Twinning Association

Twinning Association2018-09-10T10:25:04+00:00

Welcome to Ryes

The villages of Michelmersh and Timsbury are twinned with the French village of Ryes, Normandy. Ryes is a small village situated 6 Km from Bayeux, famed for its historic tapestry, and just 3 Km from Arromanches and the D-Day landing beaches. The Twinning Association offers you a unique opportunity to explore this fascinating area of France in the company of the people of Ryes, who are always delighted to share with us their local knowledge and their local cuisine. Le Jumelage (Twinning) is a great chance to brush up your French language skills, perhaps to have a go at conversing in French for the first time or maybe just to enjoy good company!

How it all began

The relationship between the villages began in 1980 when the Michelmersh and Timsbury football team visited France for a friendly match, to be followed the next year by a return visit from Ryes. Over the years that followed the visits gained momentum and popularity until in 1985 Michelmersh and Timsbury officially twinned with Ryes, and the relationship was sealed.

What we do

Since 1985, the association has maintained a close relationship with our village in France, with many friendships formed over glasses of wine and Calvados (a local speciality of the region). The annual Twinning visit usually takes place in May, with the people of Michelmersh and Timsbury either visiting Ryes or playing host to our French visitors in alternate years. The visit to Ryes typically involves a morning ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Caen and two nights spent in France, accommodated within the homes of our French host families. It has become our custom to spend one evening having a communal meal together in a local hall or restaurant, whilst spending the second evening with our host families. A daytime excursion is typically arranged to some place of cultural or historic interest. In the past we visited Giverny, the home and gardens of  Claude Monet, a local Calvados distillery and visits to Paris. The reciprocal visit to Michelmersh and Timsbury usually follows a similar pattern, with English families playing host to our French visitors. We have taken our visitors to various attractions including Longleat House and Safari Park, The Tower of London and Bealieu Motor Museum.

Join in the fun

M&T Twinning Association welcomes new members of all ages.  We charge an annual membership subscription for the purpose of funding the visit from the French – typically we have to find funds for an excursion and an evening meal. We also hold a series of social and fund-raising events during the year, including the annual Petanque competition and barbecue. If you wish to  become a member, the annual membership fee is £20 per adult,  (16 years and over). Please contact any of the officers below, or email


Chairperson Chris Foulger, The Leys, Rudd Lane, Michelmersh. 01794 367181

Secretary Richard & Sylvia Croxall, Barn End, Stockbridge Road, Timsbury. 01794 368853

Treasurer John Aynsley, Riverdance, Stockbridge Road, Timsbury, Romsey SO51 0NF. 01794 367245