Town hall looks to the future with solar roof plan

Repairs to historic Torrington building take shape

LONG-awaited repairs to Torrington’s historic Town Hall are to get under way next week.

The “urgent” repairs to the roof are part of a �900,000 restoration project designed to safeguard the long-term future of the 1861 and Grade II listed building, which has become blighted by leaks and the onset of dry rot.

The work is being paid for by money raised by the Great Torrington Building’s and Preservation Trust and will incorporate photovoltaic roof panels as part of a wider bid to find a new use for the building.

Planning permission for the roof repairs and some solar panels was originally granted by Torridge District Council in 2007, and custodians of the building now hope to incorporate extra solar panels into the overall plan.

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A new application was submitted by Great Torrington Almshouses, Town Lands and Poors Charities (The Town Trust) last week.

“The solar panels will enable the building to generate its own energy and produce income for the project by exporting unused electricity back to the grid,” said trustee Dr Harry Cramp.

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“We hope to try and get the building watertight before the bad winter sets in.”

Dr Cramp, also the chairman of the Building’s and Preservation Trust – which has raised more than �500,000 for the project – had curious news about one of the project’s more mysterious benefactors.

Since October 2007, some �104 has been posted to Dr Cramp by an anonymous supporter going under the name of “The Viper”.

The Viper has regularly posted �1 coins and a short verse from as far afield as India, USA, Europe, Japan and Australia but announced his “retirement” in June this year.

But, Dr Cramp received another �1 coin this week, this time with a Malaysian postmark. The envelope contained the following curious verse, signed by “The Grass Snake”.

“The Viper is old and shed his last skin, and now it’s time for him to give in,

So now undercover he’s found a brother to ensure you’ll always be “Quid’s In”.

I hatched last year while drinking beer with the Viper out of a tin!

So don’t be bitter, you’ll not find me on Twitter, but probably sat on a bin.....

And so to continue the task,


The Grass Snake”

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