TOPSHAM, Devon

Topsham is an attractive town on the Exe estuary, Devon, in England's Westcountry. Now part of Exeter, it nevertheless maintains a distinctive identity. Loved by its locals, and savoured by those who visit, Topsham offers river walks; wildlife; a Saturday morning market; many characterful shops, restaurants and inns; and quiet space to sit and watch the sailing boats go by. But while present-day Topsham is undoubtedly picturesque and has a rich historical heritage, it always has been a working town. Despite no longer being one of the great trading ports of Britain, it continues to have a very strong business and commercial life, with traditional maritime trades continuing alongside the modern and computerised. The site aims to support and encourage the current and future community, so that the history which awaits us may be just as interesting and rewarding.

Topsham - looking north from Quay

Topsham Community Association

The Topsham Community Association - registered charity no. 274593 - was formed in 1977.

Its objects and activities are to:* promote the wellbeing of the inhabitants of Topsham without distinction of sex, race, religion, political or other opinions by: assisting the local authorities and voluntary organisations; advancing education; and by providing facilities in the interests of social welfare and recreation.
* secure, maintain and manage a Community Centre (Matthews Hall) for activities promoted by the Association in furtherance of its objects.

Topsham Community Plan 2007-2012
Starting in May 2004, under the auspices of Topsham Community Association and Topsham Community Association, a series of meetings began, for the purpose of collating a Community Plan for Topsham's future at the beginning of the 21st century. A public meeting in late 2004 presented the issues and asked for comment, followed up with further questionnaires in 2005 and public meetings in 2006, resulting in the publication of the plan by the Topsham Community Plan Action Group.

Topsham Community Association activities
Topsham Community Association is active in many local issues relating to the quality of life in Topsham: campaigning for road signs, finger posts and pedestrian crossings; the instigation of a Car Club car-sharing scheme; representing residents over bus service needs; coordinating opposition to proposals that adversely affect the character of the town; youth leisure activities; and hosting community discussion meetings.

Its organisation
All Topsham residents are automatically members of the Topsham Community Association (TCA). It is a voluntary organisation having 4 trustees, and a General Committee consisting of 5 honorary officers namely a President, Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary , 3 elected members, up to 4 coopted members and an Exeter City Council representative. The Vice Chair is the Chair of the Matthews Hall Committee who, together with the Secretary, Treasurer, two elected members, a Saturday Traders’ representative, and 3 part time employees (live in Caretaker, Bookings Manager and Market Manager), manage the running and maintenance of the Hall and report to the General Committee.

Matthews Hall
Matthews Hall is leased to the Association by Exeter City Council under a 25 year lease dated 14/04/99. It is managed by a live-in Caretaker and 2 part time employees reporting to the Hall Chairman who is a member of the General Committee. Matthews Hall is in daily use for preschool playgroup; badminton; line dancing; drama groups; pantomime; art and music groups; meetings of many local clubs and societies; private functions; and - on Saturdays - a traders’ market. There is a cafe in the entrance hall, and the Hall otherwise serves as Town Hall, for example as a polling station.

Matthews Hall has its own website at www.matthewshalltopsham.co.uk

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