- The Southern Gateway to Dartmoor
About Ashburton News and Events Things to Do Where to Stay Business Directory Town Council Information Centre
View of Ashburton
Back to Home Page

The Town Crests are an important part of twinning identity and the Cleder Crest can be seen in a number of locations around Ashburton constantly reminding you of this unity of nations.

Below you can see the Ashburton Crest on the left next to the Cleder crest on the right. Both of these ancient Crests tell a story about the history of each town through the imagery within them.

Ashburton and Cleder Crests

Here you can see both crests, again side by side in a stone carving presented to Ashburton, carved by Monsieur Yves Guiboux of Cleder.

Click here for a photo slideshow showing the people and experiences that twinning has brought to both towns.

Cleder is a small town on the Northern Coast of Brittany in Northern France. If you would like to find out more about the town of Cleder why not visit their own town website at

The Town-twinning movement was born in Europe shortly after the Second World War. Nowadays Twinning brings together municipalities throughout Europe, linking them in a dense network of citizens. To find out more about the twinning movement click here.

 Ashburton/Cleder Twinning Association En Française En Francais - Cliquez ici pour le traduction 
Ashburton Twinning began back in 1971 with the chance meeting in a bar in Brittany of two businessmen. One was Louis Mesquen, a Breton farmer and Haulier from Cleder, and the other was Fred Miners a haulier from Ashburton. Neither could speak the other's language, but with a few hand signals and after several glasses of wine, Louis managed to convey to Fred that his town of Cleder would like to twin with a town such as Ashburton. Fred returned home and initially put the proposition to the Chamber of Trade, who felt that it would be a matter for the Town Council. An approach was made to the Council and a deputation was organised to visit across the water and see what all this twinning was about.
slideshow thumbnail twinning
Click above image to view slideshow of a recent visit to Cleder. There are over 60 images, so sit back and enjoy the show.
The Town Mayor Mr Henry Bradford; Portreeve, Mr Jim Pearce; the Town Clerk, Mr John Upchurch and a few other eminent members of our community undertook the arduous journey across the water. Brittany Ferries was in its infancy and on a small and unstable ferry the deputation set forth. After a very enjoyable weekend it was decided that Ashburton folk would benefit from an exchange of culture, and so in 1975, a visit was organised for the Clederois to visit Ashburton. A Charter was signed by dignitaries from both towns, and this would be repeated in Cleder a few months later. There began over thirty years of exchange visits by all parts of both communities. By 1972, the football clubs had already begun exchange visits, the schools, scouts, guides and musical groups followed.

Twinning has strengthened and benefited both communities, not just by the annual visits, but also within the local community, with people getting to know each other on both sides of the Channel and forging great friendships.

Old Newspaper Clipping of the Mayoral Embrace
Town Mayor Councillor Henry Bradford greets the Mayor of Cleder, Monsieur M Y Berthevas. In the background Rev T Charnley and the Portreeve Mr J Pearce.

Content provided and maintained by:
Ashburton Town Council & Ashburton Information Centre
Site by Integralvision - Integralvision logo and site link
Back to Home Page

All content, including the Ashburton Coat of Arm is © Copyright Ashburton Town Council 2013 unless otherwise stated. No part of this site may be reproduced without written permission from Ashburton Town Council. For further copyright information please visit our copyright page. With special thanks to John Germon and Peter Webb for their supply of content without which this site would not have been produced..