Town is not what figures suggest

MADAM - My wife and I moved to Sidmouth from the Midlands in April 2007 and recently my son sent me a copy of a reply to a member s question in the House about the percentage of persons of pensionable age in principal seaside towns in England and Wales mid 2006

MADAM - My wife and I moved to Sidmouth from the Midlands in April 2007 and recently my son sent me a copy of a reply to a member's question in the House about the percentage of persons of pensionable age in principal seaside towns in England and Wales mid 2006. The reply, which came from the Principle Statistician's Office, showed that top of the list was Sidmouth with 40 per cent.

Hard as I find it to believe this, it conjures up a picture of a sleepy town full of doddery old people with very few activities and little sparkle. The truth is that it is exactly the opposite. I would challenge anyone to find a comparable town with such a wide range of activities and associations, all well supported and catering for all needs. On the arts front, there are musical and dramatic societies of a very high standard and an extremely active Youth Theatre, which would be the envy of many far larger towns. These, in turn, support a very active theatre which also runs a programme of professional shows. In the sporting field, there can be few towns with such a diverse range of activities, all of a high standard and many supporting large junior sections.

Couple all the above, and very much more, with a delightful, small town which is an architectural gem with the most wonderful range of individual shops, a great supportive local paper and its own micro climate - was Sidmouth the only town in the southwest to escape the recent snow? - and I realise how lucky we are to live here.

Michael Savage


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