What made the news in 2019? Review of the year July to September
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 December 2019
The Donkey Sanctuary and the Sid Vale Talking Newspaper team both welcomed important visitors in the third quarter of 2019, as we reported at the time.
The parents of a 14-year old Russian student who collapsed on Sidmouth beach wrote to the Herald thanking all those who helped save her life. The 14-year-old Sidmouth International School student suffered a heart-related medical incident at the end of June. Staff from Jurassic Paddle Sports, an off-duty nurse and the school's team leader gave first aid while awaiting the emergency services.
The arguments for and against the controversial Sidford Business Park proposal were heard at a three-day public inquiry. The applicants had appealed against the district council's rejection of the development. Supporters cited job creation and economic growth; objectors said the narrow local roads could not cope with an increase in lorries and other traffic.
The Donkey Sanctuary had a royal visitor. The Duchess of Cornwall came to the Sidmouth headquarters on her 72nd birthday, Thursday, July 17. She met local primary school pupils and toured the grounds in the summer sunshine, meeting several donkeys in the process.
Ottery Football Club warned that it might have to close its facilities to the community, after a spate of serious vandalism. In the space of a few days, sheds were smashed, goalposts broken, benches ripped from the ground and fences pushed down. It was the latest incident in six months during which the club had been plagued by antisocial behaviour.
The broadcaster Jeremy Vine came to meet volunteers from the Sid Vale Talking Newspaper while on holiday in the area with his family. Mr Vine, who became patron of the charity earlier this year, read out a feature for the recording of the summer magazine, and was interviewed about his career. Afterwards he said he had been 'very nervous' of making the recording because there was no chance of a retake.
Crowds turned out for Sidmouth Folk Festival, enjoying a huge variety of live music and dance. The 65th festival introduced several measures to minimise single-use plastic, including reusable drinks cups, water refill points and biodegradable food packaging.
Ottery St Mary's community came out in force when an 11-year-old boy went missing one evening. Dozens of residents went out with torches to search the streets and Ottery Football Club opened its clubhouse for the searchers to use as a meeting point.
Sidmouth resident Al Baker was hailed a local hero after rescuing an elderly lady from the waters of the River Sid. The 35-year-old, who has learning difficulties, heard her cries for help and asked himself 'what would Superman do?' He then alerted a passer-by and together they pulled her out.
Sidford's controversial proposed business park was given the green light, following July's three-day inquiry. The planning inspector ruled that the development would bring 'significant benefits' that would outweigh the inconvenience caused by extra traffic.
The East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire, who had represented the area since 2001, announced he would not be standing in the next general election. He said he remained a supporter of the prime minister Boris Johnson.
Traders in Sidmouth expressed outrage at East Devon district council's proposal to increase parking charges in the town and put an end to free parking after 6pm. The plans would also see the free car park at Temple Street become a pay and display.
Two storks which went missing from a wildlife park in the Midlands were spotted in Sidmouth, 150 miles away. One was seen on the roof of Lidl in Woolbrook Road, the other near the Volunteer Inn in Temple Street.
Crowds lined the streets for Sidmouth's annual carnival. Some of the floats and fancy-dress participants had a superhero theme, and there was also a group of ladies dressed as suffragettes.
Tributes were paid to Alan Hemmings, who formerly ran one of Ottery's oldest businesses, Coles. He died at the end of August, less than two months before his 100th birthday. Coles had closed in July after 166 years in the town.