Sir John Cave re-opens Culver House, Sidmouth

Abbeyfield Society home get official unveiling

SIDMOUTH’S Culver House, the town’s third Abbeyfield Society home that replaces its All Saints premises, was officially re-opened by Sir John Cave, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, on Tuesday.

“The best of efforts were made to invite the royal patron of the National Abbeyfield Society to open the house, but the Prince of Wales is a busy chap,” Sir John joked with residents, Abbeyfield Sidmouth Society members, Culver House committee and invited guests.

With the major transformation at Culver House, Sir John said he knew how many people had been involved with the meticulous planning involving endless meetings and building work.

“Many of you involved are present this afternoon. Congratulations to you all.”

He named four for their huge efforts: Marie Bond, Culver House committee chairman, Philip Churchill, who oversaw the work as project manager, the late Michael Horwood, who as chairman of the Abbeyfield Sidmouth Society first contacted Sir John about the opening, and resident Margaret Carter who showed him around her home.

Marie thanked all on Culver House committee, staff and residents, who, she said: “have been wonderful during this, when they came during a really stressful period.”

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Philip Churchill thanked Sir John and Lady Cave, who received a bouquet of flowers from secretary Carol Symes, architects Kendall Kingscott “for giving us a building that works”, builders Hodges Bridle “for being on time and under budget”, secretary Neville Stadden “for finding the money, the residents for putting up with builders and builders for putting up with residents.”

Finally he thanked the late Michael Horwood “for his wholehearted support of the project.”

Culver House, built as a vicarage in 1920, was sold by Sidmouth Consolidated Charities to Abbeyfield in 2009 and moved in last November and slightly under the �2 million budget.