A new chairman for the Ilfracombe Victorians

Joseph Bulmer

ILFRACOMBE Victorian Celebrations will definitely go ahead as planned in June following the election of new chairman Patrick Willson.

Mr Willson, a staunch supporter of the event for the past decade, was invited to stand for the post at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, called following the unexpected resignation of previous chairman Lin Harper.

All 40 people at the meeting were unanimous in wishing to see the week of shows, spectacles and costumed promenading in homage of the town’s heyday continue as it has done.

“It is important for the town, its history and to keep the spirit of the old Ilfracombe alive,” said Mr Willson, a retired company director.

“I am passionate about it and I hope to be able to lead the celebrations to greater heights.”

As with everything else, he said the celebrations “might be financially curtailed, but certainly not in their quantity or volume.”

Wednesday’s extraordinary meeting was called by long term supporter – and Queen Victoria – Rita Clews, who said of the new chairman:

“We are very grateful that he has stepped in.

“He seems very enthusiastic and a fresh way of looking at it all, as well as some new ideas. He wants to get more people involved and bring new interest to the event.”

The new Victorian Celebration Committee of seven was set to meet yesterday (Tuesday) to begin planning in earnest for June’s festivities.