From humble beginnings…
A Church Council Meeting was about to take place in Autumn 2014 and members and friends of the chapel were being encouraged to attend. One such friend, Liz James, rang me to tender her apologies but asked as to what we would be discussing at the meeting. The numbers attending our services like some other chapels had fallen in recent times and I mentioned we needed to try and focus on some new ideas. This led to Liz saying “how about a singing group” and this is where the conversation ended.
The church council meeting took place and at the appropriate time I mentioned the conversation I had had sometime earlier with Liz. Encouragingly the ladies at the meeting seemed to take the idea on board immediately. But we needed someone to lead us and the name of the person we thought would be good was Victor Bickle from Stratton. Vic had formed a musical group with some of our children some years before which at the time our children really enjoyed and when last preaching at Bridgerule we remembered that Vic had remarked how well he thought we had sung at his service.
The next morning I rang Vic and put the proposition to him. His answer was that he felt quite honoured to be asked and within a few minutes he said “chose a night to meet; I will select a few pieces to sing and I will see you there”! We wanted this to be a choir open to our community and of varying ages and so I requested that although I would like us to meet in the chapel I did not want anyone to feel intimidated by this. I also thought it good if the choice of songs sung could be ours on occasions. Vic totally agreed and he has encouraged this.
Monday nights were chosen to sing and on the first night I did think – “I wonder
how many will turn up”. It turned out to be 10 and September 2014 “this potential
singing group” based in Bridgerule Methodist Chapel was born. News quickly travelled
and 8 weeks later we named ourselves, The Tamarside Singers and we can now boast
about 28 members -
Our first concert was in December 2014 performed in our own chapel for the charity Little Harbour Children’s Hospice.
From this concert bookings began to come in on a regular basis. We have now performed at several chapels in the Bude and Holsworthy Circuit and other nearby circuits too. The most recent concert being at Warbstow Community Centre. In a week or two we have been invited to sing during the signing of the register at a wedding ceremony at St. Bridget’s Church and have bookings up to May 2018.
Monday has become a favourite evening of song. What started out as a telephone conversation, with some effort has grown into something very positive and enjoyable and something I believe to be very proud of. It comes very highly recommended. We love singing and we are told that this is seen when we sing at concerts.
This singing group has had a positive effect on our chapel. Members and enthusiasm were in decline. We needed a mission, a way forward and thankfully The Tamarside Singers has certainly provided that. When we go to sing at concerts we regularly have relatives and friends of the choir travelling with us; showing too their support. We call them our “regular roadies”.
We can honestly say that the Tamarside Singers has helped to put Bridgerule Methodist Chapel back on the map!
Bridgerule Methodist Chapel