Housing estate set to be named after Exmouth ‘legend’

THE daughter of Exmouth ‘legend’ and founding father of the modern town council, the late Jim Shapter, has backed calls to have a street named after him.

Town councillors this week suggested ‘Shapter Close’ as the name for 12 new homes in Marley Road in tribute to Jim, who died in September 2007 at the age of 80.

The name was among several, including Paris Road, Common Rise, and Nicholas Road and Old Farm, suggested by the town hall’s planning committee.

East Devon officers said the developers’ original suggestion ‘Dennesdene Farm’ was too similar to the existing ‘Dennesdene Close’ and might confuse emergency services.

Councillor Trevor Cope said: “I think we should name the road Shapter Close.

“He was one of the very first town councillors and he was a very outspoken councillor.

“He knew everything about Exmouth and he was something of a legend in his own lifetime. He put a lot of hard work into the town.

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“He was well-known and the name would be acceptable to Exmothians.”

Jim, a fisherman’s son, was one of the town’s truly inspirational figures; the driving force behind countless community groups, he was an inspiration to hundreds of youngsters throughout his teaching career and on the outdoor courses he organised.

A familiar figure, his shock of white hair could not be missed as he cycled around town or forcefully made his point at council and residents’ meetings.

His daughter Tracey Brookes said: “For councillors to even suggest it is amazing. So many people knew him and everybody had a story to tell about their experiences with him.

“He stood up against authority, while most people just go along with things, and he loved life.

“For people to recognise what he did for the town is great. His passion was the sea and he believed that Exmouth should remain as a community not just somewhere for people to have second homes.”

One of Jim’s closest friends, Cllr Eileen Wragg, said: “For years he was a thorn in the side of the docks developers…it’s ironic that they are considering naming a new development after him!

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