Over one hundred people gathered in South Tawton village square on Saturday July 30th to celebrate a special birthday and give recognition to the dedication to the village and parish of a very special person, local resident David Youle
The bells of St Andrew’s were ringing as David was inveigled into the village on the pretext of attending a party at Town Barton. To his astonishment, he was greeted by friends, family and villagers who were there to celebrate David’s 80th birthday and to thank David for his huge contribution to the community and especially the restoration of Church House.
Cynthia Gaskell-Brown, consultant historian on the project, had travelled from Cornwall to be present and spoke of the importance of Church House which had languished for many years in a sad state of dilapidation until the restoration work began. This initiative was spearheaded by David and it was largely thanks to his vision and energy that the project became a reality. Subsequently he has worked tirelessly in organising and promoting a hugely varied programme of events at Church House, baked scones for cream teas, managed finances, ensured the maintenance of the building and even cleaned the loos!
John Christian, Chair of the Church House Management Committee, reminded those attending of David’s work with other organisations, charities and groups – especially his work on the Parochial Church Council and as treasurer for the Okehampton branch of the RNLI.
All local residents were invited along to thank him personally for all he has done for the community and to see him presented with a framed illuminated document produced by internationally renowned heraldic artist, Neil Bromley, a specially commissioned Church House cake baked by Susan Freeman and a giant key, made by blacksmith Dave Denford, representing the Freedom of the Village of South Tawton.
An Album of Appreciation containing photographs of the event, messages of good will, poems, paintings and drawings is being compiled and will be presented to David at the Produce Market on August 13th.