groups such as teachers, musicians, councillors, trade bodies and young people.

Fontanellato is very concerned as to how Brexit will impact upon their twinning activity as they rely on the EU for all their twinning funding. They feel that we do not co-operate with them in terms of developing trade and commerce between the two towns.

In recent years membership of Wells Twinning Association has been diminishing. However, in recent months a noticeable increase has become apparent. Paid up membership now stands at 101. Membership costs £10 per annum per couple and £6 for individuals.

Wells Twinning Association has formed a new committee comprised of a mixture of experienced twinners and new members with a view to returning to the original objectives of the twinning charters involving the whole community under the leadership of Wells City Council, with the twinning association organising, administering and communicating activities.

A delegation will visit Bad Durkheim, from September 8-10, to attend the Wurstmarkt, including our mayor and the chairman of Wells Twinning Association.
The mayor agreed to set up a joint project team to shape future twinning policy and plan future twinning programmes.

If anyone is interested in becoming a member of Wells Twinning Association, please contact Bob Reynolds, treasurer, tel: 01749 870217, email, or Dawn Payne, secretary, tel: 01749 675858, email


AROUND 400 people needlessly die from drowning in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life-changing, through near-drowning experiences. Putting these figures into context, one person dies every 20 hours in the UK and drowning is a leading cause of accidental death of children in the UK.

A range of RLSS UK Awards are available from Wells Life Saving Club, which meets at Strode Pool, Street; these include:

• Rookie Lifeguard Programme which gives 8- to 12-year-olds the skills they need to be confident in the pool or the sea. Built into the programme are lessons in valuable survival, rescue and sports skills, all delivered in an exciting way that will get children involved and motivated.

• Survive and Save Programme for anyone 12 years and over. The awards teach lifesaving rescue, self-rescue, survival, lifesaving sport skills and also develop swimming ability and fitness.

• National Pool Lifeguard Qualification – suitable for those aged 15½ and over (you have to be 16 years old to take the award) which can lead to the opportunity of part-time work for students.

For more information,contact Liz Mapstone, tel: 07765 245325, or email

• Picture, top: Wells Lions President Paul Clegg presents £1,000 to CHSW’s Kylie Gallagher, watched by Wells Lions members, from left, Andy Fedrick, Rod Major, Tessa Munt and Ian Burt