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Mayors March Crier Article

I was pleased to join The Tarka Valley Railway team when they met with John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council and Cllr Andrew Saywell (DCC), Doug Bushby Chair of Torridge District Council and District Councillors Bright and Cottle-Hunkin.  It’s also the 150th anniversary this year of the line, and the group are hoping to extend their lease to something more realistic

Some of the directors of the Globe Hotel project, of which I am one, were videotaped outside the Hotel for some publicity requirements. Hopefully this filming will help promote all that is going on at the Globe, which continues to gather pace.

Like everyone else, I found the closure of New Road due to the recent landslide to be incredibly troublesome and am conscious it had a wide impact on the town and surrounding areas as it is one of our main entry points into the town.  Fortunately, Devon County Council engineers did an amazing job and cleared it enough for one-way traffic in far less time than we had at first feared…  our thanks go out to them.

One of our Former Mayors, and a Freeman of the Town, Harry Cramp, celebrated his 90th birthday on 19th January. It was the perfect excuse to drop in to see him with a card and some local choccies.  We spent a lovely time chatting about his life and travels, and I know many of you remember him as your GP as well as your mayor.  I wish him health and happiness, and look forward to our next catch up.

Our PCSOs are heading up a piece of work with the young people of town in relation to a possible “Shelter” from the rain. We are determined that the youngsters are represented at our meetings, because its their wishes and needs we are trying to address. We had two GTS pupils who came to our last meeting, and we hope to see them again, and any others who’d like to have their voices heard.

And talking of voice, The Voice FM Interviewed me about how the Town coped with the pandemic in such a successful way, and I took the opportunity to thank everyone whose efforts contained the spread of the disease so effectively. I mentioned how volunteers were found right from the start of lockdown, and what an amazing job they all did. I also had the chance to promote the town and specifically the craft, food and drink fair on the 5th March.  It would be great to see lots of people enjoying this event.

Sadly, I had to cancel the Burns Supper we were organising due to concerns around Covid at the time.  However, but I have two more events coming up:  on Friday March 18th there will be a Quiz Night at the Torrington Arms, and on Friday April 1st Big Al has kindly offered to perform at a Thai Evening at the Torridge Inn. 

I’d be really grateful for lots of support at these events, either by attending, or offering some raffle prizes of which any donations no matter how small you can afford would be very much appreciated – all funds raised will go towards my two charities this year, the North Devon Hospice, and Tarka Valley Railway

Her Majesty celebrated 70 Years on the throne this month, and plans are under way to join the entire nation at the beginning of June to celebrate the Queens unique milestone of 70 years as Monarch.

We are all very excited to say that the Mayfair arrangements are proceeding apace, but another reminder; If you can help us in any way, we’d love to hear from you. 

As we look forward to Spring, we also look forward to an exciting year ahead of celebrations and community activity!

Cllr Doug Smith, Mayor of Great Torrington