‘Capturing imaginations’ - large deckchair hopes to pull in crowds to Sidmouth

Ian Barlow, chair of Sidmouth Town Council, enjoys sitting in the chair. Picture: Ian Barlow

Ian Barlow, chair of Sidmouth Town Council, enjoys sitting in the chair. Picture: Ian Barlow - Credit: Archant

One of Sidmouth’s iconic deckchairs has had a growth spurt as part of a promotion push to attract more visitors to the town.

The town council unveiled a larger version of the seaside seat along The Espalande ahead of the folk festival.

The chair has been a hotspot for crowds of all ages queuing up for a picture-perfect memento.

It is the first idea from Sidmouth Town Council's tourism and economy committee as part of its long term strategic plan to promote the town.

Councillor Louise Thompson, vice-chair of the committee, said she was delighted the chair was in place for the 2019 season.

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She said: "There are people in it every two or three minutes. Everyone is taking photos and that is part of the whole idea that we will get this social sharing from it. It's working as its intended and we are getting really good feed back.

"It's quite exciting that we can turn this around as speedily. I think it's a good fit with the whole of Sidmouth. We have the classic deck chairs and it is just a really good fit. It's attracting everyone from every demographic.

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"It's captured everyone's imagination.

"We chose that location because it has that beautiful backdrop. It highlights Sidmouth at its best and will be one of the highlight photos they take."

The council thanked Guy Russell and his team at Jurassic Paddle Sports for helping with putting the chair away every night.

Cllr Thompson thanked Kings Garden Centre for providing a truck to collect the chair and Sarah Reis for designing the logo in time for the folk festival.

Cllr Louise Cole, chairman of the committee, said members focus would aim to deliver policies that connect the town's diverse range of events in one place.

She said the work all stemmed from action points the community wanted to see from the emerging Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan.

She said: "It's about fun showing that bright and breezy approach. Not everything has to be doom and gloom and it shows people getting out and about. It's a small bit but it all connects up."

Visitors taking pictures are being encouraged to upload their shots to social media with the hashtag #VisitSidmouth.

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