Retired schoolteacher Cath Irving has been elected Chairman of the Weymouth & Portland – Louviers Society, her third stint in the leading role. The twinning society celebrates their diamond jubilee later this year, 60 years from when the twinning charter- promising friendship in perpetuity- was signed in the Normandy town of Louviers in 1958.

Retiring Chairman Geoff McDonnell told the annual meeting, chaired by Coun Kevin Brookes, Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, that it had been a successful year, but marred by the death of three stalwarts- Jack Irving, Priscilla McGowan and Mary Stone. One day of the seafront stall had raised almost a thousand pounds for twinning funds. The visit to Athelhampton House had been the highlight of the visit by the French delegation and the September visit to Louviers had likewise been a great success, stopping over at Granville. He concluded by thanking Society members for their support, the committee for their hard work and the Mayor & Mayoress for their constant support of twinning.

Founder member Michel Hooper-Immins asked the Mayor what civic support there will be for twinning if the proposed unitary authority comes about next year. Councillor Kevin Brookes responded that twinning was one of many aspects that had yet to be decided, but that he would be making sure it was discussed in due course.

Officers elected were Cath Irving [Chairman,] Ted Nicklin and Mike Beecroft (Vice Chairmen,] Pam Nicklin [General Secretary,] Bob Scott [Treasurer,] Michel Hooper-Immins  [Public Relations Officer,] Alderman Peter & Ann Rendall [Welfare Secretaries,] Janette Martindill [Accommodation Secretary,] Tom Martindill [Membership Secretary] and Joyce Scott [Minutes Secretary.] Committee man Richard Prior stood down due to ill health.

Councillor Kevin Brookes, Mayor of Weymouth & Portland,continues as President, with the Deputy Mayor and theTown Mayor of Portland as Vice Presidents.Long serving Aldermen Roy Gainey and Peter Rendall remain as Life Vice Presidents.

A majority vote agreed to increase the membership subscription from £10 to £15. The French delegation arrives in Weymouth on Thursday 17 May, staying for four days. The Civic Reception is being held at Crustaceans Restaurant on Sunday 20 May. The Mayor of Weymouth & Portland and the English delegation leave for Louviers on Thursday 30 August. For further information on the twinning society, consult their new website:

Louviers is a market town in Normandy, 22 miles south of Rouen. Twinning began with signing of the charter in Louviers in 1958 and in Weymouth in 1959. The annual subscription to the Weymouth & Portland – Louviers Society is £15. Enquiries about joining the Louviers Society should be directed to Secretary Pam Nicklin at 01305 771773. More information about the twinning and the Society at: