My Axminster with Bryan Ball
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:51 05 November 2018
Bryan Ball speaks about the town he grew up in
Please introduce yourself
My name is Bryan. I was born in Sidmouth in the year that England won the World Cup. My family moved to Axminster when my father got a job in the town. I was educated at Axminster Primary School and at the then Axminster Secondary School. I worked at a local plant nursery at weekends which gave me an interest in horticulture. Pursuing this I took my first City & Guilds at Bicton College then took on a full-time course in Horticulture at Cannington College. I have now been self-employed for 33 years running a garden maintenance business in and around Axminster and the Axe Valley. I am married and have one son who is in his last year at Axe Valley Academy. In my spare time I have an allotment to care for, I enjoy tinkering in the garage and volunteer in the town by planting and tending the flower beds and planters, with a dedicated team, in Axminster. Additionally I am a member of Axminster Carnival Committee and can frequently be found attending the Public Gallery to watch the Town Council in action.
What is your favourite memory associated with Axminster?
My favourite memories associated with Axminster are probably some of the community days, such as the raft race, where the town would be out in force to watch handmade craft try to float their way to Whitford from Stoney Bridge. This, alongside the annual carnival, was a town highlight and the carnival remains so today.
What do you like most about Axminster?
Within Axminster I like the town centre. The church green with the Victoria Fountain and the shops surrounding this all feel like they have stood the test of time and hopefully will not change. I also like the people of Axminster, whether it be neighbours or townsfolk you only see once in a while. The town is, on the whole, a friendly place to live.
What is your favourite shop in Axminster?
My favourite shop in Axminster is Mole Avon – although it is not in the centre of town I use Mole Avon frequently, both for work purchases as well as for home. I must have spent hundreds of hours in there over the years – long may it continue!
How have you seen Axminster develop throughout the years?
The major change in Axminster over the years must be the amount of new housing that has been built. The places we played in as children are now under concrete and tarmac and traffic through the town is now far too busy… however as is the case, I live in a house and I drive a car so I can’t really throw stones…
What is your favourite building in Axminster?
My favourite building in Axminster may be a bit of a cliché but it would be the Guildhall. I have many memories of past shows, pantomimes, parties, auctions, wedding receptions and funerals all taking place there. It is also the home of our local town council – local democracy in action, however you might feel about the decisions taken. Although it costs a lot to keep such a building going, it is such a town asset that I hope it is there for future generations to come.
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