Sidmouth Review of the Year - October to December
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 January 2012 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 January 2012
A look back on events in Sidmouth in 2011.
A DEVASTATED young Sidmouth family watched their livelihood go up in smoke when an arsonist torched their van.
Keiran Fayter-Small and partner Nicola Curtis were woken in the early hours as their vehicle was engulfed in flames, destroying his work tools inside.
CARELESS fly-tippers illegally dumped a huge haul of potentially deadly asbestos in a quiet Sidmouth beauty spot off Bickwell Lane.
Some 26 bags of industrial waste were left on the bridleway.
SUN bathers bashed the district council for barricading off Jacob’s Ladder beach huts as Sidmouth sizzled in an unseasonal October scorcher.
But EDDC said its contractors were just doing their job and customers were allowed two days grace because of the good weather at the end of the rental season.
CHILDREN using a Sidmouth building site as a playground and construction workers’ tools as toys, were dicing with death warned the police.
They feared it is only a matter of time before a youngster was hurt playing on the land off Stowford Rise.
DRIVERS who abuse parking regulations at a Sidmouth town centre car park were under surveillance.
The Vision Group for Sidmouth’s Futures Forum called for a crackdown on those who made a habit of parking in Blackmore Drive’s car park all day.
PART of Swiss town Le Locle has been renamed in honour of Sidmouth after more than 15 years of twinning friendship.
Members of Sidmouth Twinning Circle enjoyed a five-day trip to the town last month and saw a piece of land unveiled as Sidmouth Square.
ICONIC autumn leaves and conkers in scenic Sidmouth beauty spots were to be swept up then burned or composted in a bid to halt the spread of a lethal tree disease.
A POPULAR café, left homeless for 18 months after Sidmouth Indoor Shopping Centre shut, could be back in business – but a High Street storm in a teacup is brewing over the bid by Soula Sherlock, after businesses feared a 28th town café in place of the closed Wine Shop.
JIGSAW ace John Dyson was left in pieces when the world’s biggest puzzle fell apart, moments before he was set to finish it.
Disaster struck when a quarter of the 32,000 piece challenge, collapsed as he attempted to prop it up for a photograph to prove to manufacturer Ravensburger he’d finished it.
SIDMOUTH’S future could feature a search for employment land equivalent in size to 11 football pitches.
Concerned business leaders expressed fears a potential 12 acres of commercial development would match the proportion of the town’s existing shopping space.
THE quintessentially English sight of deckchairs on Sidmouth seafront could become a thing of the past fears the man who’s been responsible for 400 of the iconic folding chairs on the Esplanade for 25 years.
Tom Griffiths decided to retire and was concerned a council move may see the deckchairs vanish. EDDC says a new invitation to tender for the chairs would go out after Christmas.
REGENERATION of Sidmouth’s Port Royal remained in limbo, despite the landmark hand-over of the key Drill Hall asset.
The hall changed hands in a £550,000 land swap deal, following years of negotiations between EDDC and the Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadet Association.
The council invested more than £500,000 in providing army and air cadets with a new home off Stowford Rise.
BUSINESS leaders called for a park-and-ride scheme at Knowle and urged highways chiefs to forget about town-centre pedestrianisation and parking meters.
A YOUNG mum from Sidmouth with incurable cancer wanted to help other sufferers as she makes the most of every day.
Naomi Thomas, 29, hoped she’d beaten the disease but, soon after the birth of her son, Devon found it had spread to her spine.
A RETIRED Sidmouth couple thanked the town for its “amazing” support after a freak golfing accident left a grandmother without sight in one eye.
Pat Addis, of Woolbrook Road, was rushed to hospital by air ambulance after being struck by the ball while playing the sport with husband David.
A SUGGESTION that Sidmouth Town Council takes on the running of Temple Street car park was vetoed by its chairman after he used his casting vote on the proposal.
A split vote meant Councillor Stuart Hughes held the balance and he voted to keep the status quo.
ENVIRONMENTAL bodies were warned they have one last chance to address rapid erosion of Sidmouth’s crumbling eastern coastline before a “catastrophe” befalls the town.
EDDC chiefs vowed to urgently address problems at Pennington Point after residents withdrew plans to save their homes.
AFTER 40 years of bringing floral displays to Sidmouth, Joy Seward, president of Sidmouth in Bloom, announced her retirement.
The rest of the small committee said they would also be stepping down, but were in negotiations with two nurseries to ensure the town’s floral delights were in place for 2012.
POOR transport infrastructure and absence of traffic management were preventing Sidmouth from being a select resort, according to one resident.
Graham Cooper said streets were dominated by traffic and were ‘hazardous and unnecessary vested interest in the town is resistant to change’.
SIDMOUTH and Sidford’s Devon county councillor was among 190 volunteers to have trained as snow wardens to keep communities moving during the winter.
Councillors Stuart Hughes and Ian Barlow were among those who were trained to use the tow-along gritters to cover more than four miles of roads in the Sid valley.
IT WAS announced that the former Drill Hall, on Sidmouth’s seafront, was to be demolished at a cost of more than £48,000.
The site is to be used, temporarily, as a pay and display car park by next summer.
JUST a week after resigning ‘en bloc’, Sidmouth in Bloom committee learnt that the Royal Horticultural Society wanted Sidmouth to represent South West coastal towns at its prestigious Britain in Bloom finals next year.
Outgoing president Joy Seaward warned the incoming committee how much work would be involved, to give the town a chance of winning the title.
A COUPLE from Winslade Road said they were planning to hold a Christmas Day lunch for those who would otherwise be on their own.
Mick and Angie Carney said they had been inspired to host the event by a conversation with an ambulance driver.
DOCTORS feared their hopes of a brand new health centre and library in Sidmouth would be ‘dead in the water’ if £600,000, set aside for the project, was lost.
GPs revealed their proposed vision for a complete rebuild of facilities in Blackmore Drive for the first time, as the fate of crucial county council money appeared to hang in the balance.
RUDOLPH the reindeer was left red faced when Santa’s sleigh was badly damaged in a car park smash.
Santa was left unable to go to town when the sleigh’s roof was damaged in a collision with a height restriction bar. The damaged was later repaired.
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