Community spirit makes Honiton home says Bev
- Credit: Archant
Bev Stamp, of Natural Beauty by Bev, speaks about Honiton
Please introduce yourself
My name is Bev Stamp. I’m 43 and I am owner of Natural Beauty by Bev, which has been operating in Honiton for just over 15 years. I was born and bred in Honiton, and was a pupil at Upottery Primary School and Honiton Community College. I learned my trade at Taunton and Exeter colleges, and I am a licensed beauty and complementary therapist.
What do you think Honiton’s biggest asset is?
Its placement in East Devon – it is near the M5 and is quite central. It has good bus and train services, and as it’s a drive-through town, it’s popular with tourists. I also think it has a uniqueness in that it’s a market town. When you think of Seaton and Sidmouth, they don’t really have a market, so that makes Honiton have a slight quirkiness.
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What’s your favourite memory associated with Honiton?
As a child, I loved the livestock market. I was born into a farming family so I used to attend the market with my grandparents. The market had great community spirit and you saw plenty of local familiar faces. It was also nice to see the animals and help farmers unload and load up. I also loved Hot Pennies from a young age. I always used to collect the coins and run to the shops and get our penny sweets, which you can’t get anymore! Honiton Carnival was also a great attraction. I used to love the fair.
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What’s your favourite building in Honiton and why?
I like St Michael’s Church. It’s oldie worldie and it encompasses the history of Honiton. It’s an older country church, which are starting to decline in numbers. As a young farmer, I used to go up there and tidy up the grounds and even though it’s a graveyard, it’s somewhere that’s peaceful and quiet.
What do you think Honiton’s main attractions are?
The array of coffee shops and eateries. These make the high street busier. In the old days, everyone wanted to go to the pub, but, nowadays, the pub has been replaced by the coffee shop. Even though we have a lot, they always seem to be busy. I also like that Honiton still has quirky individual gift shops like Countrylines – they sell one-off items that you can’t get everywhere.
How do you think Honiton can improve?
We could do with more clothes shops for everybody, such as FatFace, New Look and White Stuff, just so that they attract people back into the town. By doing that, it will hopefully bring more independent retailers back into the town. Competition is always good isn’t it? I would also like to see Honiton nightlife and social standing improve. We are pretty restricted in what the town can offer to clubbers.