Sidmouth news review October to December

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 January 2013

The Sidmouth Science Festival. Students from Sidmouth College were on hand to demonstrate a wide range of science experiments in the Sport's Centre on Friday, October 19. Flora Wilis-Fleming prepares her experiment. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4894-42-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24

The Sidmouth Science Festival. Students from Sidmouth College were on hand to demonstrate a wide range of science experiments in the Sport's Centre on Friday, October 19. Flora Wilis-Fleming prepares her experiment. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4894-42-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24


News from the Sidmouth area between October and December


A BID to save Knowle from development by having it recognised as a national gem was rejected.

English Heritage ruled the district council’s offices and surrounding parkland could not be listed – as the edges of the historic site had already been eroded by dwellings, many owned by protesters.


AN investment of £250,000 from Devon County Council was provided to fund much-needed repairs at Sidmouth College.


THERE was anger over the possibility that stroke facilities could be moved more than 20 miles away from Sidmouth if a centre in neighbouring Budleigh Salterton closed.


Civic leaders were urged not to ‘miss the boat’ and stump up an unprecedented amount of town cash to help Sidmouth land a jetty and become a stop-off destination for a Jurassic Coast ferry.

The town council was asked to make a £25,000 contribution to the project.


THE leader of East Devon District Council told the Herald Prime Minister David Cameron knew all about a fight for Sidmouth’s future over planning issues that had caused public protest.

Paul Diviani said the debates over employment land provision and Knowle had reached Downing Street.


BAD weather was blamed for domestic incidents in Sidmouth rocketing by a shocking 123 per cent.

Police said the increase in cases had been sparked by residents developing ‘cabin fever’ when forced to stay indoors due to miserable conditions – leading to a rise in violent crimes.


A FAMILY-run clothing company from Cornwall, Seasalt, announced it was to move into Sidmouth’s former Stead and Simpson store.


East Devon MP Hugo Swire vowed to call on his Whitehall colleagues to independently scrutinise the district council’s plans to redevelop its Knowle headquarters.

Mr Swire revealed he would ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, to ‘call in’ proposals.


DEVON’S transport chief appealed for patience from campaigners bidding for a cycle trail from Feniton to Sidmouth.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said they would have to wait until at least 2015.


THE inspirational figure behind Sidmouth in Bloom for more than 40 years picked up an honour from the Queen.

Joy Seward, 78, described receiving the British Empire Medal as a ‘thrilling surprise’.


A lovestruck couple were in 00-heaven when a man’s top-secret mission to propose to his Bond-fan belle was accomplished with a ‘yes’ in front of a packed cinema.

Andy Downham organised a red carpet premiere of Skyfall in Sidmouth and popped the question to partner Lisa at the Radway.


IT was revealed Natural England had objected to proposals to turn a 12-acre wedge of countryside north of Sidford into a business park.

The conservation authority said it could not endorse aspects of East Devon District Council’s Local Plan – as it hadn’t seen evidence to justify mooted developments in protected landscapes.


A POPPY Appeal collector was asked a dangerous favour – to dispose of a bomb.

A stranger approached Dave O’Connor outside a Sidmouth supermarket and he calmly took the German World War Two device from him.

It turned out to be inert.


AROUND 4,000 people marched through the streets of Sidmouth in an unprecedented protest aimed at the district council.

The protest was organised by Save Our Sidmouth but attended by people from all over the area.


KIND-HEARTED Girl Guide Liberty Miles, 10, was thrilled to receive a surprise award acknowledging how she supported her mum through a year-long cancer ordeal.


A HUSBAND and wife team of fundraisers, Sue and Chris Pink stepped down after four years and almost £60,000 raised as Poppy Appeal organisers.

They were told they would be ‘a hard act to follow’.


A WIDOW spoke of how the threat of a potential employment site at Sidford knocked tens of thousands of pounds off the market value of a nearby pensioner’s home.


PLANS to give Sidmouth Victoria Hospital a £1.3million revamp were revealed.

Proposals included a new physiotherapy department, rehabilitation unit and gym area.

The hospital’s comforts fund launched a £350,000 fundraising bid to make the scheme a reality.


A SIDMOUTH pensioner got a shock when he returned home from holiday to be told he’d racked up a £10,000 electricity and gas bill.

Perplexed granddad Baz Breadmore, 73, was in the dark over the mammoth two-month tally – 100 times what he’d normally expect to pay.

It turned out to be a meter reading error.


A FOOD bank was launched in Sidmouth after it was revealed that scores of families were so hard-up they could not afford to eat.

Driving forces behind the project said there is a stigma around poverty in a town widely perceived as affluent – with some residents unwilling to ask for help.


HUNDREDS of tonnes of gravel dredged from the River Sid were taken to Sidmouth beach in a bid to protect its crumbling eastern coastline – but wouldn’t be put in place at Pennington Point for weeks.


A fire in a former stationer’s shop, since targeted by squatters, could burn down ‘half the town’, Sidmouth town councillors were warned.

Suggestions for what could be done to rectify the situation at the former SES building, in the High Street, included forcing the owner to sell up, getting the premises listed, and having fire crews declare it unsafe.


An Indian restaurant owner in Sidmouth felt vindicated after the Border Agency said he was not liable for four men found working there illegally.

Kazi Ahmad faced a fine of up to £40,000 when immigration officials raided the Cinnamon Tree in Radway in October but a UK Border Agency spokesman said a notice of no liability was issued to the Cinnamon Tree and no penalty was due.


RED-FACED district council chiefs admitted that yet another gaffe in their relocation proposals underestimated how upping-sticks would cost Sidmouth jobs.

Campaigners spotted a second blunder in the space of a fortnight, branded the project a ‘farce’ and called for it to be halted after corrected figures revealed the mooted move would ‘double’ the town’s unemployment.


THE Sid Valley Memory Café became one of the first groups in the UK to receive a grant that will see its members’ recollections turned into a record of local history.

Its initiative, Moments in Time, was given £8,100 of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories funding to create an oral depiction project encouraging users to capture their experiences of living and working in the area.


SIDMOUTH Primary School got just what it wanted for Christmas when a cracker of a cash boost made its minibus dream come true.

An £8,000 pledge from the Keith Owen Fund helped drive the Herald’s Campaign 2012 from near the half-way mark to over the finish line.

Hard-working PTFA members had been resigned to continuing their efforts into 2013.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald