Gift Heralds Mary’s arrival in California

Mary King greeted with Herald in California

Mary King greeted with Herald in California - Credit: Archant

Olympic silver medallist Mary King was met with a familiar sight in the Californian heat on a recent trip to America - as she was greeted with a copy of the Sidmouth Herald.

The famous Salcombe Regis-based equestrian star – who spoke at Sidmouth Men’s Forum last Friday - was hosting her first equine clinic in the state last month.

Jasmin Parson, of Thousand Oaks, California, attended the event and surprised Mary with a copy of her local newspaper.

Jasmin’s grandparents, former Sidmouth residents Mary and John Parkyn, are still ardent readers of the Herald.

And although they now live more than 5,200 miles away in America, they pick up a copy whenever they visit the town.

John, 83, said his granddaughter has horses of her own and wasted no time in going to meet her idol Mary.

“Jasmine got the horse when she was 14,” said John.

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“She studied equine management in college and has been equestrian riding after she left college.”

He added: “This was [Mary’s] first visit to Fresco.

“Jasmin, being a huge fan, gave her a copy of the Sidmouth Herald.”

John and Mary lived in the town from 1949 to 1960 and ran Sidmouth Nurseries.

Jasmin’s mother was born in Sidmouth Cottage Hospital in 1959.

The couple were both very active in the community and members of the town’s arts club.

Mary was also involved with Sidmouth Dairies.

The couple emigrated to America in 1976, but still return regularly to visit friends and like to keep up with what is going on in the town.

John said: “We look online regularly at the [Sidmouth Herald] website and our friends send the paper over.

“Sidmouth has not changed all that much.”