Honiton: Witness the moment the Glen was opened

PUBLISHED: 15:16 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:34 16 June 2010

IT was an event that happened in Honiton more than 70 years ago, but later this month you will be able to see it – as it happened.

IT was an event that happened in Honiton more than 70 years ago, but later this month you will be able to see it - as it happened.

Rare film footage, shot by an amateur cine photographer, records the moment the late Juanita Maxwell Phillips opened the Glen.

The beauty spot, one of Honiton's green lungs, was handed over to the former Honiton Borough Council on May 13, 1937 - the day after the town hosted a coronation parade and a host of events on Allhallows Playing Field.

The film footage came as an added bonus to Honiton Senior Council.

The council's secretary, Tony Simpson, said: "Because there is no break in the film, we had not realised a short part of it was the opening of the Glen.

"We studied it carefully and checked records of the occasion and with Jan Goodman, whose father shot the film."

Mr Simpson says the film is of "great historical importance, because it was Honiton's first major green space".

In the film, Mrs Phillips is seen accepting a key to the Glen from benefactor Mr Lilley.

Councillors and officials are shown, along with children, presenting Mrs Phillips with flowers.

"Although the glen was not then suitable for sports and recreation, it was a major step forward for Honiton," said Mr Simpson.

You can watch the film at its first ever public showing at 2pm in Honiton Methodist Church on Monday, November 23.

Refreshments will be served.

The Goodman family has allowed Honiton Senior Council to re-master the film on DVD.

Copies are to be given to Allhallows Museum and Honiton Library.


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