Residents’ views on naming of Sidmouth flats

13:00 25 February 2012

Demolition of the Fortfield Hotel in 2011.  Picture by Alex Walton Ref shs 1293-06-11AW

Demolition of the Fortfield Hotel in 2011. Picture by Alex Walton Ref shs 1293-06-11AW


NEW apartments will be built on land where the old Fortfield Hotel stood last year.

Recently there has been controversy over whether this development should keep the old Fortfield name, or whether the name should be changed, one suggestion being Annie Leigh Browne Court, writes Lily Thomas.

The Sidmouth public have been voicing their opinions on the matter.

Sidmouth businessman, Robert Gliddon, 54, owner of Gliddons Toy Shop, Church Street,believes the name Fortfield should be preserved.

He said: “The name Fortfield has more meaning and significance than any other name as the area has been around for a very long time.”

Mr Gliddon, who lives in Colyton, has worked in Sidmouth since he left school, and believes keeping the name Fortfield for the new apartments will preserve the memory of the once popular hotel.

Another strong believer in keeping the Fortfield tie is David Powell, 63, who grew up in Sidmouth and now lives in Dubai.

He said: “The Fortfield Hotel was the best hotel around when I was growing up.”

He believes completely removing the name from the new establishment would destroy the hotel’s memory.

His opinion is also reflected by Sidmouth resident, Elaine Woodward, who suggested the name Fortfield should be included somewhere in the new name, merely because the whole complex is called Fortfield.

She did, however, suggest referring to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee somewhere in the title of the new apartments.

Some people thought a different name is needed for these new apartments, including one resident of Fortfield Terrace.

Not wishing to be named, she believes a different name should be chosen, to reflect the newness of the apartments, to symbolise a fresh start to the area.

She sees the new development as a positive change, that should be reflected in the name.

There are varying views between the residents of Sidmouth, and the debate continues, but many feel it is of great significance to preserve the memory of the hotel somewhere in the new apartment’s name.

*See Nostalgia about Annie Leigh Browne, page 38.

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