Celebrating 40 years of Sidmouth Concert Society

Sidmouth Concert Society chairman Stephen Huyshe-Shires presenting the book to Sidmouth Museum curat

Sidmouth Concert Society chairman Stephen Huyshe-Shires presenting the book to Sidmouth Museum curator Bob Symes - Credit: Archant

The complete history of Sidmouth Concert Society’s first 40 years has been put on the page and presented to the town’s museum.

Society chairman Stephen Huyshe-Shires initially set out to create a record of recent concerts to avoid too frequent repetitions of repertoire, but found he could not stop there.

Delving further back in time soon became more enticing, but increasingly difficult, so in 2008 he issued an appeal to his fellow members.

“At a concert the following season, founder member Pam Dunkley presented me with her collection of old programmes and membership cards which had lain undisturbed in her loft for several years,” said Stephen.

He said this was the ‘kick start’ he needed and began to search through the archives of the Herald, which are held mainly at Sidmouth Museum.

Where these searches left gaps, the extra information he had found enabled him to use the internet for references to the artists concerned and eventually, with some detective work, to speak to them directly.

Stephen expressed his gratitude to all who helped him, with special mention of Pam, the museum and those artists who spoke with him and enabled him to complete the history of the society’s first 40 years.

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The archive, which contains letters from when the society was formed, sample programmes, anecdotes from various times as well as details of all the concerts, is available in print from the society.

Copies are £5 from the treasurer on 01395 514618, or by emailing info@sidmouthmusic.org.uk. It is also available to view at the museum.

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