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Mayor’s October Crier Article

What a full summer we’ve had, with some beautiful weather to cheer us.  

On Saturdays throughout August and September we had a variety of Buskers in the town centre and Pannier Market to delight us. We have had a wealth of positive comments, as we have for the hanging baskets which brighten up the town so effectively. I must also mention the superb inaugural Street Market at the end of August organised by the Linda, Anne and her colleagues at the Town Hall; a brilliant event on a beautiful day which brought a renewed vibrancy to the town centre.  As we continue to emerge from lockdown, I would like to encourage the whole community of Great Torrington to support our local traders and shop local as much as possible.

I am finding my diary starting to fill up with various engagements which I am pleased to attend on behalf of the town.  One such engagement was the opening of the Northam Visitor Centre conducted by Sir Geoffrey Cox. The centre has some fascinating displays, and interactive exhibits, and is worthy of a visit. 

The Museum opening was a much-anticipated event.  The one rain shower in the area tried to dampen the spirits at the moment of ribbon cutting, but it failed dismally, and the Museum is open once more, and doing great business.  After it’s facelift, I encourage everyone to pop in for a visit.  On the roof, the Bellcote has been temporarily removed for safety concerns, and is hopefully being restored as we speak.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Calf Street Skate Park during an open day arranged by Youth Genesis, where Graffiti artists worked with some of the town’s youngsters to produce some very talented artwork. In addition, the Plough hosted the same athletic group in the main auditorium, where ramps were erected for the event. It was clear that this event was very much enjoyed by all who attended.

I have had the pleasure of visiting the Cadets and had the honour of inspecting the Unit, and welcoming the new Mayor’s Cadet, Cadet Sergeant Jack Pledger-Sussex, whose family has a long history if involvement with our Cadets. I look forward to working Jack over the coming months.

It is pleasing to see that rapid progress is being made with plans to reopen the Globe as previously reported. Torridge District Council is heading up these plans and working with the Town Council, the Plough and Petroc College. We anticipate to be able to bring much more information very soon. I am pleased to represent the town council in my position of Mayor to act as a founder member.

I cannot finish this article without mentioning the Cavalier’s superb Mayflower Bonfire! What an amazing event and huge congratulations to the Cavaliers for the relentless hard work it took to build and to host the whole day’s activities. I was privileged to help host a number of Mayors from local towns, all of whom enthused about it. One Mayor subsequently wrote and stated; “This was, without doubt, the very best event I’ve been to in Devon.  I wish I’d taken more photos. But you can’t marvel at a spectacle and look through a lens at the same time”, which I think, sums it up! Words aren’t enough to thank our Cavaliers for surpassing themselves yet again!

I look forward to the continued resuming of activity over these coming months, but let’s not be complacent about Covid19 and continue to be careful and look after yourselves and each other.

Cllr Doug Smith

Mayor of Great Torrington