Another return to normality as Salcbome delegates gathered together for the first Salcombe Civic lunch in nearly two years.

Councillor Mayor Nikki Turton provided the opening dialogue to the civic lunch recalling the events of the past two years and applauding the achievements of the community.

In her speech to councillors, residents, volunteers, she said: " As a community you, our amazing volunteers, have kept going throughout the pandemic - delivering food, walking dogs, making supportive telephone calls, and have generally been an essential lifeline to those of us who were unable to help themselves over the longest year or so of our lives.

"This selflessness continued as we slowly started to regain our freedoms, and all of Salcombe’s organisations once more started to get back to normal.

"Zoom could never replace face-to-face meetings, no matter that it is a very useful tool in times of need - after all there’s nothing quite like tea and biscuits, or coffee if you must, with our friends and colleagues sat around a table sorting out minibus trips, WI outings, charity fundraising, sports fixtures and training, the list goes on.

"Our community did what it does best - prevailed in the face of adversity, and no one was found wanting.

"Thank you doesn’t even come close to what I want to express to each and every one of you here in this room, and all those who couldn’t attend because of the limit on numbers or previous engagements, but thank you."

Although the Civic lunch had returned the tradition of awarding the Citizen of the Year had to be postponed due to several reasons out of the council’s control.

Cllr Mayor Turton said: "As you are all aware, we have not got a Citizen of the Year- yet.

"This is for a variety of reasons: firstly, there was the uncertainty of being able to host this year’s civic lunch; and whether your organisations would meet in time to be able to nominate someone in time to go on the Town Council’s September agenda.

"Of course, once we know ’who’ then we will have an award ceremony of some sort, and naturally that person will have an invitation to next year’s Civic Lunch."

Cllr Mayor Turton thanked County Councillor Rufus Gilbert for his "Sterling work" during the past two years and applauded his dedication to tackling problems head-on.

Mayor Turton also thanked

Cllr ’s Mark Long and Judy Pearce who were unable to attend, Father Daniel for his thought-provoking service earlier in the morning and to the Harbour Hotel for hosting the lunch.

All of the Town councillors past and present were also congratulated on their huge efforts for the community over the past two years, but special recognition was given to Deputy Mayor, Caroline Bricknell who stepped out of her comfort zone providing invaluable support to Mayoress Turton during the pandemic.

Mrs Turton also thanked her husband Richard, who she had volunteered for so many things since she joined the Town Council saying: "I have volunteered him for so many things since I joined Salcombe Town Council, all of which he has done remarkably uncomplainingly. "I am very grateful that he is so patient with me and my demands on his time and abilities." adding jokingly " but now he is retired I feel less guilty about asking."

Cllr Mayor Turton went on to thank Project Officer Pete Robinson who provided constant support to the town keeping on top of all the covid signage the town needed to provide along Salcombe’s streets, as well as putting them up, taking them down depending on the rule changes and constantly replacing the vandalised ones - all the while taking it all in his stride alongside his regular work, and to Salcombe Town Councils Clerk Gill Claydon who guided the town and council through the ever-changing rules and regulations coming out of government, putting in place all sorts of measures to protect and help Salcombe.

Mayor Turton said: "We could not have gotten through this without her.

"I will always be grateful to have had her advice and support as we survived the extremely trying circumstances of a global pandemic."

Mayor Turton ended her address by announcing that from Monday, October 25 both Pete and Gill would return to the Cliff House office,

saying: "They will no doubt welcome you with their customary smiles, advice and assistance."