Don't miss a story sign up to Midweek Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Queen honours Seaton woman

09:07 08 January 2014

Barbara Dearden-Potter with a letter of congratulations on her New Year Honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon. Photo by Chris Carson.

Barbara Dearden-Potter with a letter of congratulations on her New Year Honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon. Photo by Chris Carson.


Charity worker and former council chairman Barbara Dearden-Potter receives the British Empire Medal

A former Seaton council chairman’s years of dedicated service to the town has been recognised by The Queen.

Barbara Anne Dearden-Potter has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list for her outstanding community work.

She told The Herald she had been completely “overcome and humbled” to discover how highly so many people had thought of her.

“I’ve always tried to do my best for the town and shall accept the BEM on behalf of Seaton,” she said.

Mrs Dearden-Potter moved to the resort in 1967 with her two youngest children following a broken first marriage, the two older boys remaining with their father.

She received a lot of friendly help from local people and soon settled in to community life.

She helped out at Stella Maris Convent and got generally involved in the church and Christian Aid, when the late George Clare was the organiser. She also worked as a home help for Devon County Council.

After joining the Red Cross she became the district welfare officer, then studied for a BA(Hons) degree with the Open University, followed by a TOPS course to refresh former secretarial skills.

She represented the Red Cross on various organisations, becoming secretary of the disablement income group and the local council for voluntary service.

In 1976 she was appointed clerk-typist/librarian at the IBA Harman Engineering Training College which had recently opened in the old convent grounds.

Retirement in 1990 gave her the opportunity to repay some of what Seaton had given to her over the years.

She was elected to the town council and served for 12 years, two of them as chairman. Planning issues became a particular interest and she attended the officer meetings when regeneration was first mooted in 1995, becoming very involved in the process, including helping to stage the ‘planning for real’ exercise.

She became a director of the Seaton Development Trust and has worked with the group ever since, currently as its vice-chairman.

She was instrumental in saving the Underfleet toilet block from demolition.

Other voluntary work included teaching adult reading, driving for the CVS and taking blind and partially sighted people to their club in Sidford, eventually helping to set up a similar group in Seaton with which she is still involved.

In January 2004 she helped found Seaton Phoenix, filling a gap for a “truly local charity”. Since then almost £40,000 has been donated to local causes and it was with great regret that, due to the increasing age and infirmity of its membership, the charity is closing at the end of March.

Paying tribute to the community she has served for so well for so many years Mrs Dearden Potter added: “Without a deep faith and trust in God and the support of the wonderful people of Seaton none of this would have been possible. The BEM honours the whole of Seaton.”


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Honiton St Pauls Church. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 5406-27-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24

The service, formerly known as the Tree of Light, will include a mixture of carols and readings.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
The Seaton Friends Hospiscare @ Home Team

The Seaton Friends Hospiscare @ Home Team service means patients no longer need to travel to the Exeter hospice to receive treatment, instead the hospice goes to them.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Students sleep rough at Honiton Community College.

The move was part of ‘The Big Sleep Out 2015’, fronted by homelessness charity Trinity.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
Graham Long in Upottery with his laptop. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhh 7459-42-13TI Graham Long To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24

Graham Long, a parish councillor in Upottery, has warned that delays in securing a contract to install more fibre-optic cables could lead to businesses leaving rural areas - and problems for homeowners trying to sell their properties.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
Neil Messent.

Oil industry worker Neil Messent also admitted production of cannabis and possession of class C drugs and was jailed for a total of two years.

Read more
Thursday, November 26, 2015

The incident happened at Raymond’s Hill earlier today (Thursday), at 3.07pm.

Read more
Thursday, November 26, 2015

The incident took place in Honiton Lidl car park on Wednesday, November 25.

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Natasha Koshti.

The Budleigh Salterton Committee for Cancer Research UK is holding an Evening In India on Saturday, November 28, at 7pm in the Public Hall.

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Awliscombe Primary working with EDDC's recycling and waste team.

The youngsters, aged 10 to 11 years old, visited East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) offices at Knowle in Sidmouth, as part of national Takeover Challenge Day.

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Cranbrook Railway Station. Ref mhc 3523-37-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

AFTER many postponements, Cranbrook railway station will finally open on Sunday, December 13.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Find a job in Devon

Find planning applications