Folk Week is upon us - let's see that great vibrancy

Sidmouth Folk Week. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Folk Week. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Mike Dibble, retired estate agent and avid sports fan, writes for the Herald about his passion for East Devon.

Mike Dibble Picture: contributed

Mike Dibble Picture: contributed - Credit: Picture: contributed

Folk Week 2022 is now upon us and it will be great to see the vibrancy of previous years return to the town.

We have 47 camping guests at the Cricket Club compared to 28 in 2021.

This gives a good indication that life is returning to normal.

Filling a volunteer’s rota with 300 slots has been my task over the past few weeks. I’d like to thank everyone who has volunteered to help. If we haven’t had any more rain before the festival starts I think the grass on the outfield will appear almost white at the end of the week!

The recent dry spell must be incredibly frustrating for gardeners, farmers and growers around Sidmouth. It just seems the rain is missing the area with Wales, Northern England and Scotland getting a substantial amount more. And when it does rain here it lasts for a very short period of time.

It was good to read that The Sid Valley Practice aim to expand and improve their facilities at The Beacon.

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And at the same time it was good news for town centre residents to read that The Blackmore Surgery is to relocate to Sidmouth Community Hospital. It will be interesting to see what happens to The Blackmore site.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the handout of cheques following the Salcombe Regis Fair last Summer. The event was held in the grounds of Salcombe Regis Church.

Cheques were presented to various local charities including The Memory Café, The Gateway Project, Sidmouth Hospice at Home, Sidmouth Living with Cancer, Sidmouth Surf and Life Saving Club, Parkinson’s and The Wave Project.

It was the 50th anniversary of the fair this year and Chairman Tom Griffiths thanked volunteers and helpers for all their outstanding efforts.

How great it is to see a number of new businesses opening in the town centre.

The latest is the Fore Street Gallery in Fore Street. The owners have a similar business in Lyme Regis selling a range of gifts in a coastal gallery.

We are also getting a new café style business called Graze and Olive in The Old Post Office building. They are due to open in September. On their Facebook page they describe their business as a ‘cheese room.’

Something that has caused a lot of anger this week is the decision to cut back the evening bus service to Sidbury.

Campaigns are well underway to plead with Stagecoach to change their minds. I must say the cuts appear draconian. Surely a couple of buses could run in the evening?

I really wasn’t expecting a letter in the paper about my comments about The Red Arrows.

The correspondent thought I was being disingenuous. All I was doing was stating a clear view that if Sidmouth didn’t have the display they would be booked somewhere else. It appears 91% of the locals are in support of them. Let’s leave it there!

Last Saturday we saw two centuries in the cricket game between Sidmouth and Cornwood.

Sidmouth’s Codi Yusuf scored his maiden Devon League century as Sidmouth rattled up 291 for 5. This was surpassed by Cornwood’s Indian professional Jay Bista who scored a magnificent 182 not out off 125 balls as he guided his side home to an 8 wicket victory. Sidmouth 2nd XI lost by 1 wicket at Exeter in a low scoring game. Tom Hodgson took 6 wickets for Sidmouth.

The 3rd XI were victorious by 8 wickets against North Devon.

The new Football League season starts this Saturday and Exeter City begin with a long trip to Lincoln.

Before last weekend they were the only team in the top four divisions not to have signed a new player. Hopefully they can get a couple of players in especially a goalkeeper to replace Cameron Dawson who has returned to Sheffield Wednesday after his loan spell last season.