OPINION: A new look Gazette for Outstanding North Devon

North Devon Gazette

Welcome to, and thank you for picking up, our new look North Devon Gazette.Â

My name's Joe Bulmer, I'm the paper's editor, and it is my absolute pleasure to bring you this week's relaunch edition. Our highly dedicated team has worked for weeks and put in many late nights in order to bring North Devon an outstanding paper to match our outstanding community and area.Â

As you read through our bumper 64-page paper you will find new voices from across all walks of North Devon life, plus a renewed commitment to celebrating all the amazing people and work going on in our beautiful corner of the world.Â

Celebrating the success of our area’s young people is a big part of that commitment. I, like many of you, have followed Max Woosey’s story from his very first night in the tent and I am delighted to report in this week’s paper that Max has been awarded the Pride of Britain’s Spirit of Adventure Award

It’s also lovely to see another youngster gain recognition. Seven-year-old Jack Hopkins walked his way through lockdown clocking in an impressive 50 kilometres, inspired his community and raised more than £1,550 to help the NHS battle the pandemic.Â

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing readers, fantastic advertisers, our new columnists, our paper boys and girls, everyone who contacts us with stories, our local councils, community groups and charities and a personal thank you to our North Devon Gazette team.Â

We are slowly but surely emerging from one of the most challenging periods in modern history. Despite the difficulties Covid-19 brought to North Devon our communities rose to meet the challenge. I think I speak for everyone here at the Gazette when I say that we were humbled by the strength of North Devon’s resolve.Â

Speaking to people it feels like the area is building momentum again. We’ve covered some fantastic events since lockdown was relaxed; the first ever Bideford Soapbox Derby, the unforgettable burning of the Mayflower courtesy of Torrington’s Cavaliers; a resurgent Bideford Bike Show, Ilfracombe’s Birdman and dozens of food fairs, theatre performances, fundraisers and so much more.Â

We also have so much to look forward. I’m already being contacted by groups in the process of organising what’s shaping up to be a fantastic roster of Christmas events. I look forward to falling on my backside trying out North Devon’s first real ice rink in Barnstaple and marvelling at the amazing illuminations on RHS Rosemoor’s Glow Trail as well as counting down with you all at the many Christmas light switch on events coming up.Â

On a personal note, my partner and I are expecting our first child just after the New Year and I can’t wait for her to join us. So, 2022, it feels strange writing that number down, will be a new adventure for us all. It may be a little early, but I think my New Year’s Eve resolution will be to try to continue to look out for my family, friends, neighbours and this community.

I also want to reassure you that we will continue to shine a light on the areas of our community that need help. There are still challenges to overcome. We will bring you all the latest news on the current consultation on how mental health treatment and care is provided in our area. We will also be doing more to shed some light on the emerging housing crisis.Â

One thing I think is really important for the Gazette going forward is being more accessible. We are making it easier for you to read the paper, our e-edition enables you to read the week’s paper online, and of course the North Devon Gazette website will continue to keep you up to date with breaking news, traffic and travel, plus a whole lot more.Â

I would also love to hear your feedback on the new look paper. What do you like? What don’t you like? What would you like to see more of? Let me know, my email address is joseph.bulmer@clearskypublishing.co.uk