ENGLISH and French relations were further strengthened after Box agreed to a twinning arrangement with French commune Sorigny.

The Box Parish Council and their French counterparts agreed to the twinning last month to conclude several years of negotiations.

Plans are currently being finalised for the visit to Box, with a party of half a dozen or so set to journey across the Channel over the Box Revels weekend at the end of May.

Co-organiser from Box’s twinning association, Mike Williams, said: “It is all very exciting. On the whole it has progressed very quickly and been very positive – I am really looking forward to it.

“After some lengthy discussions it appears both councils are on board and we can make this a reality. We are pretty chuffed with it all.

"It all started off when my wife, Carole, was asking around if people would be interested in something like back in early 2012 and now here we are.

“We have been going to the Loire Valley for the past 20-25 years and for the last three years we have gone to Sorigny and we have loved it.”

According to Mr Williams, Sorigny approached Box as a nearby village to them had successfully twinned with Bathford and after discovering the news of the potential arrangement, the couple leapt at the opportunity.

“This is a great opportunity to share experiences, learn and get a taste for other cultures and meet new people,” he said.

“People have been very supportive. We circled a petition and well over 100 people were behind the idea which is great."

After seven meetings in person over four years, the village's twinning association polished off the finishing touches to make this pipe dream a reality.

“Everyone is really pleased it has been agreed, including the parish council, especially in such a short period of time as some places take several times as long to sort out something like this," he said.

"After delegation visits, open meetings, formations of committees, many email exchanges and paperwork, we have finished it which is great."

Sorigny is located in the heart of the centre region, 150 miles south west of Paris and is nearby to well-known wine producers such as Chinon, Mont Louis and Vouvray.