Flags in Ottery St Mary to honour vision of ‘great guy’ John Gaffney

John Gaffney

John Gaffney - Credit: Archant

Businesses across the town encouraged to get involved

Flags will fly high in Ottery next summer to honour the vision of a much-loved community stalwart who ‘contributed a huge amount’ to the town.

John Gaffney, editor of the Ottery Gazette, had the idea to create a spectacular visual display by encouraging businesses to hang colourful drapes outside their premises, but sadly died before his plan was realised.

Now, his friends and family are honouring his idea and a special flag, designed and made by resident Ellen Perkins, 20, has been created to fly above the Flexton building where John worked.

John’s wife Carole said: “My John would just be so pleased to see the flags up. It’s nice to see the businesses having them up there.

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“I would like to thank Ellen for all the hard work she put into designing and making John’s flag. Thank-you to everyone working to carry this on.”

John Campion, of Seasons Tea Rooms in Silver Street, is working with other business owners in the town to roll out John Gaffney’s idea and create the beautiful display he envisioned.

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He said: “During the winter we are going to have a push because we have around 50 flags and about 10 taken at the moment. We are doing this to commemorate John.”

He said flags were available to businesses for a donation and the more money raised, the more flags can be purchased for the town.

Ellen’s dad, Marc, of Perkins Pet and Country Store, is also working to get the flags distributed around the town and said his daughter – who has just gone to study at Bournemouth University - worked hard to create a suitable image to honour John.

He said: “It was a great honour [for Ellen] to design the flag. John was a great guy. The flags were his idea. What I would like people to do around the town is decorate their flags with unique designs that could be specific to Ottery.”

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