By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead


We are getting very excited about the Ageing Well Festival planned for the Riviera Centre in Torquay in just over two months.

Once again, we are bringing together the cream of the Bay’s talent to entertain, amaze, advise and inform when we take over the main part of the Riviera for the day on Saturday, September 17th.

The Ageing Well Torbay programme may have come to a close at the end of March, but this Festival is the final swansong and we are planning on it being our biggest and best yet.

We have learned a lot from the eight festivals we have organised and run over the last seven years (including how to take a festival online when COVID means that meeting up is not possible.

But we are optimistic that this Festival will be in person and we are looking to beat our record attendance in 2019, also at the Riviera Centre when nearly 2,000 people turned up to sample the best that the Bay offers.

We are confident that we can do better and the small niggles associated with the Festival in 2019, particularly around transport and accessibility, have been addressed, meaning that getting to the Festival from anywhere in the Bay will be as easy as we can make it.

The entertainment is, as usual, stellar, and we are bringing back the very best of the Bay’s talent by popular request and it will include the ever-in-demand Sandy Sparkle, who will be performing from her range of song covers from down the ages.

Vivien and Barry will be back performing duets and recounting their fascinating lives in TV and film. The Torbay Rock Choir intends to shake the rafters belting out a whole range of contemporary hits in two performances on the main stage.

What Festival would be complete without Ann George shaking her stuff and getting others to join in to boogy the afternoon away with an end of festival dance party? Dance as much or as little as you like – remember no-one is watching.

As usual there will be lots of opportunities to try new things, whether tai chi, yoga or a whole host of other exercises and if that doesn’t float your boat then we have lined up an array of top-notch speakers.

John Risdon will be regaling us with tales of Brixham Past and Present and from the other end of the Bay Kevin Dixon will be taking us on a rollicking Great Saturday Night out in Torquay.There are also talks from the past and present of Oldway Mansion with one about the plants and gardens and another about the life and times of Paris Singer.

Add to that talks by the Disabled Sailing Association on their work in the Bay, advice on Tax and Care from Silvertime Legal and finally back to drinking, but this time water, with a talk about The Drinking Fountains of Torquay by David Hinchcliffe.

Ageing Well Torbay may be no more, but the community building team are going from strength to strength and they have now expanded their work to include all ages and the entire community building team will be at the Festival this year.

It will be an opportunity for you to meet your Community Builder in their ‘patch’ and they have created a ‘map’ of all neighbourhoods right across the Bay.It will also be the chance to meet all the people who take part in the numerous groups operating in the Bay, You could join a coffee morning, drop into a knit and natter, dip into a craft group, meet Friends of Clennon Valley and find out where the walking groups go. Find out what they do at ‘the Shed’ in Chelston. You could explore a community garden, have a go at ‘pitch and putt’, meet some drama queens, and try on some costumes.

What’s your thing? Classical music, a quiz, pyrography, yarn bombing, mosaic, lunch club, dominoes, skittles, pool, books, writing or a memory café? There will also be lots of short activity demos – yoga, line dancing, pilates, wheelchair dancing, flashmobs, hula hooping, Bollywood, tripudio flow, belly dancing and Music at the Museum.

And of course, there will be lots of stalls with all the usual information and advice. Put the date – Saturday, September 17th into your diary now. We are looking forward to seeing you all there.