Sidmouth Review of the Year - -July to September

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 January 2012

Balloon release at The Byes, Sidmouth to mark the opening of Sidmouth Primary School. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1214-36-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Balloon release at The Byes, Sidmouth to mark the opening of Sidmouth Primary School. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1214-36-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

A look back on events in Sidmouth in 2011.

JULY

STRIKE action saw Sidmouth schools left shut or partially closed as unprecedented numbers of teachers in the town protested against plans to cut public sector pensions.

More than half of the area’s education institutions were affected.

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LAST orders were called at Sidmouth’s Old Ship Inn as it shut ahead of being turned into a Costa Coffee.

Regulars staged a farewell party.

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A PECKISH dad from Sidmouth ate £10,000 when he polished off a rare prize-winning Kit-Kat.

Nigel Jones only realised the two-fingered treat was a winner when son Pip told him over breakfast.

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THE district council revealed plants were being micro-chipped in a bid to weed out green-fingered villains who helped themselves to Sidmouth’s floral delights.

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VANDALS ran riot and left an unprecedented trail of floral destruction in Sidmouth just weeks before its Britain in Bloom judging day of destiny.

Late-night louts tarnished a landmark 40th anniversary for Sidmouth in Bloom with criminal activity on four nights out of six – causing £1,000 of damage.

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A GROUP of 90-year-olds walked for 90 minutes along Sidmouth seafront to raise money for the Royal British Legion in its 90th anniversary.

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FAMILIES and civic leaders celebrated when a popular children’s play area at the Ham was officially opened after getting a £40,000 facelift.

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IT was revealed Sidmouth Library opening hours would be cut by 15 per cent in a bid to save cash.

The news came just a week after Devon County Council vowed to splash £8,000 on installing self-service technology at the Blackmore Drive facility.

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SIDMOUTH looked set to be stripped of its status as the home of East Devon District Council – sparking fears for trade if 400 workers upped sticks.

The town’s biggest employer was considering leaving its Knowle headquarters for Honiton.

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MORE than 300 children, parents, teachers and different generations of pupils, bade a fond farewell to Sidmouth’s All Saints Infants School and its retiring headteacher Viv Craig.

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A TRIO of new town councillors were welcomed to Woolcombe House.

Ian Barlow, Maggie Baldwin and David Addis were co-opted on to the council.

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AUGUST

AN elderly carer and her 83-year-old dementia-stricken husband spoke about how they felt “forced out” of an under-threat lifeline for mental health sufferers in Sidmouth - Stowford Lodge – after being told it was to close “immediately”.

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LIBERATION from Nazi oppression led to a lifetime of love for a still-smitten Sidmouth couple who celebrated 65 years of marriage.

Madeleine King, 86 and husband Tom, 87, talk of his part in liberating her home town in Belgium.

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THRILL-SEEKING daredevils were pictured dicing with death by leaping from a Ladram Bay landmark and plummeting 70 feet into the sea.

The trio of young men were caught on camera hurling themselves off Big Rock.

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SIDMOUTH Lifeboat rescuers thanked a panic-stricken member of the public who alerted them to a pair of children in peril in the sea off Sidmouth seafront, enabling them to race to the aid of the youngsters.

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EXPERTS from Natural England objected to a bid by residents to slow the decline of Sidmouth’s crumbling coastline, because the scheme would halt rapid erosion.

Cliff Road homeowners hoped to reach an agreement over their proposals for a £900,000 rock revetment along the base of Pennington Point.

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CIVIC leaders held special talks over how they would like to see Sidmouth ‘evolve’ in the next 15 years.

Some ‘appalled’ town councillors fear a controversial blueprint for the region’s future was being “rushed” and they didn’t have enough time to form an adequate opinion.

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CELEBRITY chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thanked Sidmouth Lifeboat crew and coastguards after they raced to his aid when a fishing trip went wrong.

Rescuers said saving the TV personality and his 10-year-old son was all in a day’s work.

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A controversial bid to build 31 apartments on the site of Sidmouth’s former Fortfield Hotel is given the go-ahead although plans contained no holiday accommodation element.

The proposals featured a £1.5 million cash offer from developers.

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BOMB squad specialists raced to a Sidmouth auction house after staff feared they’d made an explosive discovery dating back to the Battle of Britain.

Workers at Potburys called in the squad when what appeared to be a Spitfire shell fell out of a box of house clearance goods. It turned out it was an ornamental artillery shell.

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SEPTEMBER

BUILDING an educational campus to replace Sidmouth College, to free up the site for housing, is not a pipe dream, says college principal Jeremy Roberts.

The idea was on a wish-list of points Sidmouth Town Council presented to EDDC’s Local Development Framework panel.

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JUST five days after celebrating his 64th birthday, former Sidmouth am-dram devotee Paul Robinson died in Spain, where he lived for the past eight years. He had cancer.

His funeral was held in Sucina, Mercia, but good friends Alan and Val Clifford later held a memorial service in Sidmouth, having brought his pet dogs back to the UK to care for them.

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BUILDING a new health centre for Sidmouth patients is “long overdue” town councillors agreed.

They gave their unanimous backing to Dr Duncan Hall and Dr Ross Dell after a presentation by the GPs at their monthly meeting.

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BLUE and white balloons were released in The Byes to mark the opening of Sidmouth Primary School.

Pupils from the former St Nicholas Junior, All Saints Infants and Sidmouth Infants school sites, gathered in their new blue and white uniforms for the launch.

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FIELDS of Sidmouth took on the likes of Harrods in a national Drapers Fashion Awards final after being chosen as one of six finalists in the Department Store of the Year category.

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POLICE in Sidmouth and East Devon would have to concentrate on crime detection and “keeping the Queen’s peace” as swingeing budget cuts were implemented.

Inspector Tony Comerford told town councillors there would be £50 million in cuts over the next four years.

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It was announced that deteriorating parts of Sidmouth’s sewer system – that could collapse or pose a flooding risk – were to be refurbished as part of a £42 million bid by South West Water to boost residents and businesses.

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A Natural England expert warned Sidmouth could end up being “ignored” by visitors if current assets and facilities are moved and homes were built in the town.

Amanda Newsome told Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce members: “The town needs to retain what it has got when it looks to future developments.”

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THE new Stowford Community Centre opened this month and thanks to a £6,000 grant from the Keith Owen Fund (SVA), it has a well-equipped kitchen.


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