A tribute to Frank Symington, well known in Sidmouth

Frank Symington, of Sidmouth

Frank Symington - Credit: Contributed

Frank Symington, who died last week, was well known in Sidmouth.

He played sports for many local clubs including the cricket, rugby and football clubs.

He was well known in his later years for his karaoke expertise and he could often be seen belting out a few numbers at The Radway Inn among a number of venues.

Later in life, he travelled in a mobility scooter and, as I’ve mentioned in this column before, if you were in a traffic queue in Sidmouth it was likely that Frank was at the start of it!

One thing is for certain, Frank Symington was a larger than life character. He lived to 90 years of age and many people in the town will have fond memories of him.

The last time I saw him was at the cricket club last summer as he asked me to help him from his mobile scooter into a deckchair. My attempts to move his scooter back to him, when he decided to leave, provided great entertainment for those around us!

It was fitting that Frank was remembered with a minute’s silence at Sidmouth Rugby Club and a tribute was also played over the sound system at Exeter City Football Club. RIP Frank.

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On to the local sport.

History was made at the rugby club last Sunday when the ladies side had their first game taking on a far more experienced Exeter Saracens team. Despite a spirited performance they were beaten 0-15. There was a tremendous crowd and the partying afterwards was apparently lengthy.

The pitch was very muddy after the 1st XV played on Saturday when Sidmouth lost to Devonport Services by 14-9.

At Sandy Park, Exeter beat Montpellier comfortably by 42-6 in their first European game of the season.

The booster drive was launched by The Prime Minister last Sunday as Omicron is apparently rampant at the present time.

Last week I went through the booster experience. It was one I didn’t particularly enjoy as I ended up with a sore arm for a couple of days and a few hours of feeling rough the following day.

But what a small price to pay when you look at the bigger picture.

Hopefully the Omicron variant is not going to increase hospitalisations and deaths. At the time of writing the figures coming out of South Africa appear quite encouraging.

There was another sighting of a large otter in the sea off Sidmouth last week. This one was seen off Port Royal eating a large fish. This once again shows that the river hasn’t got the level of food to sustain them.

This week’s suggested walk starts at Mutters Moor car park at the top of Peak Hill. Proceed down Peak Hill for about 200 yards and take the path that leads to the top of the golf course. You get fantastic views over Sidmouth to your right.

After passing the ninth green bear to your right and then immediately turn left and walk all around Bulverton Hill until you come out by Keble’s Seat. Continue onto Mutters Moor and wend your way back to the car park.

It is just under 4 miles in length. There are no steep hills but it is a little wet in places. Walking boots or wellies are recommended.

Still on the walking front, an old school friend of mine is walking the South West Coastal Path for the Motor Neurone Disease Charity over the coming months.

The stretch from Sidmouth to Seaton is on Tuesday, February 15.

If you’d be interested in joining us please put it in your diary. More details to follow at a later date. Hopefully we can help him raise a good sum of money on the day. The distance is about 11 miles.

I’m not particularly looking forward to a few of those hills with the one out of Weston Mouth being especially tough...