DALES people are making a French connection with a community across the channel.

Although Wolsingham, in Weardale, is hundreds of miles from northern France, local people are adding a continental touch to their market place for traditional Bastille Day celebrations on July 14.

In typical French style, food, wine and local produce will play a big part in the event, which marks a new twinning arrangement between Wolsingham and Poix de Picardie.

The mayor of Poix de Picardie, Jack Pettigny, suggested the idea of a social and cultural exchange during a visit to County Durham last year.

After he met residents Vere Shuttleworth and Ken Charlton, others expressed an interest, and a Town Twinning Association was backed by the parish council.

Two members, Dave Sugden and Carole Moffat, visited Poix which, with a population of 2,300, is a similar size to Wolsingham and is also in a rural area.

Exchange visits are planned for September, and the association is applying for funding to the European Union in Brussels.

For details of twinning events, call Mr Sugden on (01388) 527930, or Mr Shuttleworth on 527238.