Honiton – a town with great community spirit

Duncan Sheridan-Shaw at The Pig at Coombe. Ref edr 31 19TI 9486. Picture: Terry Ife

Duncan Sheridan-Shaw at The Pig at Coombe. Ref edr 31 19TI 9486. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton town councillor Duncan Sheridan-Shaw shares some of his favourite things about the town

Introduce yourself, please!

Hello! I'm Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, and I'm one of many town councillors here in Honiton.

I have lived in Honiton all my life and currently live in Manor Crescent with my partner James.

As well as my town councillor role and current position as deputy mayor, I am very lucky to represent various charitable groups in our community. I am enormously proud to be part of the Dementia Action Alliance and the amazing work it has done to bring an Admiral Nurse to town. As many readers will know, I'm also the community manager at Tesco here in town, and, again, this gives me a great opportunity to help, support and promote some absolutely amazing people.

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I sit on the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce as both a representative of a business and as a town councillor.

I adore the work I do here in Honiton, and it gives me huge pleasure to be able to meet, talk and chat away to so many people. I love the exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas, and I'm always willing to hear how our community can grow.

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What is your favourite building in Honiton?

With such a plethora of unique styles and periods, it's going to be hard to pick just one.

Architecturally, there are some gems. I love the quirky and unique. Marwood House is sublime with its ivy and courtyard. Copper Castle is an amazing construct with a longstanding history. The Beehive is apart from Honiton's traditional style, which makes it beautiful and modern. I'd have to say my firm favourite would be one of the 'Grand Dames' of the town's history: Coombe House, now The Pig, Tracey house or The Deer Park.

How do you think Honiton can improve as a town?

Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment - it's all about colour, style and promoting a new diverse atmosphere.

I'd love to see restaurants and cafes open later into the evenings, with music playing under bright lights - somewhere to come, a place to be safe and bring friends, families and visitors.

We need to develop and grow with our independent shops to get more people to stay in town. As current chair of the town development committee, I'm always looking for ideas to help improve on what we have.

What do you think Honiton's biggest asset is?

Its community spirit! Its drive and determination to get stuck in and give it a good try. Honiton is my home and, as much as James and I travel to great cities and quiet beaches, we will always call Honiton home. It's a precious thing to walk safely in a town centre these days, without fear of abuse or assault, but I have never experienced discrimination or bigotry in Honiton. I'm lucky to live here.

Where in Honiton have you had your best-ever meal?

You're not getting this one out of me. I've tasted some exceptional food in a great many places in town, and, to ensure this continues, I'm not risking putting one above the rest! Good try, but no way. The best places to eat, for me, always source local ingredients, support local shops and traders and do not serve their food in paper cups with plastic lids.

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