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Tony Allen


Tue 7 Jul 2020

By Tony Allen
One thing that most of us seem to agree on coming from this Lockdown period has been the

amazing feeling of being able to breathe fresh air when out walking, in our gardens, or opening our windows if confined to staying indoors. If ever folk needed to be convinced about the positive outcomes of taking action against climate change, then this is something that does just that. How can we avoid going back to where we were just a few weeks ago? A big reduction in car journeys, more shopping locally, walking or cycling to work, working from home are all good strategies for us all if they can be achieved. Individually we have to evaluate how we can help bring this change about and be part of it. We may not be there yet, but it is so obvious that how we live our lives in our communities is going to have to change.

CHANGE IS IN THE AIR IN OUR COUNCIL TOO........................

For the first time that I can remember we have both a female Mayor and Deputy Mayor. I feel that this is long overdue, and I would like to publicly congratulate Sheila Brooke and Debbie Fletcher on their well-earned elections to these positions. Sheila has been heavily involved in the Covid-19 Action Group mustering community help and volunteers, while Debbie has been doing stalwart work as new Chair of the Finance committee and is the joint lead on the Bovey & Heathfield Climate Action Group, which is already making a big impact. In addition, Kate Morgan-West has been elected as Deputy Chair of the Recreation & Parks Committee. Kate led on setting up the Family Storehouse facility, collecting and storing second-hand children’s clothing to offer to those who may need it. In my view all three are providing yet another breath of fresh air for our community due to how they are tackling these important and urgent tasks. I hope my male colleagues on the council will be in agreement with me about this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, that I would still like to see a 50:50 representation of men and women on the council. Perhaps next time around?  

BOVEY TRACEY COMMUNITY AWARDS 2020...................

The results of these were announced on 21st May. 23 nominations were made for six award categories before the lockdown was announced in mid-March. Hopefully, a belated Awards event will be held once the council is able to do so. In summary the winners are as follows:  

Honorary Representative of the Lord of the Manor of Bovey Tracey for long term service to the community: Colin Back, Chairman of the New Park Community Association since 2012.

Joint Young Citizens of the Year: Candice Cousins (Bovey Youth Café), Evie Godwin (Bovey Lifesaving Club), Eleanor O’Brian and Sian McLeod (2nd Bovey Tracey Brownies).

Environmental Champion: Joseph Burgess (leading by example at Bovey Primary School).

Good Neighbour Award: Maggie Goodchild (exceptional level of help to elderly, isolated, and lonely residents in poor health needing emergency assistance and end-of-life care).

Joint Volunteer Awards: Individual - John Midgley (Chair of Trustees for Bovey Youth Café for many years); Group - Lunch Bunch Xtra (providing twice monthly lunches for the elderly and vulnerable at Bovey Baptist Church).

Business of the Year: Bovey Tracey Kitchen Hub Café (for providing community meals and  services even before the Covid-19 Action Group was set up).

In addition to the community awards, our retiring local Royal British Legion Co-ordinator David Heath was recommended for a special commendation from the RBL for his service as Standard Bearer at all our Remembrance Day parades and services and as co-ordinator of the Poppy Day Appeal in Bovey Tracey and Heathfield over a period of  15 years.

In response to popular demand from residents in both Bovey and Heathfield, our local Street Sweeper Stephen Ley has been recommended to his employer Teignbridge District Council for a special commendation for the high level of commitment he has shown to keeping pavements, gutters and pathways in the centres of both areas in pristine condition each and every week. Steve always has a good word for passers-by, keeps a smile on his face, shows pride in his work and is a credit to the District Council.

Runners-up were: White’s Quality Greengrocers and Escape the Game (Business of the Year); Sue Simmons and Mark Bailey (Environmental Champion); John Evans, Diana Willmore, Jill Halliwell and Peter Mallaband (Good Neighbour); Tim Brook, Bovey Valley Runners, Devon Sharks Rugby League club (Volunteer or Voluntary Group).

Further details of the winners and runners-up are available on the Town Council web site.


After lock-down an old lady is invited to a big family party. “Honestly, youth today!” she comments as she watches some teenagers dancing. “That short-haired girl over there in a man’s shirt and jeans – you wouldn’t know she was a girl at all!” A stranger next to her frowns. “I think I would – she’s my daughter.” “I’m so sorry,” says the old lady, embarrassed, “I didn’t know you were her father.” “I’m not,” the other replies, “I’m her mother.”

Self-isolating Joan tells Jim “I’m feeling homesick.” But you are at home,“ says Jim “I know,” says Joan, “and I’m sick of it!”

Two fishermen, pleased to be allowed out again, rent a boat to go fishing in a local lake. By the end of the day they are delighted to see that they have caught over fifty fish. The first fisherman says to the other “Mark this spot so that we know where to come to tomorrow!” The second fisherman takes out his fish knife and marks a big cross on the side of the boat. “You idiot!” shouts the first fisherman. “What if we don’t get the same boat tomorrow!”

Did you hear about the man who lost his dog while out on his daily walk? He put an advert out on social media saying, “Here, boy!”

As for the story about the dog who went ten miles to pick up a stick, it is a little far-fetched.  

A woman went to see the doctor about a pimple on her face, as people kept jumping into their cars to go and see it. It had a tree growing out of it, as well as some bushes, a picnic table and four chairs. “Don’t worry” said the doctor “It’s just a beauty spot.”

Joe says his first wife was highly educated. She could talk for hours on any subject you chose. He says his second wife is exactly the same, only she doesn’t need a subject.

Is it true that the Mohican haircut only came about because someone was trying to trim their sideburns during a previous lockdown?

“I want a haircut please.” “Certainly. Which one?”

Tony Allen is a Bovey Tracey Town Councillor. This column is written in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any group or organisation. The jokes are all in the public domain, so you may have seen some or all before! If you’d like to contact me about my column, please do so via the Cottage Magazine website: www.cottagemagazine.co.uk.

Other columns by Tony Allen

CLIMATE ACTION: WHERE DO YOU START?.......... - Mon 2 Dec 2019
IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE........ - Thu 24 Jan 2019
Young people in the community - Thu 15 May 2014
Moving Bovey Tracey forward - Tue 4 Mar 2014
Is Bovey Tracey too shabby and run down to attract visitors? - Mon 9 Sep 2013
A public consultation should be just that - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Athletes, young people and rural watch - Tue 13 Nov 2012
Bovey Beats Most Of The Summer Weather - Wed 5 Sep 2012
What sort of Town do you want Bovey to be? - Sun 1 Jul 2012
Awards, Traffic, Policing & another Top Shop! - Thu 3 May 2012
RUBBISH, SPEED, LIGHTS OUT, BADGERS and more! - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Newspapers, Tragedy, Cheques and MORE! - Sun 11 Sep 2011
Community Matters - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Growth of Neighbourhood Watch In Bovey Tracey - Tue 3 May 2011
Which would you rather have: A PC (Police Commissioner) OR Several PCs (Police Constables)? - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Helping Ourselves In Time Of Austerity - Sun 9 Jan 2011
Security in the current Economic Climate - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Security Matters - Spelling it Out - Mon 6 Sep 2010
The Ultimate Deterrent or Not - Tue 6 Jul 2010
NHS Summary Care Records  Will Your Personal Health Information Be Secure? - Mon 3 May 2010
Social Networking - A risk or a good thing? - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Security Matters - Back to Basics! - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Security matters - are you being conned? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - ID cards and hotel key cards - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - Personal security - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Who owns your identity? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Victim of crime - need help? - Wed 4 Nov 2009

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