Sidmouth Review of the Year - April to June

PUBLISHED: 18:30 31 December 2011

Easter bonnet parade at All Saints primary in Sidmouth. Picture by Terry Ife ref shs 1122-15-11TI

Easter bonnet parade at All Saints primary in Sidmouth. Picture by Terry Ife ref shs 1122-15-11TI

Archant

A look back on events in 2011.

APRIL

POSTMEN were ordered off their bikes after Royal Mail bosses abolished traditional two-wheel deliveries in Sidmouth.

Pedal-power was ditched in favour of vans and high capacity trolleys as part of a modernisation scheme.

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A BATHING water probe made good reading for holidaymakers hoping to take a dip in the sea off Sidmouth.

Both the tow n beach and Jacob’s Ladder scored high marks for their water quality in an Environment Agency survey.

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A SIDMOUTH grandad with only one lung capped off decades of charity adventures in which he raised more than £50,000 by taking on Everest.

Baz Breadmore, 71, completed 31 years of fundraising by fulfilling a lifetime ambition by hiking to the mountain’s base camp.

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A SIDMOUTH couple revealed how they fled their paradise Ivory Coast home as civil war erupted around them.

James and Barbara Sweetman feared they’d never see their first grandchild.

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HOPPER bus driving forces feared soaring fuel prices could put the skids under the valued service.

The escalating cost of diesel left them looking for an additional £2,500.

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CLIFF Road residents-turned activists revealed a £900,000 scheme to stop their homes from toppling into the sea.

They submitted plans for a 240-metre rock revetment at Pennington Point to the district council.

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SHOCKED onlookers feared a man would plummet to his death as cliff-top drama gripped Sidmouth.

Police negotiators raced to the Ham as the man perched precariously on the crumbling edge of Pennington Point. The man was talked down.

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FEARS a Sidmouth beauty spot could be “wiped out” were expressed when developer Persimmon Homes again sized up a huge piece of land in Higher Woolbrook Park.

Persimmon bosses said the firm was carrying out investigative work.

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A new school site, two-storey seafront car park and energy efficient heat and power plant were proposed by residents who were given free rein to pen a wish-list for Sidmouth.

The findings came out of a consultation by the district council about the town’s future.

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SIDMOUTH enjoyed a right royal knees up as more than 1,000 people enjoyed a red, white and blue street party to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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MAY

THE public face of Sidmouth police, station enquiry officer Debbie Hollamby, issued a heartfelt ‘thank-you’ as she said goodbye to the force after decades of service.

The front desk at the town’s Temple Street police station shut after Debbie was made redundant in constabulary cuts.

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EAGERLY anticipated plans to replace Sidmouth’s Fortfield Hotel with 31 apartments – including a £1.3 million offer towards tourism and affordable housing – were submitted to the district council.

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POLICE vowed to put the brakes on a brothel-on-wheels after prostitutes aboard a travelling ‘sex bus’ said they might make a pit-stop in Sidmouth.

Mobile hookers Roxy and Ronnie said the town’s elderly population wouldn’t deter their self-styled ‘passion wagon’ from dripping in on the Regency seaside resort as they embarked on a road trip across the South West.

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DONKEY Sanctuary founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, died following a stroke.

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DOCTORS called for Sidmouth to be handed a brand new health centre after the town’s Blackmore Drive practice premises was ranked the ‘worst’ in East Devon.

GPs said they were providing a first-class service from a “woefully inadequate” and “dilapidated” base.

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STUART Hughes was named chairman of Sidmouth Town Council after two decades representing the area.

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FORMER town councillor Tony Reed became the first person to be handed the freedom of Sidmouth.

Long-serving Tony, 74, said he was ‘lost for words’ when handed the honour by Sidmouth Town Council.

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DISABLED pensioner Mike Bess slammed vandals who lobbed a paving slab through the windscreen of his three-wheeled pride and joy.

Mike, 72, feared he’d have to scrap the Reliant Rialto he’d owned for 27 years as he couldn’t afford repairs. A good Samaritan came to his rescue with a new windscreen.

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A £50,000 bid to improve and upgrade two Sidmouth cycle routes was revealed.

Devon County Council said it had applied for cash to boost a link between Higher Woolbrook, Sidmouth College, and The Byes, and another stretching from Woolbrook Road to Lymebourne Lane.

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CIVIC leaders condemned proposals to build apartment on the Fortfield Hotel site.

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JUNE

SIDMOUTH Lifeboat crew welcomed aboard an unusual new addition - centenarian Alan Charlton.

The independent service’s oldest volunteer got to ride in the boat for the first time as a special treat on his 100th birthday.

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SIDMOUTH Caribbean Night 2011 was cancelled but organiser Ben Waring vowed to try and keep the popular reggae bonanza, revived a year before, going in the future.

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IT was announced the 14th century Old Ship Inn was to become a Costa Coffee.

The news incensed some regulars and nearby traders. New owner James Witty employed expert restorers so the Old Fore Street venue’s historical features were retained during alterations.

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BLACKMORE Gardens floral feature Fred the Peacock was saved from the chop by Sidmouth Herald readers who raised £2,000 to have him re-planted.

Town council budget cuts meant Fred faced being axed.

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A WORKING party of town councillors and members of the public was set up to tackle concerns for dementia and mental illness sufferers in Sidmouth following concerns over the proposed closure of Stowford Lodge.

The town’s Arts Centre staged an emotional public meeting attended by more than 50 people and NHS bosses.

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HEADTEACHERS at three Sidmouth schools hailed a key decision in moving forward ‘primary education’ in the town.

County council education bosses rubber-stamped a move to amalgamate St Nicholas Junior, All Saints Infants and Sidmouth Infants schools into Sidmouth Church of England Primary School.

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PLANS for a £2.5 million extension of Sidmouth Victoria Hospital were shelved.

North Devon Healthcare Trust withdrew a planning application for the controversial scheme.

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HEARTLESS thieves stole sentimental jewellery, electronic items and a car from a grieving widow in Sidford when they burgled her home.

The victim was at a hospital appointment at the time of the offence.

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BOSSES at Skinner, one of Sidmouth’s biggest employers, said jobs were ‘in safe hands’ as they celebrated the firm’s 125th anniversary.

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ALL Saints Infant School was rated top-class in its last ever Ofsted evaluation.

Inspectors labelled the school’s overall effectiveness, capacity for sustained improvement and outcomes for its pupils as ‘good’ across the board.


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