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Current Issues

A Tribute to Christine Porter

Members, officers and volunteers of the Town Council were deeply saddened to hear the news of the untimely death of Christine Porter.  Christine was instrumental in setting up the GTTC Dementia Friendly Community Working Group, striving to improve all aspects of day-to-day living within the community for those living with dementia as well as their Carers.  Christine was passionate about this initiative and worked extremely hard “on the ground” and alongside other members of the group.  Christine was an inspiration to so many and will be greatly missed by everyone who worked with and had the privilege to know her.  Our thoughts are vey much with Christine’s family and friends at this sad time.

Karen Chapman (Town Clerk)

Great Torrington Town Council Marketing Working Group

We reported last December about the newly formed Marketing Working Group.  Since then, the group has been busy and you will note from the front page of the CRIER, one of the main pieces of work has been updating the “Town Map” and John Wardman’s “Civil War Trail”.  These will join the new “Heritage Trail” map which was finalised at the end of last year, created by Emily Wapshott and the Futures Group. By mid-April, we will have 3 maps available in paper form and will distribute these far and wide, but would also like to encourage our local residents to grab copies and either have a look at what the town has to offer in respect of a unique shopping experience and/or take in one of the history trails and learn more about the wonderful heritage of your amazing town!

Last Autumn, the CDT asked the Town Council if we would take over the membership of the North Devon Marketing Bureau (NDMB). Members agreed  and we have ensured that we have maximised the quota of  photos we are able to display on the Visit Devon website as well as populated the site with appropriate information about Great Torrington.  In addition, we have also subscribed to a half page advert in the “Visit Devon” booklet which is distributed nationally.

We have spent some time boosting the One Great Torrington website by adding in various community groups.  It is envisaged that the “OneGreatTorrington” website ( will be the portal for the town and will point people to various activities, shops, groups etc.

Closer to home again, we are looking at other activities and opportunities. The working group is currently planning a History Alive weekend in September 2022, which was reported on last month and there is talk of designing a heritage calendar for 2022. We are also looking for local treasure hunt style activities throughout the town which can be added to the One Great Torrington website to be used by a whole host of people, including children.  If you have any such trails, and you are happy to share them, please contact the Town Council.

What continues to be evident throughout all of this work is the plethora of volunteers who work tirelessly and passionately for the community of Great Torrington. We are very fortunate!

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any ideas as to how we can promote the great things our town has to offer and keep an eye out in future editions of The Crier for updates on how we are progressing.

History Alive

We know we live in a historic town when our “New” Street was built in the 12th century, but how much do we really know about our town’s history and the lives of the people who lived here before us? Wouldn’t it be something if the past could come to life?

That’s the whole idea of “History Alive”. The event will be part of a national heritage weekend 10th-11th September 2022. Alongside the Town Council’s newly formed Marketing Working Group and using the inspiration of other local groups in our town and groups of friends and individuals, we aim to recreate some of the events that have shaped our town and the nation’s history. We could portray anything from Great Torrington’s role in making the nation’s favourite tinned rice pudding, and fashionable gloves, through to the transport innovations of the canal and railway. The town has been no stranger to conflict. There have been conflicts over Great Torrington cemetery, the fencing-in of common land, with the lepers, the destruction of two castles, and national conflict between Cavaliers and Roundheads that was fought out on our streets in 1646. More recently the impact of the First and Second world wars on the town.

As a town, over the years, we have showcased our history: the Cavaliers re-enacted the explosion of Great Torrington church in 1646 at one of their famous bonfires, the informative work done by the Rolle Canal and Tarka Valley Railway groups, the role of the old Torrington 1646 centre, and the work of the local history society. Plus, the local history work done in our schools, and by the Commons Conservators, the Plough and its musicians and players, local historical authors and the Taddiport Lepers. The Mayfair Carnival is a yearly witness to the creativity of local groups and groups of friends. Let’s bring it all together on a weekend in 2022, with talks, demonstrations, guides, re-enactments etc. Starting the planning now, gives us the time we need to formulate ideas and by Autumn this year we could be ready to go to press for inclusion in national and regional tourist publicity literature. We really want to involve as many local people and community groups as possible so to learn more and get involved, please contact one of us.

Town Council:; 01805 626135

John Wardman:; 01805 622622

Dave Gibbons: 

Peter Hood:       01805 622433

Annual Town Meeting – Thursday 15th April 2021

Notice is hereby given that Great Torrington Annual Parish Meeting will be held via Video Conference on Thursday 15th April 2021 at 7.00 pm. 

The Mayor of Great Torrington will submit a report on the Town Council’s activities during 2020/21.  Consideration will be given to any matters raised by Registered Electors who reside within the parish of Great Torrington.

We would be very pleased to see members of the community at this meeting and would value your thoughts regarding priorities for the Council going forward.

For Video Conference details to enable you to join the meeting, please contact the Town Council before Thursday 15th April @ Noon

Karen Chapman (Town Clerk)

Post expires at 7:00pm on Thursday April 15th, 2021

All mapped out!

There’s a lot going on in Devon right now by way of coronavirus vaccination and testing centres, so Devon County Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have created a map to show you what’s happening where.

The information is pulled together from various places, and includes hospital vaccination hubs, local vaccination centres, temporary GP vaccination clinics, large scale vaccination centres, and pharmacy vaccination sites.

You can also find your nearest community testing sites, NHS mobile testing units, NHS local testing sites and NHS regional testing sites.


Aviva Community Fund 2021

We’ve been running the Aviva Community Fund for over four years, and we’re proud to have helped thousands of small charities and good causes build stronger communities all across the UK.

And now, we’ve teamed up with Crowdfunder to give charities and community interest companies the opportunity to further build their capabilities, drive sustainable fundraising and leverage our talented and enthusiastic workforce to get their best and brightest ideas off the ground.

Applications are now open for the next round of the Aviva Community Fund until 7th April – APPLY NOW.

Take part
Applications are open all year, with quarterly funding rounds for eligible charities. Funding is available for fresh ideas looking to secure up to £50,000. Plus, our Knowledge Library, Facebook Group and volunteer opportunities are available to all.

Take a close look
Submissions for round 2 close at 23.59 on 7 April When applying, you’ll see our new requirements – check these closely to make sure your idea meets the new criteria.

Ready to take off
Submissions will be reviewed for eligibility. You can use this time to look through the support and resources on offer to help you prepare and make the most of your campaign.

Take it away!
All Crowdfunder pages go live on 5 May. Causes can share projects with their networks of supporters to raise public donations.

Take advantage of the fund
On 11 May projects open to Aviva Community Fund employee donations. Aviva employees will be able to view projects and between them will share out £250,000 of funding.

Take your time
You have until 8 June to receive Aviva Community Fund donations. But don’t worry if you’ve not reached your fundraising target. You can keep your page open and continue public fundraising.

Take it to the next level
Reached your fundraising target? Congratulations! You’ll have the funds and a whole bunch of new supporters all wanting to help you make your idea a reality.

Take them on a journey
People have donated, they’ve connected with your cause. They’ll be interested to see how things progress so be sure to keep your donors informed and engaged with the great things you’re achieving.

Click here for more information

How to contact the police in a non-emergency

If you need to contact the police, and it’s not an emergency then follow these simple steps to make sure you get the help you need: 

  1. Are you wanting to report a breach of Covid 19 restrictions?
    If you are reporting a breach of restrictions then you can do this using the national reporting form on the website –
  2. AskNED – the non-emergency directory
    Need to ask a question but not sure who to ask for help, then AskNED –  
  3. Go online – On the force website you can find the answers to many of the questions people ask when calling the police plus lots of helpful information and advice.
  4. Report Crime Online If you need to report a crime or tell the police something, then why not report online using WebChat or the Crime Reporting Form.  Alternatively, you can email
  5. Call – 101 Non-emergency number

Remember in an emergency, always call 999.