Vaccination success, a blight of potholes and the return of cricket

Cricket at Sidmouth

This summer you'll be able to enjoy Minor Counties cricket at Sidmouth - Credit: Tim Dixon

Vaccinations continue at a rapid pace locally and I was delighted to receive my letter from the NHS last Saturday. Appointments booked.

Sidmouth’s community spirit has once again shone through and the feature in the national press, as detailed in last week’s Herald, was more good publicity for the town. All the comments I am hearing from local people are positive and thanks are due once again to everyone involved in the process.

I see Station Road is closed for over three weeks again. This will mean more traffic for Vicarage Road, Temple Street and Arcot Road. These are the roads that form the main artery into the town. Quite frankly the local roads are a disgrace at the moment and it isn’t just in Sidmouth I hasten to add. Hopefully they will be resurfaced soon or else there are going to be plenty of claims for damaged tyres. Incidentally I can tell you from personal experience to note any date you hit a pothole. Damage might not be immediately obvious and you could wait until your car fails its MOT to discover the damage caused. Devon County Council will ask the date and time the damage was caused if you make a claim.   

The walk I am recommending this week begins in the village of Tipton St John. From the village proceed in a northerly direction alongside the River Otter and continue to Ottery St Mary. Proceed through the town and take the turning on the left hand side into the new housing estate, go past the Tumbling Weir and continue into the town centre. Go out of town via Yonder Street and then turn right into Slade Road continuing up East Hill into the countryside. Continue up East Hill passing Rill Farm on your right and bear around to the right and continue back through Waxway and Coombe before returning to Tipton St John. This walk is just over seven miles.

Local nature this week included a goldcrest, Britain’s smallest bird. It was photographed in The Byes by local photographer Paul Clayden. His fantastic photographs have been on social media. On the other end of the scale I read that sea eagles have recently been flying over East Devon. These birds have flown from the Isle of Wight and are just specks in the sky flying at huge heights. They have travelled large distances over a lot of The West Country and the flight paths can be seen on the Devon Birds Twitter account. 

When walking between Tipton St John and Ottery St Mary the other day I saw the field where the large passenger plane came down near Fluxton in 1980. It was running out of fuel and skimmed the rooftops of Ottery St Mary before coming to rest in the field. Apparently the pilot knew the local area and used his skill and knowledge to ensure no harm came to the sixty passengers on board. Photos are on the internet of the plane in the field. Apparently the only casualties were four unfortunate sheep. 

This summer you will be able to watch Minor Counties cricket at Sidmouth CC with Devon playing host to Exeter University on April 11th, Wiltshire on June 27th and a three-day game against Shropshire starting on the 22nd August. As well as watching a good standard of cricket you will also be able to support local charities by taking part in the draws that will be taking place on the various days.  

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On the golfing front the Sidmouth course is looking in good shape and the recent improvements are not only aesthetically attractive but I suspect play will be quicker with less ball searching in the woods to the left of the 10th and 13th holes. Some much needed pruning and felling has also taken place ensuring improved conditions for all players. Many of us need all the help we can get!   

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