Keep safe and enjoy return of Tar Barrels spectacle

Ottery Tar Barrels 2018. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Some of the organisers by the bonfire during Tar Barrel night - Credit: Alex Walton Photography

It has been a very difficult 18 months for many people due to the pandemic and although we are all generally looking forward it can be very easy to forget that life has changed for so many within the last year or so.

Tragically lots of lives have been lost including within our own community and I feel as a parish we must do everything we can to ensure that we stay as safe as possible with the rise of infections and the flu season fast approaching us. I know that Government restrictions have been lifted but if a business asks you to wear a face mask, adhere to social distancing or restricts the amount of people they will allow in at a time I hope that people respect the concerns of the owners and realise they are not just doing it for their own safety but also for the safety of their staff, customers and their loved ones. It can be very easy to forget that the cases of Covid19 are steadily rising in our area and that even if you have had the vaccinations it doesn’t stop you from carrying the virus and giving it to someone who is still vulnerable.

That being said we are generally going back to some semblance of normalcy. With the world renowned Tar Barrels just around the corner, I’m sure many people have spotted the fire being built down on the Millennium Green. We owe this wonderful tradition to the dedication of a wonderful group who are determined to keep Ottery alive and spend many hours organising for the event. So if you are new to Ottery St Mary please take heed of the road closure notifications that will soon be springing up around the town and realise that for one night only it may be difficult to get to your property. This can be frustrating but is done for the safety of all concerned, so please be kind to the people who will be assisting you on the evening of November 5 and remember that without them this event would not be able to go ahead.

As a council we have still been working very hard behind the scenes with lots of work being done to enhance the wonderful community that we all live in.