By Mike Rego
On Sunday evening, 28th November, a presentation was made by Sticklepath Parish Council to Paul and Sue Jones, landlord and landlady of the Taw River Pub and also owners of the adjacent Sticklepath shop, in recognition of their efforts throughout the pandemic to stay open and act as the commercial and social hub for the village.
The award, presented by Derek Moore, Vice-Chair of Sticklepath Parish Council, was a complete surprise for Sue and Paul and their family and their loyal staff, despite many from the village being in on the surprise and actually in the pub on what would otherwise have been a relatively quiet Sunday evening. The award was a bronze relief sculpture depicting both the pub and shop fronts, made by local Sticklepath artist Linsey Dunn and mounted on an oak base made and polished by Mike Watson, a local woodturner and pub regular also of Sticklepath.
The idea was put forward to the Parish Council back in July by Alan Wright and several others, as, despite the financial and organisational challenges faced due to the pandemic it was felt by many in the village that Paul and Sue had used the opportunity to expand the range and facilities of the shop to provide an excellent service to the community, for which many were very grateful. The feelings in the community were summed up by one resident stating that ‘we now have the shop Sticklepath has always wanted’.
As such it was felt by Alan and many others that it would be fitting for the Parish Council ‘to recognise the outstanding support that Paul and Sue, and their loyal staff, have given to the residents of Sticklepath during this difficult time’, with something a bit more permanent than just words.
When Derek Moore, Vice-Chair of the Parish Council presented the award to much applause and to a very surprised landlord and landlady, he summed up the appreciation of the village by saying how they ‘really wanted a heartfelt memento from all of us to say thank you for all you have done’.
The sculpture was accompanied by a brass plaque stating ‘Presented by Sticklepath Parish Council to the Taw River Inn and Shop in recognition of their outstanding support to the local community during the coronavirus epidemic of 2020/2021’. A second copy of the plaque was also made for display in the shop as well.
Sue Jones said afterwards that she had no idea, ‘it’s just so perfect, without the villagers it just wouldn’t happen. It’s them (the villagers) who’ve made it, it’s them who’ve just kept it going, both the pub and the shop’.
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