With the literary festival on the horizon, it's good to see people extolling the virtues of our town

Sidmouth Literary Festival. Ref shs 15-16SH 9720. Picture: Simon Horn

It's all about the books! Bookkeeping services are being sought by organisers of the Sidmouth Literary Festival - Credit: Archant

Mike Dibble, retired estate agent and avid sports fan, writes for the Herald about his passion for East Devon.

Mike Dibble Picture: contributed

Mike Dibble Picture: contributed - Credit: Picture: contributed

Sidmouth Literary Festival is due to take place over the weekend of Saturday, June 25, and Sunday June 26. Information can be found on the website sidmouthlitfest.co.uk.

They are also offering some Festival Plus events during the week. Well known writers such as Alison Weir, Andrew Lownie, Jonathan Drori, Deborah Moggach, Sally and Libby Page, Sarah Turner, Fiona Sampson and Nick Duerden will be joining the festival to bring you entertaining and engaging talks about their latest works in fiction and non fiction.

There is also the prestigious How To Get Published Day on Sunday June 26 where budding writers can hear first hand from a highly respected panel of top publishers and agents about the publishing process.

Tickets for all events are available from Winstones Bookshop in the High Street.

In other literary news local author Jane Corry launched her new book ‘We all have our Secrets’, this week and you can preorder it by going to linktr.ee/janecorry.

Whilst watching cricket at Sidmouth last Saturday a spectator pointed out to me a seagull that appeared to be disorientated.

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On approaching the gull it flew off and headed straight into the netting which protects the seafront from flying cricket balls.

This happened on a couple of occasions and the gull lay motionless beside the netting for a period of time.

I initially thought that it might be dehydrated so I took some water down to it and as I got very close to it the gull got up and flew away towards the sea.

What exactly was wrong with it I don’t know but it was very strange animal behaviour to witness.

Also on the nature front a friend of mine sent me a video this week of the Otter on the River Sid. This confirms without doubt that they are still very much on the river which is fantastic to see. Personally I had the pleasure to witness two foxes cavorting around on the 18th green at Sidmouth Golf Club in the early evening last week. Earlier in the week a fox had walked past my car on the driveway up to the golf club without a care in the world!

On the cricketing front Sidmouth 1st XI had a much needed win last Saturday away at Bradninch.

Opening batsmen Isaac Thomas scored a century and there was an excellent 66 not out from Codi Yusuf. The 2nd XI and 3rd XI also won, against Ottery St Mary and Kentisbeare respectively, so it was an excellent day all round for the club. Jashan Patidar excelled in the 2nd XI win scoring 138 not out.

This Saturday the 1st XI are at home to Bovey Tracey with the 2nd XI travelling to Alphington and the 3rd XI travelling to Woodbury.

The long range weather forecast looks good so the deckchair collection income should be excellent.

The property market continues to be very active locally with a large percentage of properties currently on the market having sales going through.

The number of properties coming to the market appears low so this trend is likely to continue.

On a personal note I would like to reminisce and look back to July 1992.

This was the time that Bradleys opened their Sidmouth Office so they will soon be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the opening..

This brings back a lot of memories for me. Perhaps the most vivid was an estate agent (not a current one or a resident of Sidmouth) who came into our office and said we’d only last six months. 

Hardly the vote of confidence we were looking for at the time with Black Wednesday just around the corner.

Finally I followed a comment on Facebook this month with interest. In it several people were saying Sidmouth had very little to offer. I was delighted to see so many residents defending the town and reminding people what makes it so special.