Band has a new home at last

BIDEFORD Town Band is on a high, now that it finally has a home of its own.

A near 29-year wait is over for the band with its purchase of the former Tourist Information Centre on the edge of Victoria Park as its new bandroom.

The �145,000 project has been made possible by help from Bideford Bridge Trust and a 10-year loan from Bideford Town Council, plus the band’s own fund raising efforts and contributions from the public.

The story began 30 years ago when the band had to leave its premises at Westcombe and after a brief period at Northam was found a ‘temporary’ home in an upstairs room in Bideford Market Place.

This provided a solution at the time, but without toilets or running water and with the only access via steep stairs, it has been a difficult time.

Now the long search for a permanent base is over, although fund raising must continue, including for internal alterations, which means they cannot formally move in until May or June.

It will be home to more than 70 band members, who make up a junior training band, senior band and drum corps.

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Band chairman John Gray said: “We thank the Bridge Trust and Bideford Town Council for their generous contributions. Even with our own sizeable contribution, we still had a shortfall. We also thank the people of Bideford and surrounding areas for their support in putting their change into our buckets and supporting our 100 Club.

While fund raising for ourselves, we have also raised nearly �2,000 for our chosen charities for the year, Shelter Box and Devon Air Ambulance.”

Anyone who can help the band or would wish to join them, experienced or not, should call secretary Becky Frisby on (01237) 475653 or go to

www.bidefordtownband.co.uk

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