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

14 minutes ago
Sue Stoneman's culinary talents will be available for all to see as she appears on television next week. Ref exe 7722-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth cook will be showing off her culinary skills on a BBC cooking show next week.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:35
Bassetts Farm primary school headteacher Sarah Bennett is pictured with some of her children celebrating their recenty Ofsted success. Ref exe 7302-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth primary school is celebrating after it received a ‘good’ rating in a recent Ofsted report.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:33
Rotakids at Marpool primary school presented NSPCC Schools Organiser Roisin Turley with £2001.79 which was raised by a school hula hoop event. The event was also used to help promote the awareness of the chairty which includes Childline. Ref exe 7311-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A hula hoop event held by the Rotakids at Marpool School raised more than £2,000 for the NSPCC.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:51

Exmouth Community College is celebrating after being given £2.4million for new classrooms.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:46
Lizzie German from Budleigh will be attending the international UN climate talks in Paris in December as part of the UK youth delegation. Ref exb lizzie2 Picture: submitted

A Budleigh student is preparing to help make young people’s voices heard on the world stage, as leaders debate the planet’s response to climate change.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:44
The 2016 Exmouth in Bloom calendar was offically launched at the World of Country Life this week. Ref exe 7129-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The 2016 calendar, sponsored by the leisure park, is one of Exmouth in Bloom’s biggest fundraisers and will pay for new flower displays around the town.

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Fashion show

Exmouth Players is hosting a fashion show in early June as a fundraiser to help refurbish the green room and kitchen at the Blackmore Theatre in Exmouth’s Bicton Street.

Read more
Wed, 10:21
Exmouth Kite Festival. Ref exe 7249-23-09AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The Exmouth Kite Festival returns to the Imperial Recreation Ground at the end of the month, following a two-year break.

Read more
Tue, 09:32
A concert was held at the Bicton Inn to raise funds for victims of the Nepal earthquake

A concert at the Bicton Inn, Exmouth, raised funds for victims of an earthquake in Nepal.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



Exmouth's trusted business finder