Sidmouth view brings Bob to town

Bob Weeks of Sid Valley Radio. Ref edr 49 18TI 6304. Picture: Terry Ife

Bob Weeks of Sid Valley Radio. Ref edr 49 18TI 6304. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Bob Weeks, CEO of Sid Valley Radio, explains what he loves about Sidmouth.

What do you like most about Sidmouth?

I lived on a narrow boat for many years on the Grand Union Canal and quite openly said ‘I would never live in a house again’. Then I came back to Sidmouth for the 2013 Folk Festival and my view was changed for good. I remember walking around The Byes with my lurcher and I was completely taken aback by the friendly welcome that was given to all visitors. This time was only a short visit and I felt very sad whilst driving home longing to get a phone call saying you can have a few extra days’ leave so I could turn around and go back.

I was sitting on my narrow boat talking about moving away and I was asked why Sidmouth and I replied ‘Sidmouth is the one of the last bastions of civility left in the UK’ and I genuinely believe that. People talk to each other, smile and say good morning and, unhurried, pass the time of day. People have pride in the Sid Valley and what they do here; they have passion in the Devon produce and their community. I love the fact that people pull together when needed and there are so many great groups helping each other out.

There is one point when driving home that always makes me smile; there is a zigzag in the road after the long stretch from Putts Corner where the hidden Sid Valley opens up before you as you descend.

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When I set up Sid Valley Radio, I was overwhelmed by the support from the town council, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and listeners. It is a truly magical place.

What is your favourite memory associated with Sidmouth?

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Walking along Jacob’s Ladder beach in April 2016 with my feet in the water and making the choice to move here with my partner Christine.

How have you seen Sidmouth develop throughout the years?

I came here first when I was 12, when we holidayed in Seaton. Every year we would come for the day and I remember getting the biggest ice cream ever and eating it whilst sitting on the beach. Sidmouth hasn’t changed. Yes, shops come and go and there are more charity shops than I remember, but the character and warmth of Sidmouth hasn’t changed.

What is your favourite shop in Sidmouth?

Oh, without doubt, the Cheese Board in the High Street. From the excellent butter, the most delicious truffle brie to the amazing black (charcoal) cheddar (oh you have to try that). Every time I walk past I just have to pop in.

What is your favourite building in Sidmouth.

Actually it’s the Old Drill Hall. I always look at it thinking of times past, home guards defending the coast and, more importantly, what’s to come. Sidmouth is coming to the end of a chapter in its history and with quill in hand, about to start on new one.

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