Ringing in the New Year
NEW YEAR revellers in Ottery St Mary rang in the start of 2008 with fancy dress, fun and some late night singing as they spilled out of pubs into the town square to wish each other all the best for the coming year.
NEW YEAR revellers in Ottery St Mary rang in the start of 2008 with fancy dress, fun and some late night singing as they spilled out of pubs into the town square to wish each other all the best for the coming year. This year the pubs in the town were reported to be packed and Ottery challenged Exmouth's position as the fancy dress capital of East Devon as outlandish costumes were spotted throughout the town. Chairman of Ottery Chamber of Commerce Viv Abbot said: "The pubs were full of people having a good time and at midnight people came out into the town square to sing and wish each other a happy New Year. "This has started happening more over recent years, which is lovely to see. "We are really lucky in Ottery to have the square as it lends itself to these sorts of occasion." Viv added the highlight of the evening for her was the impromptu singing of Auld Lang Syne and the pealing of St Mary's church bells as the clocks struck midnight. Laurie Palmer, tower captain of the Ottery bell ringers, said: "We try to ring the bells every year if we can get the team together. "Most churches try to do something at New Year as it is a wonderful English tradition that bell ringers really enjoy upholding. "A lot of people dropped in to the tower at St Mary's to wish us a happy New Year, it was lovely." According to police on duty, the evening was also safe and people well behaved with only a small amount of underage drinking to contend with. Ottery St Mary sergeant Nick Harper said: "In general the evening was reasonably quiet, mainly as we do not have any clubs in Ottery. "People were well behaved and, aside from some minor public order offences which were dealt with at the time, there are no major incidents to report." Officers from the beat team were on patrol throughout the evening and, according to a spokesman, a quantity of alcohol was seized from underage drinkers early in the evening and poured away, which could have prevented problems later on.