As 2024 approaches ever nearer, I have looked back on the best stories to feature in the Exmouth Journal in 2023. 

I have looked back on the stories this year that I am most proud of covering for the paper and website. Let me take you through some these month by month.

In January, Exmouth man Nick Millington was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Years Honours List. Nick works for Network Rail South West was recognised for services to the Railway and to the NHS during Covid-19.

Exmouth Journal:

In February, Budleigh teenager Olivia Davis hoped to be crowned Miss Teen Galaxy later in the year, following success at Miss Teen GB.

Exmouth Journal:

In March, Exmouth was named as the best place to live in Devon for 2023, according to traveling reviewing website, Muddy Stilettos. 

In April, the sad news broke that South West Water had removed the rusty pole in the Maer. The pole was erected on The Maer in 1909, and news of its removal made headlines across the UK and even international headlines.

In May, I interviewed a postman hoping to become the fastest milkman in the world. Gary Qualter ran the London Marathon dressed as a milkman, completing the course in three hours and 52 minutes. The limit was four hours, which means he achieved the world record.

Exmouth Journal: Gary on the finishing line with his medal and Guiness World Record certificate.

In June, plans were revealed to renovate the old post office sorting centre in Budleigh Salterton high street into a antique centre, two houses, and a flat.

In July, a large protest gathered outside Exmouth Railway Station to reject plans to close every ticket office in the UK, councillor Fred Caygill, Barry West, South West representative of the RMT union, and Exmouth station ticket office staff coordinated the protest and said they have had around 200 members of the public sign their petition. The government then u-turned the decision in October.

Exmouth Journal: Barry West, members of the ticket office staff and members of the public joined the protest

In August, East Budleigh was named as one of the prettiest to travel through in the UK, according to a new list. The village featured second on the list.

In September, a new headteacher started at Exmouth Community College, Tom Inman succeeded Andrew Davis after six years. Tom relocated from Bristol, where he was Headteacher at Gordano School.

In October, Exmouth Chamber of Commerce announced their winners of the 2023 business awards

In November, Storm Ciaran wreaked havoc in Exmouth, a sinkhole appeared on Marine Parade, and parts of the seawall in front of Sideshore collapsed onto the beach. In Budleigh Salterton, the refreshment kiosk on the beach was ruined during the storm.

In December, Morey's Convenience Store on Exeter Road is being sold by Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co. The current owner put the shop on the market so that they can retire.