Mayors News

Mayors News (1)

Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:20

Mayors News

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National Young Musician Competition 

On Wednesday 17th October the Rotary Club held their heat of the National Young Musician Competition at Great Torrington School. The finalists in this heat crossed many different genres of music. Well done to all the talented young people of GTS who took part. The winner of this heat will go forward to the next heat will be held in Fowey, Cornwall 

The Big Bang

On Friday 12th October Cllr Margaret Brown & I attended the annual “Big Bang” at Great Torrington School which was again a great success.  Local employers, businesses and colleges of further education showed their areas of science and technology available.  It was great to see so many apprenticeships that were on offer too. Picture shows Cllr Margaret Brown with the latest technology that the Fire and Rescue service use.

100th Birthday Celebration

I met a lovely lady called Dulcie Pope today who was celebrating her 100th birthday today (11th October) at the Castle House Nursing Home. I presented Dulcie with a birthday card and a bouquet of flowers on behalf of GTTC. Dulcie told us that she was a firefighter during WW11 in Bath and how she loved living in this part of Devon. Such a lovely lady who was very young at heart.  

Army Engagement Team reception & briefing

On Tuesday 25th September we attended a reception and briefing by the Army Engagement Team at the Landmark Theatre , Ilfracombe.  We met officers from Sandhurst who were presenting this event who encouraged us to speak to the military personnel present and ask questions.

It was an interesting evening as we learned what the army was doing in active duty, off duty, sports and leisure. Emphasis was on the development of new skills, team building, decision making and leadership. There was the opportunity to take part in adventurous training and play a variety of sports in the U.K. and abroad. There are also opportunities to earn qualifications that could be used in a civilian career.

Question asked were concerning accommodation for service personal and their families. What sort of support as given to service men and woman on learning new skills prior to leaving the army and how effective they were. Also regarding how the army was dealing with the mental health problems of those who suffered from PTSD and other mental health problems.


Johnny Kingdom

It was an honour to attend Johnny Kingdom’s funeral on Sunday 23rd September at the beautiful church in Bishops Nympton. 

There were beautiful tributes from family, friends and the BBC Production Team all of whom were thankful for the legacy of Johnny who thrilled and educated millions of viewers with helping film our Devon countryside, the animals and their habitat of Exmoor. 

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Johnny. 

Barnstaple Fair & Proclamation 

Wednesday 19th September marked the Proclamation of the Ancient Fair of Barnstaple which was held at the Guildhall. Cllr Margaret Brown and I were very pleased to accept the kind invitation to attend.  

The Mayor Of Barnstaple Cllr Ian Roome announced his two charities for 2018/19 which were Families in Grief and the North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal. The reception which followed was funded by the Showman’s Guild who were very generous together with other individuals by raising several thousand pounds when they heard of the appeal by a cancer nurse who herself has terminal cancer and described how difficult it was for her daughter to come to terms with her illness. She explained that there needed to be a space dedicated for families in the hospital to have counselling and psychological help and support as children often feel left out and bewildered when a parent has such a terrible diagnosis and prognosis.

There was also a presentation of the Freedom of the Town Scroll to Lt. Col Alderson, The Commando Logistic Regiment, RMB Chivenor. This award was in recognition of the historical connections to the Town and the special relationship between the Commando Logistic Regiment, Barnstaple Town Council and its community.


Press Launch of the Peter Pan Pantomine 

On Tuesday 18th September we had a surprise invitation to the Press Launch of the Peter Pan Pantomime at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple. Cllr Margaret Brown and I met the cast and had photos taken with them as well as listening to some of their jokes and songs. It looks to be a great show.  John Altman (“Nasty Nick") of Eastenders is taking the lead as Captain Hook - I just hope he doesn’t scare the children too much!

Army Cadet's BBQ

On Friday 14th September Cllr Margaret Brown, Cllr Keeley Allin and I had an invitation to go to the Torrington Army Cadet Detachment’s BBQ held at the Cadet’s Hut at Great Torrington School. The Cadets all helped with the cooking and made fantastic mugs of tea for us, we were really impressed. The Cadets had recently returned from summer camp and were in high spirits which was great to see.  There were lots of activities for them all which they seemed to be enjoying and worked in effective teamwork.  Well done and thank you everyone for making us feel so welcome.  

Cycle Tour of Britain

Quite an exciting day today for North Devon with the 2018 Cycle Tour of Britain. Today (Monday 3rd September) saw the stage two of the race from Cranbrook to  Barnstaple, passing through the Pannier Market in South Molton. It was very noisy with sirens from police motor bikes, ambulances, in fact any loud noise a vehicle could make the better as far as the children were concerned.  Margaret Brown and I would like to thank the Mayor and Consort of South Molton for inviting us to this very exciting world famous event which will eventually end in Regent Street, London on September 9th.   


Bideford Pride and Diversity Festival

On Saturday 1st September Margaret and I spent some lovely hours in the Victoria Park, Bideford for the Bideford Pride and Diversity Festival. There was a fantastic atmosphere with lots of music from some very talented bands including The Falling Apart Group who are a favourite with the youngsters and there was even some belly dancing adding even more colour to the event.  It was great to see some of our local Councillors attending to give their support too. Members of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Team were also there engaging with the public.  Congratulations to the organisers of this brilliant event. 




Opening of the newly managed Pannier Market

On Thursday 30th August I was delighted to be asked to cut the ribbon at the Official Pannier Market Opening. Margaret and I were accompanied by Catherine Wapshott who is the Chair of the Chamber of Trade and who showed us around and introduced us to some new stall holders as well as the familiar shop owners. There are some lovely stalls and shops which had a excellent reception from visitors who often told us that they wish they lived in a little market town such as ours. I don’t think we realise how lucky we are here in Torrington.  Our good wishes to all in the Pannier Market and hope it continues to thrive.


Cavaliers Fun Day 

On the afternoon of Saturday 25th August Margaret and I then travelled up to the the Old Bowling Green where the Cavaliers were holding their Fun Day and the official unveiling of the Mayflower Bonfire 2020 sign which was unveiled by the Chairman of the Great Torrington Cavaliers Mark Keeley and the May Queen Amelia Batten. This beautiful  sign was designed and produced by Cavalier Roger Davis.  Many thanks to Cllr Chris Bright and his fiancée Lauren for standing in for me as a witnesses for this event.  We also met up and had a chat with our Great Torrington Cadets who were recently back from summer camp. They were a very lively group who were enjoying the day especially the climbing wall, it was great to see such enthusiasm from these boys and girls!


Steam Traction Engine at Tarka Valley Railway

On Saturday 25th August Margaret Brown and I accepted the kind invitation from Tarka Valley Railway to attend the exchange of gifts following the two hour journey by John Puddy, chairman of the Steamship Freshspring Society who drove his miniature traction engine from Bideford station to Torrington station. The Mayor of Bideford, Cllr. Doug Bushby and the Mayoress Sheila Busby travelled with the gift of a consignment  of SS Freshspring Steam Beer which the Mayor presented to the Puffing Billy restaurant. I presented the Mayor of Bideford with a Dartington Crystal vase - a gift  from Tarka Valley Railway to the Bideford Railway Heritage Group. This event attracted lots of people and the children seemed fascinated with the miniature steam engine. It was a really lovely day with the Tarka Valley Railway sharing their knowledge and passion for this great initiative.


History Day in the Pannier Market

On Tuesday 21st August it was "Torrington History Day" in the Pannier Market and several interesting talks and demonstrations were held. It proved very popular with everyone. Cllr. Gillian Clayton wore the beautiful costume she made for the event. Well done Gill!  


Rosemoor Flower Show 2018

On Friday 17th August I attended the opening of the RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show 2018 and it was a spectacular event of flowers, shrubs, herbs, garden accessories, in fact you name it and it was there. Bright and muted shades working so well together. The British Flower Bus was an added attraction. This bus from the television gardening show has been travelling the country. It was really beautiful and full British flowers inside. 

So many different and varied entries all looking pristine with the crowds gathering to admire them. The judges will have a difficult task with so many entries this year, I really don’t envy them. The visitors kept rolling in and it will be interesting to see the final numbers of the people who came to see this event.

Our Town Council and the Torrington Chamber of Trade will hopefully continue to forge an even closer relationship with RHS Rosemoor.     


Mayor of Northams Civic Service

On Sunday August 12th, Margaret Brown and I attended the Mayor of Northam, Cllr. Ken Davis’, Civic Service held at the St. Mary’s Church in Appledore. The theme of the service was that of the sea and the seafaring community. It was a beautiful service and so apt for the village of Appledore.  A collection was available for those who wished to donate to his two charities, Great Ormond St Hospital and Appledore St Mary’s Church Fund. 


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