Babbacombe Bay is an incredibly thriving area filled with groups of all sorts to join.
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Babbacombe and St Marychurch Probus
Probus is a national organisation, intended as a fellowship of retired professional and business men. The group is dedicated to helping one another in the enjoyment and problems of retirement. Here in Babbacombe and St Marychurch the local Probus club is very friendly and welcomes new members, particularly if you are newly retired, fresh to the area or perhaps recently bereaved. The group has around 30 members, whose former occupations include retired teachers, sales representatives and RAF pilots, making for some stimulating discussions. The group meets every Thursday morning from September through to May. They have recently moved their meetings to a very comfortable room in the hall of St Matthias’ church at Wellswood. The bus from Babbacombe & St Marychurch stops right outside, and there is car parking too. There’s time for a coffee and a chat before a talk from one of the many excellent speakers. For 2020 topics include everything from the Hindenburg disaster, through a journey round West Sussex to the recollections of a pantomime dame! With a Christmas lunch, and all sorts of summer activities such as pub meets and coffee mornings in members’ gardens, this group is active all year round. There is an annual membership fee and a charge of £2 per meeting to include tea/coffee and biscuits plus entry into a raffle, a real bargain. If you are interested in joining but want to find out more you are very welcome to come along to up to three meetings, free of charge and with no obligation, before deciding whether to join. For more information, call the Secretary, Philip Kay on 01803 323551 or click here to visit their website.
Babbacombe Bay Bloomers
The Babbacombe Bay Bloomers (as they are now known) actually started their life under a different name back in 1998, as the St Marychurch District Action Group. The aim of the group is to make this beautiful area just a bit more beautiful. This they do through tending various gardens and public open spaces. You know when you’re wandering around and see some gorgeous little bank or border filled with flowers and wonder who on earth does that? Well, it may be that this group is responsible. Some of their areas are: St Marychurch Precinct, The Millennium Copse, The Rose Garden, Babbacombe Downs Buglife Flower Bed, and the corner by Abbey School. Winners of many Britain in Bloom awards this group is always keen to meet potential new members who want to join in and help them in their efforts. To find out more, or to join the group, simply click here to take a look at their website.
Babbacombe Corinthian Sailing Club
Babbacombe Corinthian Sailing Club was founded in 1935. The Club’s headquarters were established in an old fisherman’s hut on Oddicombe Beach. The Club’s first race was sailed on 6th July 1935 and it became affiliated to, what was then, the Yacht Racing Association in the following year. Today, the club is thriving and offers sailing for all ages and levels of experience. It is an RYA training centre, with courses in sailing as well as safety boat and powerboat handling. There are regular meets down on Oddicombe Beach to enjoy racing, training or just some glorious social sailing. It’s all about having fun and experienced sailors and club instructors are always on hand to offer advice and guidance to any new members. You don’t have to own a boat, there is a fleet available that can be hired for a small fee. If you do have your own boat, storage facilities are available. If sailing’s not your thing don’t let that put you off becoming a social member. The St Marychurch clubhouse is open most evenings and at weekends and there is a calendar of all sorts of exciting events throughout the year including quizzes, training talks, themed evenings and plenty of great sport to watch on the big screen while relaxing with friends. Annual membership, which runs from 1 March each year, is £25 for adults, £20 for seniors and £10 for juniors. Click here to check out their website and find out more.
Babbacombe Ukulele Strummers
This is a group of ukulele loving folk of all ages who get together each week to sing, play and learn the ukulele.
Everyone is encouraged to play and sing at their own level and the group performs in public at various events and venues throughout the year. The group meets each Monday evening in the Precinct Centre in St Marychurch where a huge range of music is played, and the group enjoys each other’s company and have a good sing-along. The group also part-organises the incredibly popular Babbacombe Ukulele Festival, along with the team at Babbacombe Cliff Railway. The Babbacombe Ukulele Festival, which was re-named The John Ayres Ukulele Proms in 2018 after its founder, John Ayres, sadly passed away, most recently took place in June 2019 with around 200 performers throughout the day in the Music Marquee down on Oddicombe Beach. For more information on this great addition to Babbacombe Bay’s social groups please click here to visit their website
Ladies’ Lounge is a drop in centre for vulnerable women in the heart of Torquay. It provides a vitally important, safe space for women to go when they need a bit of help, want to make some new friends, chat, be listened to and perhaps ask for a bit of advice. All are welcome and cared for within this group and, since it was set up back in 2015, many women have found it a haven and a really important stepping stone to helping them deal with all sorts of issues. Ladies’ Lounge is located on the top floor of the Salvation Army building, Market Street, Torquay and the group meets on Mondays between 11.30am and 2pm and Wednesdays from 1.30pm to 4pm. There is a free lunch on Mondays and tea, coffee and cakes on Wednesdays. There is also a craft table on both days where everyone can relax and make beautiful things. The ethos of this charity is to listen, uplift and help if required. There is no judgement, no demands made and total confidentiality in this safe and supportive place. For more information on Ladies’ Lounge please click here to go to their website.
Local History Society
If you’re passionate about this area and interested in local history, then this may be the group for you. First started in 2004 the group was set up to further interest in the local history of St Marychurch and Babbacombe and to encourage participation in research to publish information that ensures the history of the area is recorded in the form of photos, memorabilia and recording memories from local people. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month, from September to April at 7.30pm at St Anne’s Hall in Babbacombe. There is usually a talk by a local historian with a question and answer session, followed by coffee and tea when members are encouraged to socialise. The Christmas party is when the committee show how silly they can be with a fabulously fun panto. There is no charge for members, and non-members are charged £3. With other social activities taking place during the summer months, including a cream tea and quiz this vibrant group is growing in numbers all the time. The group also offers guided walks around St Marychurch and Babbacombe throughout July, August and September which anyone can go on, as well as personal walks for other clubs or groups by arrangement. With new members always welcome there is a membership fee of just £4 per person or £6 for a family. What a great way to really become part of the community’s future as well as preserve its past.
For more information on the society and all its activities please click here to visit their website.
Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN)
The Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN) was set up in the summer of 2009 after founder Luke Tillen happened upon a television programme featuring a couple who were giving families with terminally ill children free holidays. So inspired was Luke that he then threw himself into trying to do the same in Torbay. Grabbing the vision, over 100 local businesses, services and attractions, and a host of amazing supporters and fund raisers have, in just ten years, supported over 800 families (3,000+ family members) living with serious illness or bereavement – whether a son or daughter with a serious illness or tragically passed away, or a family with a terminally ill parent or again sadly one where the mum or dad has died. The idea being that these families can have a break from the rigours of some of what they have to go through and, hopefully, relax and make some great memories together when staying at some wonderful accommodation, enjoying family days out or some wonderful food from gorgeous eateries. THHN is always on the look out for new accommodation providers, businesses, eateries and groups that would like to become a part of their network – together making some priceless differences. For lots more information, family feedback and to meet the team, please visit their website at https://www.thhn.co.uk/
THHN is a registered charity no.1146245