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New Members Join Great Torrington Town Council

Back in May this year we welcomed two new members to the Town Council:

Councillor Lauren Bright:

Councillor Bright is delighted to have joined Great Torrington Town Council and to be representing the Great Torrington ward on Torridge District Council. She moved to the area in 2004 and, after completing her education and establishing a career in teaching, she has been privileged to be able to buy a house in the town, get married here and start a family, with the arrival of baby Humphrey last summer. Cllr Bright wanted to become a councillor because she feels blessed to live in such a vibrant community – more time at home through the pandemic and then as a new mum has allowed her to appreciate even more keenly what Great Torrington has to offer in terms of shopping, services, recreation, events and more besides. She hopes to be able to support and advocate for the town so that it can continue to thrive and offer a good quality of life to the people that live, work and visit here. Cllr Bright feels that the town and district council bodies benefit hugely from having a diverse range of members and she looks forward to being able to bring her own experience, ideas and energy to both councils.

Councillor Penelope Hewitt:

Councillor Hewitt is excited to join Great Torrington Town Council.  She grew up in Bideford, studied at Petroc, and then moved to London to study for a degree in History.  After finishing her first degree, Cllr Hewitt undertook nursing training at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.  She then came home to North Devon to raise her family as she wanted them to enjoy the same freedom in the countryside that she had enjoyed as a child.  Cllr Hewitt worked at North Devon District Hospital for 10 years and currently nurses at Hatchmoor Nursing Home.  She is passionate about ensuring Great Torrington thrives and develops its potential as a beautiful market town, surrounded as it is by such an amazing natural resource: Torrington Commons.  In particular, Cllr Hewitt is interested in ensuring sufficient affordable housing is built in Great Torrington.

GTTC’s New Councillor

The Town Council is very pleased to announce that Bruce Callaghan-Martin was voted onto the town council as the newest councillor at the September Council meeting.  Cllr Callaghan-Martin is well known throughout the community of Great Torrington having lived in the town for 17 of the last 25 years. During this time, he has been involved in various community activities and currently has a business in the town.

Cllr Callaghan-Martin said; I feel extremely honoured to have been accepted onto Great Torrington Town Council and will strive to act in the very best interest of Great Torrington and its residents at all times. Becoming a councillor gives me a deep sense of pride and I look forward to working with the mayor and the other councillors for the benefit of our beautiful historic town and our lovely community”. The Town Council is very happy to welcome Cllr Callaghan-Martin and looks forward to working together in the future.

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

A huge thank you to all who helped over the 4-day holiday period as we celebrated the Queens amazing achievement of serving her country for 70 years as our Monarch.  Our Town Crier joined others nationally by reading a Proclamation in the Town Centre at the ordained time of 2.00pm on the 2nd June.  On the same day the Cavaliers excelled themselves again by hosting a “Fun Day” at the Old Bowling Green which culminated with Stuart Gisbey Piping Diu Regnare, with the Bugle Call, “Majesty” played by Nick Megson immediately prior to the lighting of the Beacon which was followed by fabulous fireworks!

The weather was perfect and it was fabulous to see so many there, all enjoying being together.  A huge thank you to the Cavaliers who arranged it all, including building the Beacon and also the Town Band, Stuart, Nick and all who took part in the Fun Day and evening activities.

Thanks, are also extended to the Commons Conservators for allowing all of this to take place on common land.

The Sunday brought with it the Community Jubilee Picnic but also inclement weather!  On Saturday it was agreed to switch from the town centre to the Town Hall.  What a lovely afternoon it turned out to be with the Town Hall full of people of all ages in every room.  As people “picnicked” so the Town Band played renditions of suitable jubilee music.  Rob Pudner and his accomplice Chris entertained the children and adults alike, Della painted children’s faces beautifully and there were various games and activities for all to join in with, along with a crown competition.  It truly was a great afternoon and we again extend thanks to everyone involved from those who made paper flowers for the tables, to volunteers who helped set up and set down, and all who helped on the day.  Special thanks to all at the Town Hall who pulled all the stops out to enable the switch of venue at short notice!

A fabulous few community days, which demonstrates time and time again how great the community of Great Torrington really is!

Mill Street railings

The town council’s Technicians have started work painting the railings along Mill Street.  This will be a long job undertaken in intervals, but it is already clear to see  what a difference it is making!  Please see the “before and after” picture of a stretch recently painted.

Craft, Food and Drink Fair

As one of our Welcome Back Fund initiatives, the town council tendered for an events company to organise a Craft, Food and Drink Fair. South West Events Management, headed up by Lucy Lowe was the successful applicant.  The initial arrangement was to host the event on Saturday 5th March over two venues; the Town Hall and the Pannier Market.  During the early preparation stage it became apparent there was a high demand from stall holders to attend.  The event subsequently progressed to spread further afield and additional venues, namely Castle Hill and the Plough were added.  

We are really pleased to say that we consider the event to have been a huge success. We were blown away with the quality and variation of the goods on offer as well as the number of people who attended! The weather was also on our side with glorious sunshine beaming down on the town centre as our very own Town Band played beautifully in support of the event. The town was buzzing and the atmosphere superb with positive feedback from stall holders and local shops. It also served as a great opportunity to showcase the town and feedback indicates that many of the visitors on the day will come back and visit us again.

A big thank you to Lucy, all the stallholders and those who worked hard behind the scenes at the various venues to help make the Fair such a success. We are also grateful to Rosemoor for providing a shuttle bus service to and from the town.

New year, new job? Lots of exciting opportunities at Active Torridge!

Active Torridge are currently looking to recruit and fill a number of future roles in their leisure centres across Torridge. From April 2022 Active Torridge will be taking over the running and management of all the leisure facilities within the Torridge area with current hubs located at Northam, Holsworthy and Great Torrington.

Successful applicants will be joining our existing pool of employees and play an important role in the shaping and development of sport and leisure in the Torridge area. You will ideally have a real passion for health, fitness and leisure and we are looking for people who will share our vision for the transformation of leisure in Torridge in the years to come. The accessibility and sustainability of our leisure assets and services will be a key focus for the team we are currently putting together.

The roles available include:

  • Centre Managers
  • Duty Managers
  • Heads of Departments/ Business Managers
  • Leisure Assistants (Lifeguards)
  • Member Services Assistants
  • Health & Fitness Instructors
  • Admin Assistants
  • Swimming Instructors
  • Sports Coaches
  • Group Exercise Instructors
  • Cleaners

So, if you would like to work for an exciting and forward-thinking employer that operates in a dynamic service area, then don’t delay and get in touch. Whether you’re an experienced leisure professional looking for a step up the ladder or fancy working in a completely different industry or want to relocate to stunning area of natural beauty, the Active Torridge team want to hear from you!

Active Torridge will be recruiting from the 7th February 2022. The best way to stay up to date with the latest news is to like and follow ‘Active Torridge’ on Facebook or alternatively email for more information.

The Torridge HR team will also be running a recruitment fair at Caddsdown Business Centre in Bideford on the 22nd of February from 2:00pm – 7:00pm.

Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin – Lead Member for Community Culture and Leisure said:

“It’s fantastic that Active Torridge are offering such a wide variety of interesting roles and are supporting local employment. The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of health and fitness, so the team at Active Torridge will play a crucial role in enhancing leisure provision and making sure it is accessible for all. We hope the recruitment fairs will be a good opportunity to come and find out a bit more about the roles on offer.”