Sidmouth Folk Festival re-cap by Mike Dibble

3:00 PM August 13, 2022

Mike Dibble, retired estate agent and avid sports fan, writes for the Herald about his passion for East Devon

Mike Dibble Picture: contributed
– Credit: Picture: contributed

I appreciate it’s not what gardeners and farmers want but to have a sunny folk week was fantastic for the event after years of quieter festivals during the pandemic.

It was great to see the town really come to life for the week.

The sound of music and bells around the town helped give the event a vibrant feel.

Unfortunately the loud music wasn’t to everybody’s liking as complaints were made to the authorities about the noise in some locations.

Sidmouth Folk Week has been going for 67 years and surely, just for one week in a year, people can live with a bit of noise. When some of the complainants are people who have bought a house near a pub it does make you wonder what people expect.

We had a varied week at Sidmouth Cricket Club. On the last day we had a visit from a model giant which unfortunately blew over when a gust of wind hit it.

Earlier in the week the Devon Air Ambulance landed on one of our croquet lawns following a call to the emergency services after someone felt unwell.

After being assessed it was deemed sensible for the patient to be taken away in a land ambulance.

I am delighted to report that the gentleman who has taken ill has made a complete recovery and is now safely back at home upcountry. His friend, who was staying on the cricket ground, asked me to pass on thanks to everyone who helped get him away to hospital as quickly as possible.

I notice a number of people are saying what a great job council workers did in the tidying up and cleaning operation. I wholeheartedly agree. By early morning the town looked fantastic with all the previous day’s mess cleared up. A great effort from all concerned.

There were a couple of short road closures during the week after minor accidents.

I’m always amazed there aren’t more with cars, cyclists and pedestrians all moving around in close proximity. The high amount of alcohol consumed during the week is no doubt a factor.

We had the pleasure of watching local entertainer Goronwy Thom performing with his sidekick Richard in the Market Square.

It was a great show and my grandchildren loved it. What terrific performers they are. Juggling, unicycle riding and comedy are three of their huge talents.

After all the cars left the cricket ground on Friday evening it resembled a desert.

We are fortunate enough to have a borehole water supply and after extensive watering of the square it meant that a green oasis established itself over the week.

The outfield was certainly very fast for the 2nd XI game against Exmouth on Saturday. Unfortunately it was a game that Sidmouth were to lose and over a disappointing weekend for the club all three teams lost. This Saturday the 1st XI have a very important game against Bradninch at The Fortfield.

Exeter City have made a bright start to their League One football campaign. A thumping 4-0 win against Port Vale last Saturday was watched by a decent crowd at St James Park. This weekend City travel to Cambridge.

On the rugby front Sidmouth have a friendly fixture against Topsham tonight (Friday, August 12). The rugby club also have a borehole water supply so hopefully the fixture can still go ahead after extensive watering. The pitch was certainly hard and pale after Folk Week.

Finally on the commercial property front we have another new business in Fore Street.

The Sidmouth Emporium has replaced the Ashleigh Bishop Gallery.

On their website they describe themselves as an antiques store with retro and vintage as well as some newer bits and pieces.

The premises were on the market recently with an asking price of offers in the region of £400,000 for the freehold which also included a self-contained flat as well as the retail unit.

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