My Sidmouth: Dave O’Connor shares what he loves about the town
- Credit: Archant
The streets of Sidmouth have been familiar to Dave O’Connor. He’s walked them as a toddler, teenager and adult for the past 75 years.
His mother Jessie Reynolds was born in Mill Street and brought up by Meldon ‘Dappie’ Pinn and his wife Maude.
Dappie was a blind fish seller and was seen out with his wares despite losing his sight as a teenager.
Jessie married Michael and they went on to have seven children. The family moved firstly into 28 Sid Park Road and Dave was born at around 8.30am on November 15, 1941.
The following year, they moved up the road to number 40, where Dave lived for 72 years before recently moving to Metcombe.
You may also want to watch:
Dave said: “I love everything about Sidmouth.”
Growing up, he attended All Saints Church school and moved up to St Nicholas School in Vicarage Road.
- 1 Veterans called to muster in tribute to Prince Philip
- 2 Escot springs out of lockdown and they're wild about opening again
- 3 It's our time to share our fortune and 'do our bit' as we start to re-open
- 4 Hayman's Butchers 'had been my life' - Stewart Hayman
- 5 There will be sunshine after the rain as the town re-opens
- 6 Prince Philip's legacy is guaranteed through awards scheme
- 7 Sidmouth’s ‘overwhelming’ support for Wear a Hat fundraiser
- 8 Dreams and nightmares at the Grand National
- 9 Stableford jewel for Sidmouth member
- 10 Grab your chance to win a new TV from Fords South West Ltd
His ‘cheeky’ nature often got him into trouble at school, but it was at Woolbrook Secondary School where things started to change when he met Mike Sharp, captain of the army cadet force.
Dave said: “I joined the cadet force and stayed with them until 1959 when I was too old. I saw in the Sidmouth Herald the 4th Battalion Devonshire Regiment were looking and I went down there.”
Dave went on to join the Territorial Army for 33 years, leaving in 1992.
In 1991, he joined the Sidmouth branch of the Royal British Legion and has been its chairman for the last eight years.
On what he enjoys about being a member, Dave said: “It is comradeship and being able to help people.”
Through the legion, the group has been able to secure a memorial in memory of fallen Sidmouth soldier Dave Hanson, who was killed in Korea, erect an eagle tribute in Blackmore Gardens and worked to create a memorial area in Connaught Gardens.
Dave’s work in the community earned him the prestigious title of Citizen of the Year in 2016.
Dave said: “I couldn’t believe it - I had this phone call from the Rotary club and he asked me if I would like to accept the award of Citizen of the Year. I was doing my job and helping people.”