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The Torridge Male Voice Choir was formed in February 2003 from an amalgamation of the Hartland Male Voice Choir and Bideford Male Voice Choir. The objective of our Choir is to establish and maintain a high standard of singing and to assist charities and voluntary organisations through the presentation of concerts.
We welcome new members, there is no age limit and encourage newcomers, especially beginners, to come to one or two rehearsals without obligation, to see if you enjoy singing as much as we do.
The Choir rehearses every week on a Tuesday at Woolsery Community Centre, between 08:00 p.m. and 09:30 p.m., click on ‘Location’ to see a map. Music is selected by the Musical Director, usually at the beginning of a year, and sheet music issued to choir members remains property of the Choir.
The cost of membership is £50 per year, payable in one instalment, or three instalments of £15, £15 & £20. In addition there are single payments of £25 and £15 to purchase a Choir blazer and tie, these items must be returned on leaving.
Concert uniform consists of our blue blazer and tie, plus a plain white long sleeved collared shirt, plain black shoes, black socks and black trousers. A belt if worn should also be plain black.
Over the course of a year, Torridge Male Voice Choir may give 20 or so concert performances. Most of these will be in the areas of North Devon or North Cornwall, Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Bideford, Holsworthy, Kilkhampton, Bude, and so on. Also it is traditional for the Choir to travel once a year for a long weekend away, as guests of another choir. This weekend includes recreation and concert activity.
The Choir is a member of The National Association of Choirs and it is a registered charity. We have a management committee consisting of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Musical Director, click on ‘Our Officers’ to see pictures. Other committee members are the Concert Manager and Librarian and four Section Leaders who represent 1st Tenor, 2nd Tenor, Baritone and Bass voices. Committee meetings are monthly, where all members present have an equal vote unless the vote is tied, when the Chairman’s vote counts double.
Bideford College has approximately 1,800 pupils all of whom are in Years 7 to 14 and is led by Principal, Ms Veronica Mathews, is the only local community secondary state school in Bideford. The college was granted specialist science status in 2004. Because of its specialist status, it receives extra funding from the government for extending its wide variety of educational activities. It is currently undergoing a £55 million project, £32m of which was funded from the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, to build a new school on its existing site. The building works will be completed during the summer of 2010 and students will move in at the start of term in September. Figures published by the UK Government in February 2008, show Bideford College had made significant improvements in the Key Stage 3 exams taken by 14 year old students. Over the previous four years (2004 to 2007) the school’s aggregate score for the exams in English, Maths and Science has risen from 177 out of 300 to 237. This placed Bideford College joint 21st nationally in the table of most improved secondary schools published by the DCSF. Bideford is also in the top 20 per cent of schools nationally based on the progress made from Year 7 to Year 9.
Torridge is a local government district in Devon, England. Its council is based in Bideford. Other towns and villages in the district include Holsworthy, Great Torrington, Hartland and Westward Ho!. The Island of Lundy is administratively part of the District. To the south of the district bordering Cornwall, near Welcombe, the rugged coastine has a wild untouched beauty, due to its accessibility, but the South West Coast Path is well defined.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the boroughs of Bideford and Great Torrington, the Northam urban district, Bideford Rural District, Holsworthy Rural District and Torrington Rural District. It is named after the River Torridge.
Westleigh, North Devon – Small village 2 miles from Bideford.
The village itself is tiny, comprising only approximately fifty houses, an Inn and a church. The church gives some indication of the community’s history, dating from the eleventh century. Despite its size however, the village has a variety of visitors, particularly on Sunday lunch-times when people come from far and wide to enjoy the carvery hosted at the Westleigh Inn.
A quiet community, Westleigh nevertheless has easy access to shopping facilities and the coast. The port of Bideford lies two miles south-west and the busy market town of Barnstaple seven miles north-east, and Clovelly, Ilfracombe, Westward Ho and Exmoor are all within easy reach. Some part of the village still belongs to the Christie Estates and their beautiful house and gardens at Tapeley Park are immediately adjacent to the Parish.
The Taw Torridge Estuary Forum was founded jointly, in 1980, by North Devon District Council and Torridge District Council, under the Chairmanship of Captain C.J.A. Johnson, RN. Its role is to act as an independent voice for the whole of the Taw Torridge Estuary. Captain Johnson retired as Chairman in January 1995, and he was succeeded by Rose Day.
The Forum now comprises 40 national, regional, county-wide and local member organisations.
The Maritime Volunteer Service is a nationwide uniformed civilian service based at around 35 locations on Britain’s coast. The service exists to keep alive British Maritime skills and train others in seamanship, navigation, marine engineering, radio operation and operational support.
The Bideford Film Society was formed at an inaugural meeting in September 2001.
A grant was received from the Bridge Trust and Bideford Town Council which enabled the Society to hire the first film. A film is shown every two weeks except when the Theatre is needed by the School. Films are shown at seven thirty in the evening on Friday and Saturday nights (we don’t show advertisements)
Instow Coastguard is primarily a Mud Rescue unit, with a specialised team of 11 officers all of whom are trained specifically in the techniques of extracting a casualty from soft mud and recovering them to the shore. The unit has responsibility for the majority of the Taw/Torridge estuary from Barnstaple Long Bridge to Bideford Steel Bridge. Instow are the only unit with Mud Rescue capability in the sector and therefore may be called upon to assist neighbouring cliff rescue teams at Croyde and Westward Ho! where their guard areas include the Rivers Taw and Torridge. The unit also has initial response and search capability, working with other coastguard rescue teams as back up where necessary. Operations in the Bideford sector are co-ordinated from the Swansea Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Mumbles.
The Taw/Torridge estuary includes areas of mud flats, salt marshes and sand banks, some of which may become isolated by a flooding tide. Both the mud flats and marshes contain areas of soft mud which can quickly trap a person or animal and these areas are liable to shift position with the seasons, the height of the tide or with the amount of fresh water flow in the river. Our guard also covers the Tarka trail where it follows the river estuary, including several sites of outstanding natural beauty and historical interest.The village of Instow itself stands at the confluence of the two rivers and possesses a long sandy beach which runs from the old Instow Quay into the river Taw as far as the Yelland Jetty. The beach and promenade provide outstanding views across the river mouth to Appledore.