Ice cream kiosk owners thank their well-wishers

14:33 18 February 2014

Luke and Gemma

Luke and Gemma

Archant

The owners of the family-run seafront ice cream business devastated in last week’s gale force storms have thanked the dozens of volunteers who have pledged to help them.

But Luke Kent and Gemma Thackway of Devonshire Ice Creams still need a helping hand to enable them to reopen by the summer.

The former Walls outlet has been an Exmouth landmark for half a century, but last Tuesday night Luke looked on helplessly as he watched the business bought by his parents 24 years ago blown on to the shoreline.

Luke, 33, said: “When I saw it, it was hanging by a thread, then I realised we had lost it.”

The building was floating in the water and volunteers were forced to lash huge belts around it.

He said: “The next morning we dismantled it, and we had to do it quickly and pretty brutally. We had no choice – it would have floated out to sea.”

He added: “When I told Gemma, it was heartbreaking. My mum and dad were devastated.”

The couple, from Cranford Avenue, hope to reopen by the summer.

Luke said: “We have got to believe that we will be up and running by the summer – we can’t afford not to be open. But we have resigned ourselves to the fact that we will miss Easter.”

He thanked the volunteers who helped them, including Darren of DJ’s Diner, Chris Wright, architect Matthew Farmer, carpenter Tim Thorne, and Bernard Hughes.

He said: “We were overwhelmed by people’s generosity. We may have lost our livelihoods, but some in the region have lost their homes.

“But until we hear from our insurers we will not know if we will be able to cover the costs of the complete rebuild, to bring it a level that families can enjoy it for another 50 years.

“We are not looking for handouts – just ideas and ways we can bring the building costs down.”

Gemma said: “We would first of all like to say a massive thank you to all our well-wishers over the last week – your kind words and support have really encouraged us to think positively about the rejuvenation of our ice cream shop.”

A district council spokesman said: “We had been liaising with the leaseholder of the ice cream business regarding improvements to the kiosk prior to the unfortunate damage caused by the storms.

“Planning permission would be needed for any significant improvements to the structure and appearance of the structure or for a new building.

“We will continue to work with Mr Kent over his proposals. It will be important that any proposals are in keeping with the Exmouth vision to establish the resort as an attractive 21st century destination for residents and visitors.”

If you can help, go to www.facebook.com/Exmouthicecream or contact David Beasley at the Journal on 01392 888508.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30
The Matthews Hall in Topsham was packed on Sunday for the Flower and Vegetable Show. Ref ext 8406-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An annual horticultural photographic competition looks set to continue for another year after this year’s event was hailed as the best yet.

Read more
Mon, 16:32
Ray Davison, Labour candidate in the diatrict council election.

The ranks of the East Devon’s Labour Party have swelled by almost 200 per cent in just ten days.

Read more
Mon, 11:00
Woodbury flower show. Jane Greenslade won first class with her orchid. Ref exe 7952-33-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

There was a great display of botanical delights at the Woodbury Garden Club Flower and Vegetable Show.

Read more
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Kaz Lobendhan of the south devon chilli farm with staff at Darts Farm about to take the chilli challenge. Ref ext 2706-34-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

People visiting a Topsham-based farm shop were being asked to test their taste buds as part of a chilli tasting test.

Read more
Dame Hilary Mantel: 'As I work my way through the third book it often feels as exciting as the first day I started'

World-renowned author Dame Hilary Mantel has spoken of her love for Budleigh Salterton in an exclusive interview with Devon Life magazine.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015

The most common tactic fraudsters used last year to try to con Devon residents’ out of cash was to offer a ‘free’ trial.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Janice is pictured with Managing Partner, Neil Curtis left and Exmouth Partner Ruskin Wilson after receiving her bouquet of flowers and card.

An accountant is celebrating her 30th anniversary with an Exmouth firm.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Harry Wilkes celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends at Amberwood Nursing Home on Exeter Road this week. Harry is pictured enjoying his day with his family. Ref exe 8446-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

At least 40 friends and three generations of family turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of Exmouth’s newest centenarian, Harry Wilkes.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Yvonne Wardrop in the glider she flew in for her 90th birthday present.

An Exmouth great-grandmother has enjoyed a 90th birthday celebration with a difference – taking to the skies in a glider.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Founder of Exmouth Zop passes away

Trudy Smith, who died earlier this month, aged 85, had a truly remarkable life.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition


Exmouth's trusted business finder