'Generous' donor thanked for sponsoring Ottery Christmas lunch

PUBLISHED: 17:28 21 December 2017

Ottery Christmas lunch at the London Inn. Ref sho 51 17TI 5369. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery Christmas lunch at the London Inn. Ref sho 51 17TI 5369. Picture: Terry Ife

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A Christmas lunch which began to bring lonely Ottery St Mary residents together has entered its fourth year thanks to a ‘generous’ anonymous donor.

Ottery Christmas lunch at the London Inn. Ref sho 51 17TI 5374. Picture: Terry IfeOttery Christmas lunch at the London Inn. Ref sho 51 17TI 5374. Picture: Terry Ife

The tradition was started by the late West Hill resident Betty Williams who in 2014 attracted national attention with her idea to treat 40 strangers to lunch.

Donations were sent in across the world and keep the event running until last year. An anonymous donor then came forward in January offering to pay for the event.

More than 30 guests enjoyed a three course meal at the London Inn on Wednesday. The meal started with prawn cocktail or homemade soup, turkey or beef with all the trimmings and to finish a mince pie or Christmas pudding.

There was musical entertainment and the dinners also joined in by singing carols.

Ottery Christmas lunch at the London Inn. Ref sho 51 17TI 5372. Picture: Terry IfeOttery Christmas lunch at the London Inn. Ref sho 51 17TI 5372. Picture: Terry Ife

Phyllis Baxter, who helped to organise the event, said: “The time went by so quickly and the people who came enjoyed it. It is lovely to carry on the Betty Williams tradition and it is a lovely gesture for someone to come forward. Thank-you to the donors, they have made a lot of people happy with a delicious Christmas meal.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson added; “It went really well. We are a small town so most people know each other.

“I think it is fantastic that someone local has sponsored that.”

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