Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:20

Mayors News

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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. 

Bideford Music Day

My Consort Cllr Mrs Margaret Brown and I attended the Bideford Music Day on Saturday 4th August. This event was held in the beautiful well kept grounds of Victoria Park in Bideford and supports the Rainbo Music Trust a charity whose aims are to bring musical experience and tuition to a vast audience.  Families brought their own picnics and were enjoying the sunshine and listening to the music.  The weather was very warm, with lots of excellent music, food, stalls and other entertainment. The children were squealing with delight in their pool with water splashing everywhere!  Our sincere thanks to the organisers of this event which was so professionally organised from start to finish.


St Michael & All Angels Summer Fete

On Saturday 21st July Cllr Mrs Margaret Brown and I joined the May Queen with her Attendants and Heralds at the opening of St Michael and All Angels Parish Church Summer Fete.  It was a beautiful afternoon and a well attended event with lots of stalls promoting local organisations such as Men’s Shed, Friends of Torrington Library, Youth Genesis, Memory Cafe Torrington - Roscoff Exchange, ROSPA, Advanced Drivers and Riders of North Devon and many more.

The aroma of hot dogs and beef burgers were wafting out into the street which invited many more people into the Fete. It was really great to see some of our councillors attend and enjoy a well earned relaxing afternoon.  Many thanks to the ladies and gentlemen helping with all the delicious refreshments, they were kept very busy all afternoon.  

Thank you on behalf of Great Torrington Town Council for the kind invitation and I hope you did well in raising funds for the Church restoration. 

Massed Bands Concert 2018

On Friday 20th July my Consort Cllr Mrs Margaret Brown and I attended the Massed Bands 2018 Concert held at the Devon Hall, Bideford College.  The bands featured were Appledore, Bideford and Torrington and it was a musical night to remember with many familiar musical arrangements as well as some new ones.  There was comedy too, those of us who remember Les Dawson and his off key playing the piano of the Entertainer by Scott Joplin was brilliantly performed by the three bands and it was quite hilarious.  Nick Megson of our Torrington Silver Band gave an impressive solo performance of the Post Horn Gallop with plenty of audience participation adding to the fun. Thank you to the three bands, organisers and supporters who made this musical evening truly memorable. 

 Official Opening of a new business in Torrington - TEN Consultancy

I was given a very warm welcome to the opening of the TEN Consultancy office by Fiona Brandi the Director and her staff.  The office is  is based in Well Street and provides tailored recruitment services and specialises in Manufacturing, Accountancy and Finance, Business Support and Executive Permanent Roles. I thanked Fiona and her staff for the kind invitation to the opening of the business and wished her and the company success here in Great Torrington.   

Bluecoat Primary School - Potato Growing Competition

16th July was the day of the results and awards of the Potato Growing Competition at the Bluecoat Primary School. It was refreshing to see the enthusiasm and pride  the children had for this competition, it also gave them an educational opportunity to learn about the history of the potato. The winners were:-

Name                        Award          Weight

JAMES PALMER        GOLD           2605 g

HENRY SHADBOLT   SILVER         1675 g

MACY GARDINER     BRONZE       1644 g

Special Award – largest potato    THOMAS SMITH    348 g 

South West in Bloom Judging

On Thursday  morning 12 July I met with the Torrington in Bloom committee and the judges of South West in Bloom in the Council offices. I must congratulate TIB for the review shown on the video to the judges who really looked impressed. Special thanks too for the all the constant hard work they put into making our Town look really beautiful for the judging and for all year round colour. The weather was very hot for the judges and the TIB Committee as they continued their tour around the town, I didn’t envy them at all.  Silver gilt last year, let’s hope for gold this year!



Local Policing Area Awards Ceremony

On Tuesday 3rd July I attended Local Policing Area Awards Ceremony which was held at the Barnstaple Rugby Club. It was a privilege to listen to the reasons these awards were given and for the recognition of some outstanding achievements from Police Officers and Staff, and members of the public.

The nominations and awards were given for both team and individuals and included the rescuing of drownings and from house fires and negotiating skills for attempted suicides. Such bravery was over and above the call of duty.

The online child predators, child trafficking and child abuse and drug trafficking - awards given showed absolute diligence of investigation skills of the police officers and the supportive partner agencies. The perpetrators of these crimes received long prison sentences. 

Our area here in North and West Devon remains one of the safest in the country thanks to our hard working professional policing making our area a safe place to live work and visit. 

Mayor's Civic Service

Thank you to all who attended this Civic Service on Sunday 1st July, it was enjoyed by all. It also gave me the opportunity to chose my grandmothers favourite hymn : How Great Thou Art.

A well deserved applause was given to David Read the Organist who played the resounding Organ Recital Interlude - Toccata from the 5th Symphony: C.M. Widor.

My grateful thanks for the generosity of the congregation during the collection which raised £134.30 for my two charities, The Memory Cafe and North Devon Hospice. 

I would like to thank Rev. Peter Bevan, the Church Wardens, the Organist, Great Torrington Silver Band, Sgt. Jimmy Birch, Mayor’s Cadet and all the ladies for their help in preparing the Church for the service. 



Clinton Primary School Coldstream Prize Giving Ceremony

I accepted the kind invitation to attend the Clinton Primary School Coldstream Prize Giving Ceremony on Thursday 28th June. This has been an annual event held at the school for some years now and the history of it is quite fascinating. General George Monck who was the founder of the Coldstream Guards Regiment and was born in Merton in 1608. In 2011 Merton granted the freedom of the parish to the Coldstream Guards who are the oldest regular regiment in the Army. 

The children gave a very knowledgeable display both verbal and visually on their chosen projects of both World War 1 and 2 it was very impressive indeed. I also managed to chat with some teachers, we discussed the challenges facing small village schools and how some of these were being overcome.

Lt Thomas Melville gave a brief talk on the Coldstream Guards and sadly informed us all that this would be the last visit for some time as the Regiment was now preparing for a future tour of duty to Afghanistan.


Armed Forces Day

On Monday 25th June I attended the Armed Forces Day with the Flag Raising Ceremony at the Victoria Park in Bideford. 

It was a beautiful summer evening and it was a lovely sight to see the parade along the quay and into Victoria Park for the Flag Raising Ceremony. The parade included veterans, dignitaries, cadets, local groups and serving members of the Armed Forces.

This was the tenth anniversary of the Armed Forces Day and the passing of 100 years since the end of the First World War. Two aluminium figures were also unveiled to mark the occasion. 

The local primary schools of St. Mary’s School, East-the-Water Primary and West Croft and their choirs gave an entertaining number of songs which was well received by everyone.


Bideford Regatta

On Saturday June 23rd my Consort Cllr. Margaret Brown and I were given a very warm welcome to the Port of Bideford Regatta 2018. The weather was blisteringly hot but we managed to find some shade. It was quite exciting watching the races and it was also great to see how the River Torridge provides leisure opportunities for water sports as rowing for local people. This also gave us the opportunity to network with other councillors on a variety of subjects which we found very helpful indeed. It was great to see so many young people getting in lived in this sport.



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