Following an incredibly busy May and early June, life has returned to some semblance of normality!
In June I was very happy to accompany Councillor Jude Gunn, The Mayor of Bideford to the Ceremony of flag raising on Armed Forces Day in Victoria Park. Councillor Doug Bushby Chair of TDC and several Torridge District Councillors were also in attendance.
The second meeting of Torrington Together since the lifting of restrictions at the end of June was a great success. We heard from speakers representing Torrington in Bloom, Tarka Valley Railway, RHS Rosemoor, Torrington Silver Band, Cavaliers and many more. The evening was well attended, and as always, it was great to hear updates from various organisations across the town. We are very fortunate to have so many volunteers working hard in the community!
The Town Council along with the town was very sad to hear of the death of Dr Harry Cramp MBE. Harry was a long-serving councillor, thrice Mayor and a Freeman of the town. Many people remember him fondly as their GP, and stories of Harry abound. I was privileged to spend a morning with him earlier this year on the day before his 90th birthday, when we had a couple of hours of laughter and exchanged tales of travel
The day of Harry’s funeral saw a packed St Michael’s and all Angels church where the congregation gathered to pay their final respects and celebrate Harry’s amazing life whilst mourning his passing. A much loved and respected local legend! On the day, someone commented that the church was about the safest place to have a medical emergency, as there were so many doctors under the one roof, either Harry’s offspring, or former colleagues. Family and friends gathered in the Town Hall after the service for the ‘Wake’.
Brian Wood’s unexpected death came just a couple of days after Harry’s funeral. A loss of yet another local character! Brian was a former Mace Bearer for the Town Council as well as having worked in the town, keeping it tidy. Brian will be sorely missed within the community and our condolences go to Brian’s family and friends.
One of my Charities this year is The Devon Air Ambulance who held an Open Day at Bideford Rugby Club during one of our mini heatwaves. Luckily our Local Ice Cream van was in attendance and performed magical restorative powers to many in need. The Helicopter is a regular visitor to our skies, and only a day or so before this event, one had responded to a call by landing in Torrington Football Club Ground. Many people don’t realise that the Air Ambulance is financed solely by public donations. I would therefore encourage any donations to be made if you are able.
At the time of writing this article the community was experiencing a number of serious incidents in our normally tranquil town. A couple of thefts, anti-social behaviour and serious incidents of arson had been reported, all of which were extremely upsetting and dangerous.
The Council has limited Powers, but in response to this spate of incidents, has arranged a meeting between a number of agencies who do have influence, and include the Police, Torridge District Council, GTS and the Fire Service in an attempt to facilitate a coordinated community response. The Town Council is incredibly shocked and saddened by these events and hope that we can work together as a community to ensure that all matters are dealt with appropriately and for restoration of a sense of calm within our midst.
On a brighter note, as I write, we are in the middle of a heatwave, so please do be conscious of the dangers to vulnerable people and animals. Pavements are blisteringly hot, and paws are very susceptible to burning… Enjoy the weather, but be vigilant.