Pearl anniversary for Sidmouth National Trust

National Trust’s Sidmouth Centre enjoys 30th anniversary celebrations

THE National Trust’s Sidmouth Centre celebrated its pearl, 30th, anniversary with a coffee morning at the Devoran Hotel on Wednesday, November 9.

Three past chairmen and 14 past committee members, with 300 years service between them, were among those who filled the Sampson-designed dining room to reminisce over many enjoyable events they were involved with since its foundation.

They saw a short visual presentation of the history of the National Trust, and how it became devolved into local groups and centres following the Benson Report of 1968. Exeter Centre formed in that same year, followed in 1974 by the East Devon Centre, comprising the Sidmouth and Raleigh groups.

In March 1981 the Sidmouth group became a centre in its own right. It has been strongly supported over the years, with membership ranging between 500 and 1,000. It is one of the largest NT centres in Devon and has raised many tens of thousands of pounds for local NT projects in the South West.

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This impressive sum has been achieved through the many popular activities it has arranged over the years, including numerous talks, outings to famous properties, summer holidays, theatre trips, musical events and a range of other social and fund raising events.

Chairman Ian Heard, presided and the presentation was set up by vice-chairman, Keith Orrell, and Janet Hobbis, a founder member and great stalwart of the centre, whose late husband had been secretary, chairman and life president.

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She added her fascinating reminiscences about past people and events of the last 30 years.

Mr Heard thanked members for their support over the years and said the NT, whose national membership is four million, was a great national asset and the envy of many other countries. It is essential centres like Sidmouth’s continue being effective fundraisers for the NT, and he looked forward to a thriving future for the centre.

Pictured L to R seated: David Stuart, Irene Taylor, Gabby Macadam, Janet Hobbis, Betty Halls. L to R standing: Jimmy Lynch, Norma Stuart, Michael Robertson, Elizabeth Robertson, Michael Spink, Jean Spink, Pam Spillane, John Davies, Dr Bob Symes.

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