Anniversary celebrations for Fremington Quay

Community celebrates the restoration of the popular North Devon tourist spot

A community celebration will take place on Sunday, September 18 to mark the tenth anniversary of Fremington Quay’s transformation from derelict port to popular North Devon beauty spot.

In 2001 a �750,000 project saw the site restored following years of decline from its heyday as a thriving freight port and railway station.

It has proved a real success story, with the station rebuilt into a caf� and heritage centre, the quay refurbished plus paths laid for walkers and cyclists to enjoy the Tarka Trail.

Fremington Parish Council, which runs the quay, is organising the anniversary, with plenty to see and do from 12 noon until 4pm.

It includes the Fremington Quay Olympics, organised by Fremington and District Community Group plus live music, barbecue and beer tent.

Council chairman Councillor Rodney Cann was the driving force behind the project to restore the old Victorian quay, its buildings and pathways, forming a project group and attracting funding from the county, district and parish councils plus European money and South West Water.

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He said none of them could have imagined how successful it would prove and had exceeded all expectations.

“We anticipated about 20 visitors a day to the heritage centre and a tiny caf�,” he said.

“The reality is we are getting around 60,000 visitors a year and it has been highlighted nationally on various occasions. I think it has really helped to put North Devon on the map.”

Future plans could see an extension to the centre and caf�, more parking and the return of visiting passenger boats to the quayside with the aid of pontoons.

The celebrations will see young sports stars and competitive parents taking part in “traditional” Olympic events including the sack, egg ‘n’ spoon and wheelbarrow races.

The council is staging a Children’s Colouring Competition for those up to seven-years-old and a Photographic Competition with the theme of Quay Life for eight to 16-year-olds. All entries must be handed in at the Heritage Centre by 12 noon on the day. Colouring pictures are available from the quay, council offices and Beechfield Road Tuck Shop.

See the North Devon Gazette next week for more on the history of the quay, its restoration and future, including photographs following the restoration project from start to finish.

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