Pipe band among the ‘twisters’

Joseph Bulmer

A 25-strong group from Bideford Youth Pipe Band also had first-hand experience of the natural disaster which hit North Carolina.

They were performing in Bideford’s twin town of Manteo when the tornadoes struck the region.

Although not directly affected, it was a scary time as the 17 youngsters and eight adults listened to the tornado sirens and watched news flashes on television tracing the paths of the ‘twisters’ on the screen.

At one point they were told to take shelter in the central corridor of the housing complex where they were staying and given cushions to hold over their heads, said band secretary Mike Harper.

The children were nervous, he said. But a choral group from the North Carolina State University, who were staying in the same complex, sang to them to help ease the mood.

In the event, the ‘twisters’ did not come within 20 miles. But they did experience lashing rain and lightening like they had never seen before, said Mike.

As they made their way home they were able to witness some of the devastation the tornadoes had caused, including a path cut through the middle of a wood, with trees ripped out, and a house smashed to matchwood.