Sidmouth’s Fred the Peacock saved

Generous donations help to save floral peacock display from getting the axe

FRED the peacock will have his rightful place in Blackmore Gardens, Sidmouth, thanks to the generosity of residents and visitors to the town.

The Sidmouth Herald’s Save Fred the Peacock campaign, launched after learning lack of finances meant axing the popular floral bird, has raised some �1,700 to allow the peacock to spread his feathers again this year.

During the past two months Joy Seward, president of Sidmouth in Bloom, has been deluged with cards and letters containing donations to help towards the �2,332.80 quoted by East Devon District Council to plant out the head frame, which fits in a special tail-shaped flower bed in the garden.

“We have three other pledges, so we are delighted,” said Joy, who has produced a book containing all the letters, cards and notes, with the senders’ names, to show South West in Bloom judges how news of Fred’s possible demise had reached out across the UK.

“It was well worth trying to save Fred and I am sure it will be enjoyed by everyone,” said Joy. “We are so grateful to the Sidmouth Herald for all its support, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Sidmouth in Bloom celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and has booked the Three Cornered Plot display bed for a special anniversary design. Because of the extra cost for this, the committee had felt unable to pay out for Fred after Sidmouth Town Council, which was looking for ways to keep its budget costs down, decided not to fund the peacock’s planting this year.