Twinning Association

Barrow upon Soar Twinning Association


Barrow Upon Soar is twinned with the French town of Marans in the Charente Maritime of southwest France.
The twinning association aims to foster relations between the two towns and regularly arranges exchange visits. In addition we have regular social events for members and guests throughout the year.

We became part of BUSCA during 2014.


Marans is the western gateway town to the 'Marais Poitevin', a beautiful, tourist canal and marshland park. In fact it is between this Marais Poitevin marshlands park and the ocean, in the heart of a large inter-regional park. It covers 82.5 square kilometres (32 square miles) and is home to 4,428 inhabitants.

The 'Sèvre Niortaise' River, which divides the town in two, is of major importance to the town. The riverside quays and the town centre port are reminders of the importance of shipping in the town's past. Now that Marans has become more of a maritime and riverboat tourist destination, the port has been developed into a 180-berth marina and the regions 100 kilometres (62 miles) of canals have made it a very popular fishing and nature vacation resort. There are many boat trips to go on and many walking trails discovering a wealth of fauna and flora along the riverbanks. The surrounding area has many cultural attractions and Marans itself has received a national award for its floral decorations.

The Association

The twinning association currently has about 30 families from Barrow and the surrounding areas as members. And we would welcome new members.

* There is no obligation to speak French, join the committee or even go to France to become a member.

* We have a series of social events throughout the year, and in the recent past we have organised:-

- visits to the theatre
- Summer Pimms and Pudds garden party
- regular trips to local pubs and resturants
- walks in the countryside
- 50's and 60's  music concert and dance
- skittles evenings
- quiz nights

Please follow the link below for the latest article in Barrow Voice

Forthcoming events

If you want more information on a social event please contact one of the names listed at the bottom of this page.

Christmas 2020 News Letter

click Twinning Association Dec 2020 to read the letter.

Our forthcoming events are :-

A Blast from the Past!

One of our members has recently rediscovered some interesting material.

The following collection of photographs of the school exchange between Humphrey Perkins School and the College Maurice Calmel in Marans was gathered together by John Wilford when we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the twinning link between Barrow and Marans. The Twinning Association was set up at about the time the school exchanges came to an end; a number of the founder members had taken part in the exchange when they were pupils at Humphrey Perkins and wanted to maintain their links. For the tenth anniversary of the twinning we decided to try and make contact with some other people who had been involved in the school exchanges and invite them to the celebration dinner at Humphrey Perkins. The Mayor of Marans at that time was Bernard Bouchereau, he had taken part in the exchange with Humphrey Perkins when he was at school in Marans, he was, and still is a very enthusiastic supporter of the Twinning links.

Furthermore, we have been in touch with one of the teachers who feature in the photographs. These are some of the memories written by Sheila Williams( Miss Roberts on the photographs) when she accompanied a group to Marans.

'Marans 1964'

'It was dawn when we left the house and we paused to listen with delight to the dawn chorus before setting off to Leicester station where the exchange group of fifteen teenagers met. It was to be over twenty four hours before we arrived at our destination but the journey passed without incident.

It was a happy, friendly group who looked after each other and made the most of their opportunity. Whether with their families, in school, or on group outings life ran smoothly.

A month away in France was considered no excuse for poor exam performance and everyone had packed revision materials. Each school day we met in a room assigned to us and were told which lessons the English pupils were to attend, and when their presence was not required. They worked hard, to the amazement of the French teachers, who claimed their pupils did not work nearly as hard.

There was -can you believe it ?- a school chef, Alex, who as well as grilling steaks made a different cake each day for the English four o'clock tea. On our last day he made beautifully decorated choux swans filled with cream almost too good to eat.

My worst memory was chewing some very tough casseroled meat at my landlady's house and being told to my horror, "C'est le lapin". I talked to that rabbit every day! I was eating my friend! Apart from that I believe it was a happy and fruitful month for all of us.'

Information and Pictures from twinning visits


Archive of Twinning Documents


Twinning Association Meetings


If you want to join or want more information

Ted Rodgers (Chairman) Tel: 01509 416533
Helen Duxbury (Secretary) Tel: 01509 552867

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Last Updated. 10-October-2021 By Admin

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