Skip menu. Go to main content

Colyton Parish Council

Local information for the people of Colyton, Colyford and the Coly Valley

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth


Autumn 2022

The passing of our Queen brought a huge outpouring of sadness right across the nation - and Colyton and Colyford were no exception. In this issue, we endeavour to capture the ways in which this community responded and the depth of the local feeling. Some people have their own personal memories of Her Majesty which they have kindly allowed us to relate in this issue. While the build-up to the royal funeral has dominated all else in recent weeks, we have also greatly enjoyed the return of both Colyton Carnival and Colyford Goose Fayre after the Covid-affected years. We make no apologies for allowing the available space in this issue to be dominated by those events. Any news that’s missing here will roll over to our next issue.

A day Greg will never forget

Greg Rowland MBE with wheels he refurbished for State Gun Carriage

Greg Rowland MBE was one of some 2,000 people who attended the State Funeral alongside 18 monarchs, 55 presidents and 25 prime ministers. But the contribution made by Colyton’s celebrated wheelwright went well beyond because he had also previously refurbished one of the wheels on the State Gun Carriage and then checked all of them. He says in summary: “The pipers played as the funeral cortege approached Westminster Abbey. The bagpipes grew louder and louder through the open doors until the wheels I had refurbished came into view and halted, announcing the Queen’s arrival. Those wheels had carried the Queen on her final journeythrough London and it’s hard to describe the shivers I felt. It was a profound moment for me in a day I will never forget.”

Greg’s story

Jean’s lifetime of devotion

Jean Underdown celebrated The Queen's Platinum Jubilee by creating a garden grotto

Jean Underdown’s huge love for Elizabeth II goes way back to the days before she became Queen. Jean avidly followed news of the two royal princesses and meticulously kept a scrapbook of photos from newspapers. When the time came for the Coronation in 1953, Jean had no television and so queued with many others to watch it at a cinema in Exeter. Such was her enthusiastic fund raising for the Coronation Teas in her then home village of Payhembury that she was crowned May Queen as a reward. It’s no surprise then to learn that Jean made the effort to see the Queen in person on several occasions and, as seen above, celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by creating her own garden grotto (photo by Carol Hughes).

Jean’s story

Determined to pay their respects

people pay respects to The Queen by attending the Lying in State

Angie Williams and Helen Long were amongst the many who felt the need to pay their last respects to the Queen by attending the Lying in State. They left Axminster Station at 6am on Friday 16th September determined to do whatever it took to file past the coffin in Westminster Hall, and they succeeded. They say in summary: “It was amazing, awe-inspiring, majestic, historical, emotional,” they say in their joint assessment. “The Guard of Honour on the raised dais was wax-works still and took your sight upwards to the Queen’s small coffin covered with her standard, surmounted by the gleaming, golden Orb and Sceptre and the jewels of the Crown glinting rainbows of colour. The sound, in the huge medieval, angel hung, building was muted and reverential. We bowed, prayed, thanked, but didn’t want to leave, turning back as we left to imprint the scene on our memories.”

Angie and Helen's story

Pupils saw history unfold

Colyton Primary School pupils in London to attend Houses of Parliament

Year 5 and 6 children from Colyton Primary Academy will have their own special memories of the day the Queen passed away because they happened to be visiting the Houses of Parliament as her condition became clear.

Head of School Aerfen Mills recounts the story of their day: “We arrived in Waterloo which in itself is such an amazing sight to see; very different from the tiny Axminster station we had left behind in Devon. We walked from there, along the river Thames, passed the London Eye and over Westminster Bridge to the Houses of Parliament. There, the children had a tour of the different parts of the building, including watching debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

“On the journey we had heard that the Queen was very poorly and during the trip some of the group saw Liz Truss being called away during a debate. While we were sat in the majestic Westminster Hall at the end of our tour, the mood in the Houses of Parliament changed very rapidly. We began to understand that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.

“The train journey home was, as you can imagine, packed with commuters and we made the decision to inform the children so that this news came from school staff rather than members of the public. At 6.15pm the news was then announced on the train.

“Further school trips to the Houses of Parliament were all cancelled and so we consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to see the heart of our nation's government and to have been there on such a significant day. The following week the children from year 6 walked into Colyton to witness the Proclamation of the new King. What amazing memories for them to have!”

King Charles lll Accession Proclamation

King Charles 111 Accession Proclamation in Colyton

Despite very short notice, a good crowd gathered outside Colyton Town Hall on 13th September, for the King Charles lll Accession Proclamation. The Parish Clerk and several members of the Colyton Parish Council were able to attend and welcome former head teachers Nic Harris and Barry Sindall of the Primary and Grammar Schools respectively. Current Primary Head, Mrs Aerfen Mills, kindly brought some of the schoolchildren along and there were shopkeepers, passers-by and those who specifically made the effort to attend the historic moment as we passed from the Elizabethan to the Carolean era. Even two police officers stood dutifully by, not that we needed crowd control but it was good of them to show up unexpectedly. We were all feeling the sad loss of our beloved Queen less than five days earlier.

It was a short ceremony. The Town Crier, Brian Norris, rang his bell at 10am and asked us all to listen to the Chair of the Parish Council, Andrew Parr, who read the proclamation from the Town Hall steps followed by a minute’s silence. The Rector of St Andrew’s, Dr Steven Martin, then recited the Accession Prayer and a prayer of blessing on the town, before exclaiming: “God Save the King!”. As one, everyone present echoed back the unfamiliar words which will no doubt take some time to get used to.

Colyton Parish Council wishes to thank everyone who turned out on that showery morning for such a solemn proclamation. Your presence was greatly appreciated.

God Save the King! (Photo: Andy Cockeram)

… how the school recorded the local proclamation

annotated photo showing people gathered for King Charles 111 Accession Proclamation in Colyton

From the Chair of Colyton Parish Council

“In common with the rest of the nation, Colyton Parish Council was deeply saddened by the death of our Queen Elizabeth. For most of us she was the only monarch we have known, and after 70 years it is the end of an era. The example she set of dedication to duty will remain with us all, and we are sure our new King Charles lll will follow closely.”

Andrew Parr

The Carnival is back in town

people watching Colyton carnival float pass by in the street

Well, Colyton, what a carnival! Having waited three years for its return, we were treated to a truly spectacular show as the procession went ahead as planned on Saturday, 10th September. Congratulations to the Colyton Carnival Committee who were faced with a really tough decision after the sad news of HM Queen Elizabeth’s passing two days before, and to everyone involved in making this year’s Carnival Week and Procession so memorable.

Phillip Hartnell, Chair of Colyton Carnival Committee, said, “It went very well and I was pleased to see so many new helpers as well as returning old ones.” He continued, “The decision to go ahead with events on Saturday was extremely difficult, but with so many children involved and the Reece Strawbridge Youth Centre full to capacity with donated items for the market and silent auction, the committee felt it was the right thing to do.”

Carnival Week, leading up to the procession, saw a craft fayre, the crowning of the Royal Party, a car treasure hunt, Mamma Mia! sing-along, quiz and bingo nights, teas and lunches galore and, of course, Herbert’s Funfair at Shiphay Farm. Firm favourites, the Silent Auction and Petticoat Lane Market on Saturday, were both well attended and bargains were had by all. Any remaining clothing, bedding, etc, left over went to the Fire Fighters’ Charity.

The procession floats and walking entries were marvellous, with a minute’s silence in Market Place for Her Majesty followed by the Nunsford Nutters playing the National Anthem and everyone singing the new words for the King. It was very moving.

multicoloured carnival float passes through the High street of Colytonof vivid purple carnival float in the street during Colyton carnival

The full figures aren’t in yet but on Saturday alone around £6,500 was raised for local charities. The profits this year will mainly be spent on equipment for Colyton Scout Group and Nunsford Nutters Carnival Club, but a share will go to other local charities involved in putting on the Carnival including the Colyton Brownies, Theatre Group, Football Club and Wl.

Well done everyone and thank you for all the hard work put into making Carnival Week happen. Roll on next year’s event: 2nd - 9th September 2023.

carnival float taking part in Colyton's carnival one of the Colyton Carnival floats in bright yellow and orange

Goose Fayre a great success

More than 2,000 people flocked to the beautiful Springfield site as Colyford’s Medieval Goose Fayre made a welcome and hugely successful return on 24 September. Crowds lined the roads as the traditional costume procession made its way to the site led by the Exeter Morris dancers, the mace-bearer and the baldachin escorting the mayor and his lady. For children, there was a variety of games including riding the quintain and trying their skills with a lance. There was also a display by Meredown falconry and an ever popular Punch and Judy show. Demonstrations included scything, basket-making, traditional cider-pressing, and fighting knights in armour along with many other crafts.

Organising team member Ian Priestley commented: “No final figures are in yet but I can say it’s looking like we have had a very successful day, certainly one of the better years helped by fine weather on the day. Obviously overheads have gone up as well for things like marquee and toilet hire; food and drink prices have also risen. However we should have a good amount to donate to local charities, starting with the ones who very generously gave their time to help on the day. A huge thank you to those who contributed to setting up and dismantling the Fayre and to everyone who spent days baking cakes and apple pies!”

lady demonstrating crafting skills at Colyford Goose Fayre duelling activity at the Colyford Goose Fayre two men preparing a barbeque at the Colyford Goose Fayre lady demonstrating spinning skills at the Colyford Goose Fayre

CeramTec site won’t be ‘landbanked’

drawing of the proposed housing development of the Ceram Tec site

While a second stage ‘reserved matters’ planning application is still awaited for the former CeramTec site, developer Wain Homes has given an assurance that it does not intend to hold it in a long-term landbank. Planning Manager John Rudge told the newsletter that the company was looking to submit a reserved matters application for 58 open market units, 14 affordable units along with six B1 use class light industrial units. “The scheme will be sympathetically landscaped with areas of public space as approved under the outline scheme,” he said. “It will follow a similar, but not identical, layout to the indicative masterplan (above) as shown under the outline application.” He added: “We are very keen to progress this site and will look to move to build out the proposals once planning is obtained and any relevant conditions discharged.”

The company has recently consulted on possible changes to the plan that would have involved moving the open space down to the area alongside the Sidmouth Road.

Governance Review for Colyford

map showing proposed Colyford Parish boundary

A report was taken to the EDDC Cabinet meeting on the 13 July 2022 following the first stage consultation. This report can be read by clicking here and reading item 38.

It was recommended at that meeting that Senior Officers approve:

  1. Having regard to the relevant statutory criteria and the results of the first phase of consultation that a new Parish Council be established for the area known as ‘Colyford’ and that this proposal be formally published with a 3 month period for representations.
  2. That the proposed boundary be as set out (reflecting comments made by local residents in the consultation).
  3. That the new Parish Council be known as ‘Colyford Parish Council’ with a membership of 7 councillors and that no warding provisions were incorporated.
  4. The membership of Colyton Parish Council be reduced from 13 to 11 councillors.

A formal period up until 22 November 2022 is required for consultation about these draft proposals. If the proposal proceeds there will be a consequential change to the number of Members representing Colyton Parish Council and the amount it receives in precept for their administration of the Parish of Colyton.

Those residents most affected by the proposed boundary changes have been asked whether they consider they have a closer association with Colyton or Colyford, together with the reasons why, and should reply to EDDC by 22 November 2022. Their views will formulate the recommendation on whether the boundary should be as proposed by EDDC, or whether it should be varied to account for their views or the views of others. All views received will be published. You can send your views to or write to EDDC including your name and address to identify your property.

Colyton Parish Council has sent EDDC a copy of their own suggested changes to the boundary of Colyford, which follows the Electoral Register, and is pushing for a ballot, or referendum, to ensure all residents views in the parish are heard as it will have far-reaching effects on the amenities they currently enjoy.

Fire fighters learn vital rescue skills

firefighters assist a vehicle stuck in flood water near Whitford Bridge

As winter nears, Colyton’s firefighters have warned of the local risk or driving or walking in flood waters. Conscious of the increasing calls to attend flood incidents, members of the local crew have taken part in water rescue training at the Cardiff International White Water Centre. “It was focused on practicing rescuing people and vehicles stuck in flood water,” says Crew Manager Tracy Trelease. “We often need these skills in the Axe valley, especially Cownhayne Land and Whitford Bridge (pictured). “It really is very important not to drive or walk in flood water.”

New halt opens up countryside

people attending opening of new Seaton Wetlands Halt on Seaton Tramway

Seaton Tramway invited the members of Colyton Parish Council to the official opening of the new Seaton Wetlands Halt on 10th August. The Parish Clerk and six Councillors caught the pink open top tram from Seaton to the new halt on what was a glorious summer’s morning, along with the other invited guests including members of EDDC, Seaton Town Council and Colyford Village Residents’ Association.

Delivering an informative speech when we arrived at the halt, the Chief Executive of Seaton Tramway, Jenny Nunn, said, “After many years in the planning, together with our partners at EDDC’s Countryside team, we have finally managed to complete the last piece of the jigsaw by creating a circular link via the Tramway to Seaton and the amazing Wetlands for all to enjoy. This is a unique project which also opens up an area by the River Axe for the first time, offering an innovative insight into the history of not only the former railway branch line but also the general history, tourism and wildlife of the area.”

Each new halt is step free and there are low floor accessible trams running every day at least once an hour for those with mobility issues. Explorer tickets allow all day travel to as many stops as you like with the new halts providing views across Colyford Common salt marshes. The 4km of level trails throughout the nature reserve are fully accessible to everyone and are dog-free for the protection of wildlife.

Anyone for tennis?

photo showing new pathway providing wheelchair access to the Colyton tennis courts

During the heatwave of mid-August, the Colyton tennis court nets and net posts were replaced with new and the concrete footpath was extended from the play park to provide wheelchair-friendly access to the courts. Court hire remains at £5 per hour for adults and £1 for children (under 12’s to be accompanied by an adult) bookable from Colyton Stores, 2 Market Place 01297 551043


with Hugh Westacott

Footpaths are a subject that generates much heated discussion as the respective rights of walkers and landowners are debated. In his ‘Footpath Matters’ column for this issue Hugh Westacott provides clarification on the legal status of Public Rights of Way, pointing out that the highway authority has the power to prosecute landowners and farmers who obstruct it. Unfortunately, he says, there is little action that landholders can take against trespassers though they do have the right to require them to return to the footpath if they stray. Meanwhile, the Ramblers have mounted a long-term campaign for the ‘right to roam’ that would enable walkers to wander at will providing they cause no damage. But that, he points out, would be bedevilled by the fact that the location of gates that link fields is not shown on maps, making it likely that many ramblers would get hopelessly lost.

Hugh's column

Road closures planned

Wales & West Utilities are upgrading Colyton’s gas pipes. Work started on 26 September on King Street despite the Parish Council’s repeated requests for them to wait until after the harvest.They apologise for the disruption - barring any engineering difficulties, the work is expected to be finished throughout the town by March 2023 . The following road closures will be in place:

  • 26 September - 28 October King Street
  • 17 October - 4 November Rosemary Lane
  • 17 October - 25 November St Andrews Orchard
  • 21 November - 23 December Lower Church Street

There are three road closures planned after Christmas and the New Year on Queen Street, Dolphin Street and Church Street which they hope to complete by mid-March 2023. Permits have been submitted with overlaps, however they will only be closing one street at a time as this will allow them to progress the Mains Replacement Program as quickly as possible.

Diversions are in place and it’s suggested you plan on taking extra time for your journeys. More information and contact details here.

Bird flu increases in Devon

Just a reminder not to touch or let dogs near any dead or sick birds but report them to the EDDC team who are fully trained and equipped with the correct PPE to deal with suspected cases of bird flu. Report a dead animal here. The full EDDC report is here.


Colyton Parish Council

Allotments ... Cemetery ... Benches ... Footpath maintenance ... Gardens ... War Memorial (grass cutting) ... Local Grants ... Neighbourhood Plan ... Picnic Site ... Community Woodland ... Peace Memorial Playing Fields & Pavilion ... Tennis Courts ... Reece Strawbridge Youth Centre... Road Green & Playground ... Colyford Play Park ... Churchyard (grass cutting)


Benefits & council tax ... Car parking ... Community safety ... Elections and electoral registration ... Environmental maintenance and dangerous structures ... Flyposting ... Food hygiene & safety ... Parks & recreation, countryside, trees ... Housing & homeless ... Licensing ... Litter, graffiti & fouling clearance, street cleaning ... Pest control ... Public toilets ... Waste collections & recycling.


Fallen trees ... Flooding / drainage ... Highways inc drains, potholes ... Libraries & archives ... Parking on road, parking enforcement ... Public transport ... Recycling centres ... Registration (births, marriages, deaths) ... Rights of ways ... Social services ... Trading standards ... Traffic management ... Wildlife guidelines.


Use the menu at the top of this page to access Agendas and Minutes for Colyton Parish Council and Meeting dates

East Devon District Council planning portaL

Recycling and waste collections

Report a pothole


photo of Sasha Haines the Colyton Parish clerk

Parish Clerk Sasha Haines can be contacted at the Town Hall from 10.30 to 12.00 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She can also be contacted by email or phone as shown at the foot of this newsletter.

This newsletter has been produced by a small group made up of parish councillors Crispin Denny and Alison Stenning plus volunteers Barrie Hedges, Hugh Westacott. To subscribe to future issues or to submit ideas please email us at Your personal details will be confined to this use and will not be shared.