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Cotton Traders is making final preparations ahead of the opening of its latest store in Sidmouth.  The British fashion brand is to launch its newest outlet in Fore Street on Saturday, July 24. It will create five new jobs in the seaside East Devon town, including store manager Sherrie Carter. With a great customer base already established – we can’t wait to officially open the doors to the public… The new branch will be one of more than 90 Cotton Traders stores across the country. CEO Nick Hamblin said: “We’re delighted to open the doors in Sidmouth and welcome the local community to…

The best of the region was celebrated by thousands of visitors who flocked to the 2021 Devon County Show, hailing the agricultural event a success – becoming the first with livestock to be held in the UK for more than a year. The three-day show this year boasted 18,000 visitors on its first day, keen to sample the delights of Devon after the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 show and prompted a new July date in line with the Government’s relaxation on restrictions. Show organisers said the turnout had been ‘better than expected’ over the 83-acre site, as many of…

Broadcaster and TV presenter Jeremy Vine trounced a mad scientist in Exmouth when he and his family returned to town to tackle an escape room. Jeremy discovered Excape escape rooms, in Rolle Street, in 2019, vowing to revisit and tackle another challenge after his family defeated a Sherlock Holmes puzzle. Following his latest visit, Journalist Jeremy championed the ‘absolutely brilliant’ attraction, calling it ‘fantastic family time in the centre of Exmouth’. Dan Tribble, Excape owner, said he and his wife, Helen, were ‘thrilled’ when the BBC Radio 2 presenter booked his family a return visit after the visitor attraction reopened…

A mental health champion from Honiton has been named the 2021 Devon winner of the Prince of Wales Award. Sarah-Lou Glover, founder of Parental Minds, helping families struggling with mental health issues, was nominated for the award by Steve Craddock, from Honiton Health Matters. Sarah, a long-term mental health carer, will be presented with her award on the opening day of the Devon County Show, handed over by Alistair Martin on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall. She said: ‘I feel truly humbled and honoured to have won. There has been such a wealth of worthy projects that have supported…

A pub in East Devon, one of oldest coaching inns in Colyton dating back to 1506, has gone on the market for £425,000 for the freehold. Estate agent Stonesmith this week announced The Gerrard Arms, in St Andrew’s Square, which includes a family home, is up for sale. The tradional character freehouse – a wet led public house that occasionally serves food – has been under the same ownership for the last 13 years. A Stonesmith spokesperson said: “The Gerrard Arms enjoys a popular local following and boasts a year-round regular repeat trade as well as some uplift on tourists…

A landmark hotel overlooking Exmouth seafront is set to re-open next month – a year after it went into administration. The Imperial Hotel, on Exmouth Esplanade, was  one of four Shearings Hotels to close  in May 2020. Now under new management, the Imperial Hotel will reopen in May 2021 and is looking to recruit staff. The Esplanade in Paignton, The Imperial Hotel in Exmouth, and The Torbay and Tor Park in Torquay, are set to reopen as part of the Coast & Country Hotel Collection, a newly-formed group of former Shearings Hotels. All four hotels went into administration in May…

A good Samaritan motorcycle mechanic from Honiton has been working for free to keep the Devon Freewheelers on the road. Jessi Little, owner at BJS Engineering, in Offwell, East Devon, for the last four years has waived his MOT fee for the Honiton-based charity’s motorbikes. And when other Devon garages closed during the first Covid-19 lockdown, Jessi stayed open for the Devon Freewheelers and took on the charity’s servicing, mechanics and MOTs from other areas of the county. Dad-of-one Jessi, aged 41, from Honiton, learned about the Devon Freewheelers through a friend who fundraised for the charity. He said the…

An East Devon pub team has been ‘overwhelmed’ by community kindness after a thatch blaze ripped through the inn’s roof at the weekend. Fire crews from three counties tackled the blaze at the White Hart Inn, Wilmington, near Honiton, shortly before midday on Sunday morning (April 4). The pub resumed its takeaway service on Tuesday (April 6) thanks to the community rallying to help clear the garden and grounds of thatch and other fire damage. The pub team said the ‘severe fire’ caused ‘significant damage throughout the building’. The team took to social media to thank everyone who helped with…

A Seaton woman has benefited from a government-backed project to help the unemployed back to work amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Eleanor Gait, aged 23, a recent university graduate, said she was left ‘demoted and intimidated’ after finding job searches ‘pretty bleak’ when the pandemic hit the UK. Eleanor found a job thanks to a new programme provided by employability specialist Seetec Pluss. The support Eleanor received was provided under the new government-funded JETS programme – Job Entry Targeted Support – designed to help people struggling to find work due to Covid-19. The programme, launched in October 2020, has already supported more than 700 people into employment…

A ‘hidden gem’ hotel in Sidmouth has a new owner who vows to give it ‘more attention to flourish’. The Sidholme Hotel has been sold some eight months after the Grade II property went on the market in July 2020, inviting offers in excess of £1.9million. This week it was announced property agents Savills, on behalf of joint administrators of Methodist Guild Holidays Ltd, completed the sale of the hotel to Arsh Holdings. The new owner said the aim was to improve the appearance of the site and the quality of service at the hotel. Ali Rad, managing director of…

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