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Annual Council Official Events

Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service 13th November 2022

This year Remembrance Sunday falls on the 13th November 2022. The Royal British Legion will once again hold a Remembrance Ceremony at the War Memorial in the Cemetery, commencing at 10.50am.

There will be some significant changes this year.

1. The Parade Route: The Parade will form at the Old Bowling Green and parade “UP” New Street to the Cemetery.

2. Dismissal at the end of the Service: The Service will be dismissed in the cemetery, contrary to previous arrangements. The mayor will give his thanks followed by “God Save The King” – 2 verses. The order for dismissal will allow for those at the back to be the first to leave.

3. Standard Practice: Will move from the Pannier Market to the Town’s Band room in Castle Street. Further information will be sent to individual organisations nearer the time.

Ordering of wreaths will be the same as last year and should be ordered direct from the Royal British Legion in plenty of time. A wreath can be ordered by contacting the Royal British Legion on 0345 845 1945. The wreath will be posted out to you.

Karen Chapman (Town Clerk)

The Mayor’s Civic Service 2022

The Mayor’s Civic Service was held on Sunday 4th September at the Methodist Church in Great Torrington. The parade from Sydney House car park to the church was led by the Silver Band followed by the Cadets, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, officers and Councillors of Great Torrington Town Council, visiting Mayors and Dignitaries, representatives/chairs of local organisations, Cubs and Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.  Thank you to everyone who attended and took part, to Revd Rob Blackhall for leading the service and to the Methodist Church for hosting the event and providing the refreshments afterwards.

Mayor’s Chosen Charities 2022/23 – Cllr Doug Smith

Our community is relatively isolated, and in times of crisis when time is critical, we have to rely on charitably funded organisations.  It is hard to believe that when we need help at sea, and the RNLI is called out, that they rely on donations to continue to function.

In the same way, we have another time critical lifeline especially here in our community, therefore my first Charity is Devon Air Ambulance, and I ask you to give generously throughout the coming year, as you always do to them.

A large part of my life until the age of 20 was taken up the Scouting Movement.  I gained the Queen’s Scout Award in 1963, and a year later was presented by Prince Philip in person with His Gold Award. The spinoff from working toward these goals has remained a guiding force throughout my adult life, and lessons learned have hopefully made me a more rounded and caring person. 

My wish is to support The Scouting movement, and to this end my second charity will be the sister organisation – The Guides.

During these financially challenging times, Charities in general are finding it increasingly difficult to fund even their basic needs. They still have overheads which are crucial to their operational effectiveness. The generosity of Great Torrington’s residents is legendary, and I appeal yet again to them to think kindly on those organisations who rely on them especially in these difficult times for their continued support.

Town Council Awards 2021/22

This year the Town Council has given the Howe Plate Award to Shirley Bere in recognition of the voluntary work she does with the Bickford Centre, the Foodbank and generally across the wider community.

The Mayor’s Good Citizen Award for 2021/22, was given by Cllr Doug Smith to Tobias Kennedy Matthews for the work he has done in support of the community of Great Torrington throughout Covid restrictions as well as other times of the year, for example, providing and delivering over 250 Christmas meals.

An additional Award was granted to Chris Allen as he retired from his work at Torridge District Council in recognition of his contribution over the past 20 years keeping the town clean and tidy.

Karen Chapman

Town Clerk

Mayor’s Chosen Charities 2021/22 – Cllr Doug Smith

When my appointment as Mayor of Great Torrington was announced, the support and encouragement I had from our retiring Mayor Cllr. Keeley Allin and so many friends and associates has been humbling and most gratifying. I was honoured to have received the confidence of my fellow Councillors, and will do all in my power to justify that trust. It will be a genuine privilege being your Mayor.

The decision about which two Local Charities are named as Mayor’s Charities for the upcoming year has been the first of many delightful challenges facing me.

A little over three years ago my late wife and I were overwhelmed by the kindness and care showered on us by the North Devon Hospice during the difficult latter part of her life. The Hospice is a very special organisation, and so many of us have benefited from its unique contribution to the community.  Covid has impacted dramatically on the funds coming into this charity on which they rely so heavily, so I will be urging everyone to continue giving as generously as ever to this vital local resource by supporting my Charity

The presence of a thriving Heritage Railway will surely put us on the ‘Holiday’ map for many more people. Tarka Valley Railway has a momentous anniversary in the offing, so I know we are going to be hearing much more from them about this event in the coming months. Emerging from lockdown, and looking at the many roads to recovery, it is clear that Tourism is one of the keys to Great Torrington’s continued regeneration, and I look forward to working with this lively group, and to supporting them with my Mayor’s Charity.