Since 1979, the village of Stapleford in Cambridgeshire has been twinned with Villedômer, a village in the Loire valley of France.
At the Parish Council meeting in September, John King raised the idea of twinning Stapleford with a suitable partner on the continent. The council decided to try to twin with either a community in Holland or France. A sub-committee was formed with John King as chairman, Joan Barnes and Terry Miller as members. Details of Stapleford were sent to the Joint Twinning Committee for forwarding to their counterparts on the continent.
Unfortunately, no community was available for twinning in Holland, but three candidates were proposed in France. These were Greoux-les-Bains in Provence, Marallac in the central region and Villedômer near Tours. The sub-committee thought that Villedômer was the most similar to Stapleford and the most suitable.
Visits were made to all three towns over the summer of 1978 by Mr & Mrs Harold Holt, and others, as a result of which the Twinning Sub-committee recommended to the Parish Council (chairman Travis Chalk), that Villedômer should be approached to see if they still wanted to proceed with a Twinning agreement.
Twinning Charters were drawn up in May and as the village had no coat of arms it was agreed to incorporate the village sign. The Charter was translated into French.
Regular visits have been made ever since: a Family Visit to Villedômer one year over a long weekend – usually in May/June, reciprocated in Stapleford the next; a Youth Exchange for youngsters aged between 11-16 every year, usually in August, with participants spending about 4 days in each country.
The Villedômer Garden was formed when the Parish Council named the land behind the Slaughterhouse after Villedômer. It was planted as a Rose Garden in memory of Peggy Holt, who was a great believer in the Twinning movement. Donations of £116 were collected towards it in her memory. Plaques were put in place the following year.
In November, the Twinning Association became a freestanding Association, independent of the Parish Council.
On 3rd June, the Time Capsule was buried in the Villedômer Garden with a copy of the Twinning charter, a resumé of a youth and adult visit, a twinning badge and contributions from Villedômer.