A team of four West Cumbrian cyclists made a detour on a trip through France to stop off at Cockermouth's twin town.

Scientist and entrepreneur Dr David Secher, the eldest son of the late Otto and Marjorie Secher of Cocker Brows, Cockermouth, his wife Sandra, author and historian of chemistry Dr John Hudson and wife Judy, of Graythwaite, Loweswater, have spent three summers cycling the length of France from the Channel to the Mediterranean.

During their route between St Malo and Montpellier, the quartet, who are in their 70s, made a detour so they could spend a night in Marvejol.

They were welcomed by the Adjunct to the Mayor, Monsieur Marc Moulis, in the Town Hall and later enjoyed the hospitality of twinning assocation president and treasurer Claire and Lise Nogaret.

The visitors were pleased to hear that twinning visits continue to be supported enthusiastically by people in both Cockermouth and Marvejols, but were saddened to learn that the schools’ exchanges, for which the twinning was originally set up, had stopped.

The four cyclists and their children were among the generations of language students who had benefited from similar exchanges, and they hope they can be restarted.

Dr Secher said: “Having been aware of the twinning since its inception in 1983, it was an exciting moment to ride into Marvejols and the spontaneous welcome was most touching.”