Monday means a big step forward on road to economic recovery

Hospitality trade benefits from the Budget

East Devon MP Simon Jupp says the hospitality trade will benefit from the Budget - Credit: Hulki Okan Tabac

On Monday we should be able to visit our local coffee houses, restaurants, hotels and pubs to eat and drink indoors. 
It has been great to go back to these establishments outdoors but the weather has not really been conducive to outdoor eating and drinking. This is very different to last year when the weather was superb in April and May.
I wish our local establishments, who are reopening, the best of luck and I’m sure they are going to be very busy especially over the summer months. It will certainly add to the buzz in the town to see more venues open. 
And of course our hotels will reopen hopefully on May 17, which will see an influx of visitors into Sidmouth. I know a number of these establishments have invested heavily in getting themselves ready for reopening and the volume of scaffolding along the seafront has borne testimony to this! And yes, I do like the new colour paint on the Hotel Elizabeth! 
As more visitors arrive in Sidmouth it does put an extra strain on our infrastructure. I was interested to read the column last week by Denise Bickley from the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors who gave some very simple tips to avoid damaging our environment with selfish acts of littering. It is down to every member of society to dispose of their litter thoughtfully. Please use the bins or take your litter home. I just cannot understand the mind set of anyone who leaves litter.  
On to the sport from last weekend. Unfortunately, all three Sidmouth cricket teams had their matches rained off. This was especially unfortunate as some matches did take place around the county. In the Devon League you only get six points for an abandoned game which does put teams who are rained off at a disadvantage. This coming weekend the 1st XI are away to Cornwood, the 2nd XI are at home to Whimple and the 3rd XI are away to Clyst Hydon. 
On the rugby front Exeter Chiefs had a comprehensive home win against Worcester Warriors and on the football front Exeter City missed out on the play-offs after drawing 1-1 against Barrow. Perhaps it was good news that they only drew as even if they had won they would not have got into the play-offs. The club can now start planning for next season when hopefully the ground will be fully open to supporters and normality can return. Back to rugby. It was great to see that Sam Simmonds was selected by the British Lions for their forthcoming tour of South Africa. He will join three other Chiefs players namely Jonny Hill, Stuart Hogg and Luke Cowan-Dickie. Others such as Henry Slade can consider themselves unlucky not to have been selected.
At Sidmouth Golf Club the season is gathering pace and the condition of the course continues to improve. However a big problem at the moment are leatherjackets, the larvae form of crane flies (daddy long legs). They nibble away at the grass roots which is a major problem especially on the greens. This is why you may see black sheeting on some greens as the greenkeepers try to sweat them out after giving the greens a good soaking. The rules surrounding pesticides have changed so old fashioned methods are used.     
Finally, I was very sorry to hear last week that my former estate agency colleague, David Gwillim, had died. In his younger days David always indicated he’d like to work in estate agency and he joined me at Lester Smiths in 1983 when I transferred to the Exmouth office. 
He was an obvious candidate to recommend to the partners. After spells working in Surrey and Exeter he returned to Sidmouth to work in 1987. In 1992 he became Bradleys’ manager when we opened our branch in Sidmouth. He continued in the role until 2010. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends and former colleagues. 
 

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