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Mayors February Crier Article

Looking back since my last update in December…

Remembrance Sunday’s weather was kind to us as a large number of people attended and joined the Parade and Service at the War Memorial.  It was a relief to be able to pay our respects in the traditional manner, in person.

It’s always a delight when a new shop opens in the town, and I was most pleased to cut the ribbon for the Purple Penguin jewellery shop and continue to wish them well in their enterprise.

I was honoured to be asked to be the President of the Bickford Centre at their Annual Business Meeting.  There are lots of changes in the pipeline for the premises, and I look forward to popping in for a regular cuppa to keep up with the latest developments.

I was thrilled to be invited to the Torrington Rugby Club’s President Day lunch, hosted in their clubhouse, which was inevitably followed by a beer of two.  A match against South Molton followed, which after a fantastic tussle, we finished as runners up!  This did not dampen the experience of the event and I am grateful for the invitation to such a memorable day

The First Torrington Together meeting for over 18 months was held in the Town Hall at the end of November and was very well attended and a great success! Everyone I spoke to said how much the evenings had been missed, and how much they are looking forward to getting back to regular events again.

The Cavalier’s Bonfire Award Presentation, where the bulk of the funds raised by our Cavaliers was distributed took place in early December. A remarkable achievement all round by the Cavaliers. It was fascinating and humbling to see how many people are working tirelessly for the community, most of whom are volunteers! It was also exciting to be together in person.  Later the same day, North Devon Choral Society performed Handel’s Messiah in St Michael’s to a very appreciative audience.

The Great Torrington Water Forum held a ‘Reduce water poverty’ Seminar via Zoom during which we discussed a community forum event due to be held on the 19th March 2022 at the Town Hall. We are also exploring opportunities to visit both Great Torrington school and the Bluecoat Primary school to speak to pupils about the Water Forum and how they can be part of this initiative.

Progress with the Globe Hotel is steady, and the newly appointed Globe Directors are in talks with architects and interior design consultants where we are determined to maintain the feel of Great Torrington in the refurbishment.

The Mayfair Committee continue to prepare for this coming year’s event.   We are working our way through the ‘to do list’, and would ask anyone who can help in any way to join us in this huge undertaking.  We need help with a number of activities, for example, on Mayfair day, help with stewarding without whom, the event could not go ahead.  Please contact me if you are able to help in any way to help safeguard the future of this traditional event.

I hope that we will soon start to move forward from COVID-19 times and would like to offer my warm wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to you all!

Cllr Doug Smith

Mayor of Great Torrington