KINGSCLERE Twinning Association has given a copy of the weather vane from the top of St Mary’s church to its sister town of Cormicy, in north-east France.
During the Twinning Association’s visit to the village – near Reims – they presented the mayor of Cormicy with a replica of thebed bug weather vane.
The weather vane has six crosses for legs, and another for its tail.
The legend attached to the weather vane is that in the 13th century King John was hunting in the area.
A thick fog supposedly prevented him returning to his hunting lodge nearby and he had to spend the night at the local inn in Kingsclere.
Legend has it that his sleep was disturbed by bed bugs and he was so annoyed by his interrupted night that he commanded that an effigy of a bed-bug be erected on the church tower.
The visit was to celebrate Bastille Day and started in Cormicy town square with an aperitif and welcome speech by the mayor followed by a Paella supper eaten at long tables and washed down with Champagne.
Member of the Kingsclere Twinning Association, Sarah Davis, said: “The French families there made us feel so welcome and many have become firm friends.
“We look forward to their visit to Kingsclere next year.”
She added: “They are going to put it in the town hall on the wall with the twinning agreement we sent them about six years ago.”