What made the news in 2019? April to June in review.
PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 December 2019
In the second quarter of 2019, the news included the Conservatives losing control of East Devon District Council, and an unusual animal sighting in Ottery St Mary.
A giant mammoth's tooth, found by a beachcomber at Salcombe Regis, was presented to Sidmouth Museum after being stored in a plastic lunchbox for 10 years. Pam Gordon-Lee had picked up the 2.5 kilo tooth and taken it home in 2009, but decided that the time had come for it to be put on public display.
The Sid Valley Food Bank appealed for donations after revealing that the demand for emergency food parcels was rising. Co-ordinator Andie Milne said the food bank was putting together 27 parcels, containing three days' worth of food, every week.
Crowds enjoying the Easter Sunday sunshine on Sidmouth's Jacobs Ladder beach were shocked by a cliff fall which sent rubble hurtling down, amid a cloud of dust. Other rock falls and landslides happened during the bank holiday weekend. No-one was hurt, but the incident sparked reminders from Sidmouth lifeboat and the district council about the dangers of sitting or walking near cliffs.
Another thing that made people jump in Sidmouth was one of the familiar Sidmouth Lifeboat mannequins on the Esplanade apparently coming to life. A professional performer was brought in to wear the costume and stand in the usual place - but then make sudden movements to surprise passers by. The stunt helped raise nearly £300 in donations.
The Conservatives lost control of East Devon district council for the first time in 40 years in the local elections on Thursday, May 2. Independent councillors, including those affiliated with the East Devon Alliance, took 31 of the 60 seats. The election blow for the Tories was blamed on public dissatisfaction with the Government's handling of Brexit.
The ashes of passionate local fundraiser Freddy Wedderburn were scattered at sea, in front of the Millennium Walkway. Mr Wedderburn, who died aged 94, had campaigned for the walkway to be built and secured local funding for it. Mr Wedderburn had also helped raise £100,000 for Sidmouth Lifeboat to buy the craft in which his ashes were carried out to sea.
Alpacas Brian, Merry and Valentino were brought in to help Sidbury Cricket Club raise money. The club mapped out its field in 860 squares and local residents were invited to bet on where an alpaca might poo. The winner, Sharon Davis, donated her prize money back to the club.
Another animal that made the local headlines was a wallaby, spotted in a country lane near Ottery St Mary. Wildwood Escot said it had no wallabies among its animals, and the stray marsupial had probably come from a private collection.
Events took place around the Sid Valley to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday, June 6. In Sidmouth, former service personnel gathered for a march and ceremony at the war memorial.
Proposals to close several fire stations, and scale back cover at others, were revealed by the Devon and Somerset Fire Service. Six options were announced, including one that would see Budleigh Salterton and Colyton losing their fire stations. The Fire Brigades Union said the plans were 'dangerous' and vowed to oppose them.
The death was announced of hotel group director Peter Brend, at the age of 61. The manager of the Saunton Sands Hotel described him as 'inspirational'.
In Ottery St Mary, the annual Pixie Day event saw children screaming around the streets of the town.
Organisers said it was a successful event, which had been lucky with the weather, and had attracted good crowds and enough helpers
This was also the month Sidmouth lost 112-year-old Grace Jones, Britain's oldest person, who died on June 7. She had lived in Sidmouth for 12 years and was often seen enjoying afternoon tea at the Victoria Hotel.
A woman who had lost a ring with huge sentimental value in Sidmouth was overjoyed when a sharp-eyed resident spotted it in the street - a whole month after it had gone missing. The man's wife had seen the report of the lost ring in the Herald, and he got in touch to arrange its return.
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