Town is spruced up as excitement is in the air for future
- Credit: Mark Eburne
With Easter having passed we can now look forward to the spring and summer with anticipation.
The excitement surrounding the forthcoming year in Sidmouth is building with yet more regional publicity over the past fortnight. A feature on BBC Spotlight last week included the Sidmouth Coral Reef and Wave Border Community Garden down by The Ham.
This is going to assist the chances of success in Britain in Bloom with a lot of voluntary hard work taking place. Last Thursday the fencing surrounding The Ham came down and the footpath beside the river was also reopened after a lengthy period of being fenced off. All these events have dramatically improved the feel and look of this area.
There was also a piece on Sidmouth on the ITV West Country news where a number of local luminaries were featured. People who were interviewed included Dan Lakeman at The Bagel Shop who spoke very eloquently about the trade he expected to see this forthcoming summer. And by the way, The Bagel Shop is not changing its name to The Pitta Shop. That was an April Fool’s joke!
It was sad to read that Hayman's Butchers in Church Street is to close at the end of May as the owners are due to retire. Apparently they have been trying to sell the business for a while but no buyer has been forthcoming. On social media you can read lots of lovely messages they have received prior to their retirement. Many of us can remember when Sidmouth had a large number of butchers including Long Brothers in Temple Street, Anstis at Woolbrook, various butchers at Sidford and firms such as Eastmans and Dewhursts in the town centre.
So in the near future Sidmouth will have no independent butcher. Very sad. Of course Sidbury will still have one with Drews continuing to thrive.
Also on the Sidmouth commercial front, work continues on two shop premises in New Street. These look decent commercial premises and will no doubt attract a lot of interest from prospective buyers or tenants. They are in a great location that’s for sure.
I see Dotty Homes in the Market Place have signs in their window saying that they are moving. They say it’s not goodbye but the start of something new. Watch this space!
Onto other local news. An excellent job is currently being done painting the railings on The Esplanade. It certainly makes the place look smarter. If only the Council would fill in the potholes on Vicarage Road! How this road has been left in this state for such a long time is beyond me. And more people will have used it again this week with Station Road being closed again for four more days.
On the sporting front, we have the Grand National this weekend at Aintree. The race will be missing the great Tiger Roll who is not running this year as his owners felt he was unfairly handicapped. Judging by the way he won the cross country race at Cheltenham I’m not convinced they were right! With bookmakers closed until April 12 it will mean bets will have to be placed online. No thanks. Cloth Cap is a warm favourite.
On the rugby front, Exeter Chiefs overcame Lyon in a high-scoring game last Saturday. After being 14-0 down after a few minutes they soon got into their stride and played like champions scoring six tries. Well-fancied Leinster are the visitors next weekend.
On the football front, Exeter City lost at Port Vale to an early goal. Another disappointing result.
It was great to be back playing golf last week and Sidmouth golf course is in great condition after the break. A lot of thought and energy has gone into the course presentation with reshaped fairways and roughs. With little rain forecast at the time of writing it will soon be a real test!