Local Council Personalities

Andy Griffiths, the younger son of the late Frank Griffiths (a well-known teacher in Great Torrington) is our Beadle and P3 Coordinator.  

Returning home after 30 years of military and pre-hospital emergency care service around the world, Andy has held the position of P3 (Parish Paths Partnership) Coordinator for 14 years.  The P3 Coordinator is responsible for inspecting and maintaining town footpaths out with the town Commons.  More recently Andy has taken on the important role of Beadle for the town.  The Beadle’s duties include accompanying the Mayor to various functions as well as taking part in events within the town.

Andy follows a long-standing family tradition of service to the local community.

For over 25 years, Mario kept the recreation fields in top condition for the local football players and school sports days. The locals called it the Wembley Turf because the surface was so good! Part of the secret of good pitch management is managing the team matches in poor weather and Mario has had to cancel a few fixtures in his time against the popular vote! Mario retired from his post as Groundsman on 31st May 2018 and is thanked greatly for his service and hard work over the years.

Originally from Italy, Mario came to Great Torrington via Sweden to work in the glass industry at the Dartington factory He met Gwen, a former Torrington May Queen and stayed! The family have enjoyed many May Days with children and grandchildren enjoying roles over the years as May Queens and attendants and now Mario himself, as a Mace Bearer .

The pageantry appeals and he is hoping to enjoy many more May Days.

Tim spent the entirety of his happy childhood in Great Torrington and has always been a proud Torringtonian. At primary school, he was never happier than on Mayfair day when dancing around the May pole. From the age of 8 until he turned 18 he was a member of the Silver Band and proudly recalls taking part in civic events and marching through the town, and has been fortunate to be able to continue playing with the band on occasions even after moving away from Torrington to go to university and start his teaching career. 

In 2004 he left Torrington to study history and to qualify as a history teacher. Although his first teaching job took him to historic Kent, he continued to visit his friends and family in Great Torrington and never stopped considering Great Torrington as ‘home’. Indeed, from the moment he accepted the job in Kent he held returning to Great Torrington as a long-term ambition. Happily, in 2017 he was able to realise this ambition and was delighted to accept the role of history teacher at Great Torrington School and move back to Great Torrington. Teaching has always given him satisfaction, but the chance to return home and inspire Great Torrington’s young people to take an interest in their heritage - and to teach in his former school - has proved to be the greatest satisfaction of all. 

His knowledge of Great Torrington’s history is a passion that extends well beyond his profession, he well appreciates the historic significance of the town maces and the role of the town council in Great Torrington’s vibrant civic calendar. He is therefore delighted to have the opportunity to further contribute to the life of Great Torrington; the home town which has done so much for him and feels truly honoured to repay his debt to the town in this way.

 

 

 

The Town Crier has an important role in Great Torrington.  He is there to bring order to various celebrations and events.  He announces the Mayor and the Town Clerk and his loud voice is essential when there is noisy crowd to silence, particularly during the Proclamation of the Mayfair.

Al Mitchell has held the position for many years.  He worked at Dartington Crystal and now since he has retired helps maintain the Commons which is another important job.  Al  is also well known as a musician and has been in a number of bands over the years.  He is an excellent instrumentalist on guitar and sings a range of types of music.

As well as being the current Town Crier and Flag Raiser, Al has also agreed to take on the role of Town Marshall for the Town Council. The Town Marshall assists the Town Council at civic events where a parade takes place.  It is the Town Marshall’s role to ensure the correct order for the parade and that it departs on time.

 

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