Cymdeithas Cyfeillio Rhuthun Brieg  -   Ruthin Briec Twinning Society

Origins - This is how it began

 

After considering several towns and rejecting them for various reasons the Chairman of the Town Council’s Twinning Sub-Committee and the Town Clerk and their wives, whilst on holiday in Brittany in 1990, visited two possible twin towns, the second being Briec. They received a very warm welcome and following their report the Town Council decided to pursue the possibility of twinning with Briec.

 

In July 1991 the then Mayor and Mayoress of Rhuthun (Cllr Robin Llwyd ab Owain and Mrs Eirian Owain) visited Briec and received an official welcome from the Briec Town Council and were warmly accommodated by one of the Deputy Mayors.

 

In May 1992 the first delegation from Briec visited Rhuthun and after they had reported back their Committee agreed to proceed with the twinning.

 

The Charter

 

The Twinning Charter was signed by the Town Mayor of Rhuthun and the Chairmen of Efenechtyd, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd and Llanynys Community Councils and the Mayors of Briec, Edern, Landrevarzec, Landudal and Langolen at a Mediaeval Banquet at Ruthin Castle on the 2nd May 1993 and at a ceremony in Briec Town Hall on the 30th May 1993.

 

And so the twinning was officially born. On the photograph (left) the then Mayor of Rhuthun Cllr. Emrys Wynne, holds the charter, surrounded by the mayors of the five communes - of what was then called the Canton de Briec. The flag is held by the two chairmen of the twinning committees, Alain Kerouédan and Murray Bragg.

 

The ceremony was repeated in Briec and this photograph shows the same community representatives on the steps of the Mairie (Town Hall).

 

The twinning with Briec arose from a resolution of Ruthin Town Council that the town should have a twin.

 

Requests were made to two organisations based in London and Paris for the names of suitable towns.

 

The criteria were: a town of roughly the same population as Ruthin that was an administrative and educational centre for a rural, agricultural area.

 

The preferred location was Brittany and preferably a town where some Breton was spoken..

Independence

 

At a public meeting at the Town Hall on the 7th December 1993 it was decided to break away from the Town Council and establish an independent Rhuthun and District Twinning Association. A Steering Committee was formed with Murray Bragg as Chairman, Tony Lyne as Vice-Chairman, Vernon Hughes as Secretary and Gwyn Dodd as Treasurer. An executive committee was elected and it is interesting to note that 8 of the original members still serve on the committee.

Early Visits

 

During 1994, the first full year of twinning, 3 runners from the Rhuthun area, accompanied by the Town Mayor (Cllr Ann Booth) took part in the Briec Half Marathon.

 

35 members of the Rhuthun Branch of the National Farmers Union, 44 members of the Dyffryn Majestic Majorettes and 40 members of Côr Rhuthun visited Briec, a total of 123 people, and 72 people (including Bagad Briec and the Gwen ha Du dancers) came to the Rhuthun Twinning Festival in August.

 

Nearly 200 people during the first year in addition to the 50 students who exchanged during 1994. To date over 550 people have visited Briec in organised groups or as exchange students and a similar number have visited Rhuthun.

 

During the first exploratory visit to Briec, Rhuthun made its first acquaintance with Marie-Alice and her Bilik. It was also the beginning of the tradition of generosity by the Briecois in feeding and 'watering' their guests - indoors or out!

 

This is also the origin of Gwyl Rhuthun Festival which has grown to be one of the biggests events in the area.

 

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