Ottery reveals its Citizen and Business of the Year
PUBLISHED: 06:55 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:10 30 April 2019
A man who has spent more than two decades making sure Ottery looks tidy has won Citizen of the Year.
Peter Harris, 84, was presented with the civic award at the annual parish meeting on Tuesday after years of supporting the town that he says has adopted him.
Born in Newton Poppleford, his family moved to Ottery when he was a youngster and has lived in the town ever since, working in the old factory for 45 years.
Upon his retirement he took up maintaining the Tumbling Weir and painting the public benches red – which have become a trademark of the town.
Mr Harris, who has published two books about the town, said: “People used to come down in the holidays and sit on the seat by the Tumbling Weir. They used to say it was dirty. So I said if I got some waders I will go in and clean it up.
“I've seen television sets, bicycles, boots. You name it and I've found it. I've painted all the seats in the town, I'm quite well known for my red seats.”
You may also want to watch:
The 84-year-old historian is also well known in the town for his little Morris Minor 8 car, named 'Amy' due to her AJ number plate, in honour of the pilot Amy Johnson.
At the meeting, Ottery Town Council presented the town's first ever Business of the Year award. Six businesses were level on votes, so the winner – Tickety-Boo – was picked at random from an envelope.
Stuart Phillips, owner of Tickety-Boo, said: “I was away on holiday with the family and came back to the news that Tickety-Boo had been nominated as Business of the Year. I had to get ready straight away and dash off to the meeting.
“Thanks to everyone who nominated us. It was a real surprise when Tickety-Boo was announced as the winner.
I'm of course delighted that we won but I also want to point out that the town has many brilliant independent businesses working hard to make this an attractive place to visit.
“I've continued to invest in Tickety-Boo because I think it's a really great facility for local people and visitors to Ottery. We're coming up to our third anniversary which is pretty good going. We've recently made some changes to the layout to provide more seating and our chef Trystan Bridgman has really upped the game with his new menu.
“Most importantly I'd like say a really big thank you not just to our loyal customers who have shown so much support, but especially to my hard-working team who have had to cope with quite a few challenges over the past few months, especially with the refurbishment of the play kingdom. They have all been brilliant.”