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Showing posts from July, 2020

Bullied and depressed as a teenager, Leanne is inspiring others to turn their lives around

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A woman who suffered from bullying and eating disorders at school is now a locally-renowned personal trainer. An inspiring ‘rags to riches’ story, Leanne Bierton, who grew up in Kingsbridge and now lives and works in Paignton, went from being overweight and depressed to healthy and happy, and now she helps other people do the same.  Leanne on her 20th birthday and today In a true case of someone who knows what you’re going through, Leanne has tried the fad diets, has tried the exercise gimmicks and knows how demoralising it can be when those things fail, or you feel as if you have failed at them.  Leanne’s struggle with her weight started when she was attending Kingsbridge Community College. She says she had an “extremely bad relationship with food” and would use it as a comfort. “I would binge eat and secret eat” she explained. “I was severely bullied at school for my weight and eventually my issues with food spiralled out of control and I became bulimic.” I was severely bullied at sc

Flitwick, the oldest Little Owl in the world, has died

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Flitwick, the oldest Little Owl in the world, has died at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm. Flitwick the Little Owl - credit Totnes Rare Breeds Farm The farm broke the news of Flitwick’s passing at the grand age of 15 years and 2 months.  A statement put out by the farm said: "It is with the deepest sadness that we must let you all know that Flitwick the Little Owl passed away this morning. She was the most incredible little bird that brought so much happiness to so many "She was the most incredible little bird that brought so much happiness to so many. From an adorable chick, to a patient and calm adult. She will always be remembered for sitting not on her post, but on the railing where she would allow both children and adults to touch her. Flitwick brought so much joy to everyone who met her. "She was retired last season for a well earned rest, living out her days quite content in her aviary. "Flitwick celebrated her 15th Hatchday in May, an incredible age as the oldest ev

Man found unconscious at Dairy Crest Milk factory has died

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UPDATE: The man who was discovered by police at the derelict Dairy Crest Milk factory in Totnes has died.  Ethan Bonnar - shared on his GoFundMe page The 22-year-old, named locally as Ethan Ross Bonnar, was found unconscious at the factory with severe injuries on Wednesday, July 29, having fallen through a metal roof 24 hours before.  His mother, Cheryl Reynolds, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral and said: "With saddest news my son Ethan Bonnar was badly injured in accident and with his hardest efforts and amazing hospital team they did everything they could Ethan has now gone to a better place.  "He was extremely loved by his family and vast amounts of friends from Scotland to Devon and Uni mates.  We are aiming to make this go fund me page to give him the best send off he deserves and any cover expenses as he was taken from us so suddenly. "My baby boy rest my child "We love you xxx" Ethan Bonnar was badly injured in accident and with his

Covid cancels Dartmouth Shakespeare Week but new film released for free

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Dartmouth Shakespeare Week has fallen foul of coronavirus, but instead, a free film is about to be released. Brief Chronicles In order to get your fix of Shakespeare and the talent on show at Dartmouth Shakespeare Week, Brief Chronicles is what you need.  The Inn Theatre Company have been presenting Dartmouth Shakespeare Week at Dartmouth Castle for eighteen years and in order to fill the hole left by the lack of their planned Much Ado About Nothing this year, the team got together to film Brief Chronicles, filmed and edited by Arwen Stickland. Filmed at Dartmouth Castle in June, while adhering to Covid-19 guidelines of course, Brief Chronicles is a "love letter to Shakespeare, Dartmouth, actors everywhere and everyone who loves theatre", according to organiser Max Marme.  a love letter to Shakespeare, Dartmouth, actors everywhere and everyone who loves theatre Max explained that the film will be free to watch and accessible to everyone. He said: "We will, however, have

Police search for missing man

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Police are looking for a man who has been reported missing.  Paul Bairstow Police have released a statement, saying they are "growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of a 56-year-old male, who has been reported missing from the Torquay and Kingsteignton areas".  "Paul Bairstow was last seen on the afternoon of Sunday 26 July 2020 driving a Sky Blue Chevrolet Spark, registration LR13GHZ.  "Paul is described as a white male, around 6ft tall of heavy build a grey receding hair line and grey goatee. He is wearing blue jeans, a black 'Old Guys Rule' T-shirt, black shoes, and is carrying a black and grey rucksack.  "Paul has links across South Devon. If you have seen Paul or this vehicle or know of his whereabouts, please call police immediately on 999, quoting log number 0153 27/07/2020."

Paralysed and told he would never walk again, infant defies all expectations

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Imagine being told by paramedics that your baby son might not survive the journey to the hospital, despite being perfectly healthy just hours before. This was the reality for local woman Jess Martin when her son Arlo woke up with his eyes rolling but unable to move his arms.    Arlo with his twin brother Finley and his older brother Noah It was a normal morning a year ago this week when Jess found one of her 22-month-old twins, paralysed and very unwell. "I phoned 999 thinking he'd had a stroke", Jess said, "I was beside myself and it sent me into a panic attack. We were blue lighted to Derriford, but in the 10 minutes it took to get there, Arlo lost movement in his legs as well. After being put to sleep and having an MRI doctors decided he was extremely poorly and needed to be blue lighted to Bristol Children's Hospital." It was this journey that Jess says was her lowest point. "We were on blue lights, there were three doctors around him and wires comi

Car ends up on its roof after crash

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A car has ended up on its roof after being crashed in South Pool "after a rave".  The crash scene - credit Ben Stone "They had come from a rave at a campsite five minutes up the road", said Ben Stone, who took the photo of the car upside down. "There are still a lot of police and drug dogs in the area." They had come from a rave at a campsite five minutes up the road The police were already on scene when Ben spotted the scene at 9am this morning, Saturday 25th of July, and three "young lads" who appeared to be the passengers all "looked fine". 

Kingsbridge Food Bank urgently needs a new home

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Kingsbridge Food Bank, which supports those struggling financially with food bundles, is fast running out of time to find a new home.  Previous donations to Kingsbridge Food Bank at harvest time - credit Kingsbridge Food Bank Formerly based at the Horizons building at the top of Fore Street, the food bank grew out of that space with an increase is demand for their services - you can read about Kingsbridge Food Bank seeing at 700% increase in need during the pandemic here .  The Scout Hut, Derby Road, Kingsbridge Since then they have moved to the Scout Hut on Derby Road but with the Scouts and other groups that meet there being able to re-start from September, they need to find a new location by 29th of August.  We need someone to offer us a bigger space for a few months while we find a permanent home "We need someone to offer us a bigger space for a few months while we find a permanent home", said Gerrie Messer, Kingsbridge Food Bank, "We're applying to funding like

Local woman launches sign language class for babies

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If you have ever seen a baby get frustrated by being unable to articulate what they want, you will understand the attraction of baby sign language.  Emma McBride is launching Tiny Talk classes in the South Hams Local woman Emma McBride, from East Allington, is launching Tiny Talk classes in the South Hams, starting online (damn you Covid-19!) and then getting back into physical classes as time goes on.  Emma lives with her partner Johnathan and her daughter Esmé, and she found Tiny Talk classes when Esmé was little. "I attended Tiny Talk classes in Totnes with Esmé when she was 6 months old", Emma explained. "We went to lots of baby groups but this was definitely our favourite. I loved the structure of the classes and that it was just the right amount of stimulation for me and my baby. Esmé would sit transfixed on the teacher whilst she taught us signs through a mixture of songs and books." Esmé would sit transfixed on the teacher whilst she taught us signs through

Salcombe RNLI called to four emergencies in 15 hours

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Salcombe RNLI were called out to four emergencies in just 15 hours yesterday.  The lifeboat on one of its four shouts in 15 hours - credit Salcombe RNLI The volunteer crew were first alerted just after midday on Wednesday, 22nd July, to a jet ski with steering failure. The inshore lifeboat, Joan Bate, was launched to the stricken vessel off Hallsands. The crew located the jetski with one person on board, and they towed it back to Salcombe.  The inshore lifeboat, Joan Bate, was launched to the stricken vessel off Hallsands The crew barely had time to think before they were called to assist the crew on the All Weather Lifeboat (ALB), Baltic Exchange III, as it launched to assist the Hope Cove Lifeboat with a vessel that had run aground in the mouth of the River Erme. Once the casualty vessel was afloat, the Baltic Exchange III escorted her to the far side of Bigbury where she then proceeded home to Plymouth under her own steam. The vessel had run aground - credit Salcombe RNLI   Later th

Volunteers make and distribute more than 2,000 masks

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A small army of volunteers in Loddiswell have sewn and distributed more than 2,000 face masks since coronavirus turned the world upside down.  A selection of their face masks  Alison Seldon and Jenny Field came together at the beginning of April, before national lockdown was announced, to ensure than anyone who needed a mask could get one.  "Jenny already has a sewing business", explained Alison, "so we got together 'virtually' and started sharing templates for the masks." Money-wise, Alison contacted Devon County Councillor Rufus Gilbert, who gave them £250 from his locality budget, and the Loddiswell Parish Council, who gave them another £250. This meant they could go ahead and buy material, elastic, pipe cleaners and everything else they needed to make the masks. Then all they needed were people to help make them. Jenny had a couple of sewing friends who stepped in, and a post on Facebook brought in another 20 people who offered their time for free. Loddi

Zero waste supermarket opens in town, good for you and good for the planet

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When it comes to trying to reduce the amount of plastic and waste you consume, you don’t have to look any further than Fore Street in Kingsbridge.  Green & Wild - as beautiful as it is eco-friendly Green and Wild is a zero waste shop in the centre of Kingsbridge, where you can buy all of your essentials, as well as some beautiful luxuries, and know that you’re doing the planet a favour. Even more impressive - you can click and collect for when you’re short on time, or short on patience for shopping.  Their selection of beans and pulses Green and Wild is run by Rachel and Alex, with help from their gorgeous dog Rafiki. The shop came about after the couple started seeing more and more plastic being washed up on our beaches.  As they learnt more about the impact that pollution has on wildlife they decided to cut plastic out of their weekly shop, but without a zero waste shop nearby that turned out to be harder than they thought, so they decided to start their own - and this is how Gre

Animal sanctuary launches sponsorship scheme to survive pandemic

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A South Hams animal sanctuary is urgently appealing for help to care for an increasing number of elderly and infirm animals. Woodside Animal Welfare Trust at Elfordleigh is one of the few charities in the South West to provide a forever home to animals with age- or health-related issues. But at a time when funding has plummeted during the Covid-19 outbreak, the cost of caring for long-term residents has continued to climb. Cats, dogs, pigs and ponies are among the 50-plus animals living out their days at the Sanctuary in dedicated units filled with creature comforts. Cats, dogs, pigs and ponies are among the 50-plus animals living out their days at the Sanctuary in dedicated units filled with creature comforts Woodside founder Carole Bowles MBE said the charity was committed to giving these animals a loving and comfortable home. “We have seen a rise in the number of elderly cats joining us and others needing to join our resident areas for medical reasons. “In a lot of cases, the owner

Protect our farmers - an open letter to Anthony Mangnall MP

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Dear Mr Mangnall,  As MP for Totnes, you have in your constituency some of the most hard-working farmers in the country, whose livelihoods are currently under threat from negotiations concerning our food and animal welfare standards.  Anthony Mangnall MP for Totnes Here in Devon, and especially the South Hams, we are proud to support our farmers and the work they do to make sure that the country is well fed. They have been subjected to hard times in the last few decades and many are having to think outside the box to stay afloat, with hundreds of farms going out of business, many of which have been passed down through the generations. According to data from the Food Standards Agency, the number of dairy producers in England and Wales has fallen by 866 in just 21 months. Our farmers need the support of our local representatives.  the number of dairy producers in England and Wales has fallen by 866 in just 21 months Most of our local farmers are proud of their welfare standards and they

Man stabbed in Totnes

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A man has been stabbed in Totnes. Armed Devon and Cornwall Police officers have been seen making searches of a property after a man was stabbed in the Collapark area of the town.  The victim has discharged himself from hospital.  In a statement released to Devon Live, the Force Incident Manager for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "We've been unable to locate the offender at this time. "Enquiries are still ongoing, but it's no longer being run as an authorised firearms job so it's going to be slow time enquiries now to track the offender down. "The victim has discharged himself from hospital."

Kingsbridge Fair Week kicks off tonight - but with a difference!

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Kingsbridge Fair Week is an essential date in the summer calendar, but coronavirus has turned the whole world upside down so this year it is taking place online. Kingsbridge Fair Week If you always made sure to make your way down to the Quay for the Fair Week Fireworks, make sure you visit the Kingsbridge Fair Week Facebook page at 9pm and you can imagine you're down on the market square with a beer in hand, Rowland's Fun Fair in the background, watching them explode from the barge on the estuary.  Kingsbridge Fair Week team have always put an enormous amount of time and effort into making sure the event is a roaring success, and this year, while hundreds of other similar things have been cancelled, they have come together to make sure as much as possible can carry on, despite the world outside going mad.  So while you're waiting for the fireworks to kick off, why not submit your entries for the Crabbing Competition, the Lantern Parade and the Dog Show!  The Dog Show will