Sidmouth music room lovers’ memories to shiner on through donation to chandelier project

Dame Alison Carnwath presented certificates to those that donated money to repair a chandelier at Si

Dame Alison Carnwath presented certificates to those that donated money to repair a chandelier at Sidholme Hotel. Ref shs 28 18TI 7823. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Treasured memories of loved ones and special occasions will shine on for years to come as part of a project to restore Sidholme Music Room’s chandeliers.

John McGregor, from the Friends of Sidholme Music Room, came up with the idea to offer supporters the chance to sponsor a piece of the chandelier in memory of a loved one or special occasion as part of the group’s chandelier project. Donations flooded in from across the local area and from further afield to help raise £30,000 to restore the largest of the collection.

Last Friday, Dame Alison Carnwath presented the certificates to the 31 donors who have supported the project so far.

She said: “I think it’s a very worthy cause. John is very persuasive and that’s the sort of person you need when you are trying to raise money. It was a big undertaking to find the people to do the restoration work, to persuade them to come down here. It was shocking, it needed attention and someone spotted that. The room was being used more frequently and it’s a magnificent area.

“He raised money in an ingenious way. People really love giving to worthy causes and local causes.”

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John Moffoot, chair of the Christian Guild that owns the hotel, also thanked the group and donors as they would not have been able to pay for it themselves.

Among the donors at the event was Mr and Mrs Dorey, who sponsored a prism to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

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Mrs Dorey said: “We come to most of the concerts. It was our 60th wedding anniversary last year so we decided to buy one of the little prisms.”

Joan and Mike Edgecombe sponsored a piece in memory of their daughter Caroline, who was born with Down Syndrome and known as ‘Miss Sidmouth’ until her death 14 years ago.

Joan said: “She would love to know her memory is kept alive being a part of the chandelier. She used to have parties here to celebrate her birthday, especially her 18th when she had a new electric wheelchair.”

The group plans to continue to hold concerts to restore the remaining six chandeliers.

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