700 sign petition backing Ottery’s first museum

The old Town Hall building in Ottery. Ref sho 14-16TI 8476. Picture: Terry Ife

The old Town Hall building in Ottery. Ref sho 14-16TI 8476. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A petition backing proposals for Ottery’s first museum has received 700 signatures, following a consultation by the town’s heritage society.

The group announced at the start of the month it would like to convert the Old Flexton building into a museum and heritage centre - saying it is ‘high time’ Ottery had a venue to celebrate its history.

Residents who attended a meeting last Friday hailed the the plans as a ‘good idea’, a ‘positive move’ and something that would ‘benefit young people’.

Geoff Pratt, trustee for the society, said: “The response from the business community and the general public of Ottery has been incredible.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of the meeting and the petition. The attendance at the meeting covered representatives of the church, the silver band, newcomers to Ottery, Tar Barrels, and I am satisfied that all areas of the community were represented.

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“We now need to work hard on costing the project and applying for grant monies. Provided there are no problems arising, we would be able to proceed.”

At the consultation, members of Ottery Town Silver Band raised concerns about the future of the building’s basement room, which it leases for practice and storage.

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Mr Pratt said: “The future of the silver band using the basement room is not an issue, but the trustees do need to meet the band committee to discuss the building issues as there are serious damp problems and structural issues in the band room that will need to be attended to.”

The society will present the petition and findings to the town council at its next meeting on Tuesday, May 8.

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