Axminster – a town of characters and memories
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:30 29 July 2019
Cindy Furse, of Light Up Axminster, writes about why she likes the town.
Please introduce yourself…
I'm an Axminster girl, born and brought up here before moving away for a couple of years to Somerset where I developed my career with arts organisations delivering strategic community development projects.
My parents, Henry and Pam Watts, owned the Woodbury Hotel and later the Castle Inn.
I moved back to Axminster in 2004, and after having my two girls (Ruby and Elsie), I got involved in the Christmas lights initiative in 2016 bringing my work background to my local community when I became a founding member of Light Up Axminster CIC.
What is your favourite memory associated with Axminster?
Having grown up in the Woodbury Hotel and the Castle Inn, I have lots of memories of Axminster, mainly focussed around people and the many wonderful characters in town (past and present!).
From the town's raft races years ago to the wonderful carnival nights that continue to bring us together as a community.
However, the memory that will stay with me for a long time is more recent; the first Lighting Up event and the switching on of the town's Christmas lights in 2017, being part of the organising team and seeing so many people involved in such a magical evening was just breath-taking.
What do you like most about Axminster?
It has to be the sense of community, when times are tough the town comes together like nowhere else, and when the sun is shining a walk through the town brings a myriad of cheerful 'hellos' from the smiling faces milling around the town.
What is your favourite shop in Axminster?
It is so hard to choose with such a great range of independent shops, all of which you can find me mooching about in at some point or another!
However, if I was really pushed I'd have to say I love a rummage around The Recycling Shop in Victoria Place looking for a pre-loved item of furniture or a new jug to take home!
We really are spoilt for shops in town though and there isn't anything you can't get here.
How have you seen Axminster develop throughout the years?
Being a local girl, I have seen huge changes to the town over the years, developments have all brought about changes, some good and some not so good as in every small town, but Axminster keeps thriving.
We are in a really exciting time in town right now with a bustling independent retail sector, a wealth of community groups, clubs and organisations providing activities and events for the whole community, and the opportunity for us as a community to really shape the development of the town for the future and I'm hugely proud to be a part of that.
What is your favourite building in Axminster?
Without doubt it's the Minster Church in the centre of town.
It's a beautiful building, at the heart of our community and with such a rich heritage and history.
I love that it continues to be a place where the community can come together for events on the church green as well as being a place that individuals can go to on their own and just reflect on the ups and downs of life, regardless of their religious background.
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