We had TV presenter Jonathan Dimbleby in Totnes on Tuesday, leading a protest march about the adverse effects on trade of the Experimental Traffic Order enforced a year or so ago. About 300 protesters turned out in opposition of the current one-way traffic system through the town centre, which they claim is responsible for a rise in traffic accidents as well as the closure of several businesses.
The Totnes Traders Action Group organised the event after a study found that about 50% of businesses had suffered a drop in trade since the reverse system was introduced. And 74% of shopkeepers said they don’t like the system.
Well, campaigners have now called on local politicians to support an immediate overhaul of the traffic order tomorrow, when the South Hams Highways & Traffic Order Committee meets to decide whether or not to keep the ETO in place till 2016.
Apparently the town council would like it changed, but the officers due to make the decision don’t live in Totnes! Let’s hope that Jonathan Dimbleby and his fellow protesters win through in the end.
At least the Vintage Tea Rooms in Totnes are staying put, as far as I know! A great place to go for tea, cake and a whole variety of treats, as well as beautiful pictures for your walls and other temptations. But I’m more a coffee person, so now and then will be telling of my favourite coffee shops. There are several here – and not so long ago Totnes won a battle to stop the arrival of Costa Coffee.
Sad to say that Vintage Living, one of my favourite Totnes shops, is leaving the High Street at the end of April and trading in future from their warehouse on the industrial estate – oh, and online too, of course! I’ll really miss seeing them on my daily walks. Stolen From Susie, the handbag shop, will be moving into the premises. More on that anon …
Just when you think you’ve seen everything Totnes has to offer, up pops the Totnes Cat’s Cafe! It has actually been around for a few months now, but I’ve been too tied up with other things to comment. I haven’t yet been in for a cup of coffee coupled with some feline therapy, but plenty of people have and the cafe seems to be a very successful enterprise already. Here’s some info about it, as displayed in their window:
And here’s the front of the cafe, so that you’ll be sure to recognise it when in Totnes:
Well, it had to happen!
Personally, I’m more into dogs than cats – as demonstrated via my new novel ‘Sam’s Story: It’s A Dog’s Life’ on Amazon. If you’re interested, this is where to CLICK!
I mentioned in an earlier blog how Totnes is twinned with Narnia!!! Well, I suppose it was only to be expected that sooner or later Narnia in some form or other would raise its head again – and now it has. A great shop has opened in the High Street, selling all manner of items from an earlier era. I think that ‘Narnia’ probably does very well, as its stock keeps changing and is of good quality ‘bygone’ items. Where they get them all from, I can’t begin to imagine. But it’s fun and sometimes fills me with nostalgia for the 1950s and ’60s – before the advent of mobile phones and modern gadgetry!
One of the wonders of life in Totnes is its infinite variety. This morning a group of us walked in a biting sea wind from Start Point Lighthouse along a circuitous route via lanes and the coastal footpath to beautiful Lannacombe Beach – passing these unusual grassy hummocks en route. Our walk took us two hours and we felt we’d earned our lunch by the end of it.
Then, this afternoon, I strolled into Totnes and encountered … this owl:
Today I went with a friend to visit Greenway – Agatha Christie’s summer retreat. We took the ferry from the picturesque Devon village of Dittisham. This involved leaving our car and walking down a steep hill to the River Dart, where a sign told us to ring the big bell to summon the ferryman.
So we pulled (hard) on the rope provided and awaited his arrival from the far side of the river. There was a biting wind, but at least it wasn’t raining (or snowing, as it has been doing today in some parts of Devon). We were soon aboard the small ferry boat and then had a steep hill to climb before reaching Greenway. As well as exploring the house, with its far-reaching views and the artifacts collected over a lifetime (many brought back from Baghdad, where she and her archaeologist husband also had a home) we visited the boathouse – scene of the murder in Agatha’s novel DEAD MAN’S FOLLY.
The surrounding gardens – with their primroses, daffodils, magnolias, camellias and other delights – were where we spent the rest of our time.