Ottery St Mary Review of the Year - April to June

A look back on events in Ottery St Mary in 2011.


Construction on the million pound Rover Ottery cycle path and footbridge was given the go-ahead.

The contractor was given the green-light by the district council and it was hoped the bridge would be completed in the summer.


The youngest recipients of royal wedding mugs given to Ottery children revealed they made it all the way down under.

Ross Farmery came forward after the Herald printed a picture from 1981, showing him and his twin sister receiving their Prince Charles and Lady Diana commemorative mugs in Tipton St John, aged just three weeks old, and said the mugs were now in a cabinet in Australia after the family emigrated several years afterwards.

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On the back of recent achievements, The King’s School was successful in its application for Academy status, which came into force in April.

The change meant the school has more control over its budget, a decision it said was necessary to safeguard standards in the current financial climate.


Ron Berry was named Ottery St Mary ‘Citizen of the Year’ for 2011 at the annual parish meeting.

The caretaker at The Institute was commended for his work in the town and Mayor Glyn Dobson, who presented him with the award, said: “We are lucky to have him.”


Ottery Town Council presented Pat lane with a special award for her charity work as she stepped down from the Ottery St Mary and District Help Scheme.

The council felt her outstanding service to the parish through the charity, described as a ‘lifeline to the elderly’, should be recognised.


Tipton St John could keep ticking after a local MP stepped into save the village from having its clock switched off.

Thanks to the intervention of Hugo Swire, the colossal bill from EDF Energy was dropped, and Bill Bolt, said the money saved could be used to buy a grit bin for the village, suggesting it could be named in the MP’s honour.


Ottery got into the Royal Wedding sprit with a street party outside the Lamb and Flag pub.

The Batts Lane establishment provided a marquee and a barbecue to locals and tourist alike to mark the celebrations of Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s marriage.


The town council roundly rejected the idea of creating a new sand and gravel mine on the edge of town.



Pre-school pupils could get busy somewhere new after the opening of a purpose-built facility for the Ottery children’s group.

The Busy Otters Playgroup moved out of the Old Boys’ School to a brand new building in the grounds of the primary school thanks to funding from Devon County Council.


Pupils from The King’s School were gearing up for the gruelling Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor.

The children began training in December, and after a process of whittling down the pupils a group of 30 was to join the 2,500 other young people on the national park adventure weekend.


A campaigner from West Hill swept to victory in the district elections and ousted the leader on the way.

Sara Randall Johnson lost her seat in the Ottery Rural ward as independent town councillor Claire Wright and conservative Tony Howard filled the two seats.

Mrs Wright said the win was unexpected after a bumper turnout, but Miss Randall-Johnson said she was targeted as leader.


Another independent was successful in the elections as Roger Giles scored a landslide victory in Ottery Town ward, conservative David Cox also retaining his seat in this month’s EDDC elections.


The founder of the Karen Hall 10km run through Ottery hailed it as ‘the best yet’ after raising more than �2,000 for charity.

Local estate agent Nick Hall, who set up the event after his wife Karen died several years ago, said the 2011 run, where more than 200 adults and kids ran their own race for the very first time, was absolutely wonderful.


Councillor Glyn Dobson was sworn in as Ottery’s Mayor for a record fifth year.

Mr Dobson, who first took on the role in 2007, said it was a privilege to be the longest serving mayor of the town, and said there were plenty of exciting projects coming up.


An Ottery family was gearing up for the trip of a lifetime to the other side of the world.

Church administrator Katie Drew, along with husband Ian and daughters Lara and Erin would be spending three months in Melanesia doing voluntary work


Ottery resident Morny Wright said she was too tired to cry when her home makeover was revealed on TV show DIY SOS.

Morny, who suffers from ME, said: “Nick Knowles (the show’s presenter) was worried I wasn’t happy enough. I am sorry I didn’t well up but we were just so shell-shocked by it.”



A Tipton boy scored a huge win in being selected for a place at Exeter City’s football academy.

Michael Lilley, seven, not only managed to get into the highest tier of boy’s football in the area, but has done it against boys a year older than him.

The young striker was to be playing for the under nines’ team after impressing in trials with the League One club.


A special celebration event was held at Escot for 32 of the volunteers in a successful walking fitness scheme.

More than 5,000 locals took part in various walks organised by Walking for Health.


A West Hill pensioner and former chemist was shocked and surprised at her award for nearly 20 years of voluntary work.

Ruth Wright, 76, travelled to London to receive the prestigious medal of the Order of Mercy for her work with the Ottery and District Help Scheme.


Ottery St Mary Hospital bagged the best possible review ratings for the second year running.

Health chiefs say the Keegan Close facility’s environment, food and the privacy and dignity afforded to patients were labelled ‘excellent’ across the board.


The town council warned ‘don’t let this be our Fortfield’ after they claimed the Salston Manor hotel has been left to fall to ‘rack and ruin’.

The grade-two listed building, which had sat empty for several years, was falling apart inside according to one councillor.

The town council was pressing East Devon District council to step in and prevent one of Ottery’s most iconic buildings from destruction.


A former South African rugby international put some of The King’s School’s top athletes through their paces at a special training session.

Thinus Delport, capped 18 times by the Springboks, played at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, was at the school as part of Sky Sports’ ‘Living for Sport’ initiative.

The dates were announced for the closure of Hind Street in order to complete the new Sainsbury’s store.

It was due to shut for 10 days at the end of July for utilities companies to carry out work related to the store’s development.


As a result of the Sainsbury’s work, the town was due to get �3,000 for allowing construction traffic to park on council-owned land.

It was thought the money would be used to pay for infrastructure improvements at the Strawberry Lane sports facility, the latest estimate for which was just over �3,000.

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