A GROUP of people have renewed friendships with Settle's twin town in France with a visit following a break of six years.

Twinning between Settle and Banyuls-sur-Mer in the south west of France began in 1992 and involved regular visits in both directions where the visitors were hosted and entertained by the locals.

There was a six-year break from 2016, but the twinning interest was always there and continued with the help of messaging service WhatsApp.

With the help and advice of former 'twinner' Linda Boyce, a group of eight people, led by Phil McCarthy recently travelled to Banyuls to renew the valuable communication project.

The visit coincided with the town's annual wine harvest festival with the French hosts laying on a generous welcome for all the visitors from Settle.

A small group of French twinners organised meals, regional visits, wine-tasting, and a reception by the Banyuls mayor, Jean-Michel Solé.

The Settle group presented Banyuls Town Council with a memorial plate, a translated greetings letter from Settle Town Council and a painting by Settle artist, Christine Carradice.

In return, the Settle party was given a painting by French artist, Chantal Lebret which is now displayed in Settle Town Hall. The mayor made an amusing speech where he explained that Banyuls had developed through fishing, winemaking and smuggling.

Next summer, a group from France is due to visit Settle where they will be hosted by local people.

A spokesperson for the Settle group said: "This will cement the spirit of cooperation between our two towns which have quite different climates, environments and past histories but share joint aspirations for ongoing cooperation and friendship."