Red Hatters put heads together in Bideford

TWO hundred women wearing red hats made a striking appearance in Bideford on Saturday as they paraded through the town. The members of the Red Hat Society gathered in the town for their UK convention. They were hosted by the Red Hat Rebels of Bideford, wh

TWO hundred women wearing red hats made a striking appearance in Bideford on Saturday as they paraded through the town.

The members of the Red Hat Society gathered in the town for their UK convention. They were hosted by the Red Hat Rebels of Bideford, whose bid won approval in a national e-mail ballot of the society's 100-plus chapters in the UK.

The Rebels chose the theme of Abba for the gathering.

Chapter Queen Valerie Steele said: "We thought the Abba film showed just how important women's friendships are. The ethos of the Red Hat Society is supporting each other and having fun and friendship."


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During four days in town the Red Hats held a 1970s disco, toured the town and shops, enjoyed a cream tea and a special Abba night at the Durrant House Hotel, complete with live tribute act.

They held competitions for the best hats and the best dressed on an Abba theme.

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The worldwide Red Hat Society is open to women of all ages, with those under 50 wearing pink hats and lilac dresses and the over 50s the iconic red hats and purple outfits.

The Red Hat Rebels' membership of 25 meets on the first Thursday of each month for coffee at different venues. Members also meet for various social events and trips.

Bideford is particularly well blessed with Red Hat members, also having a second group named the Devon Dumplings.

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