It is a pleasure to share yet another image of hope on this month’s front page. Graham Schlisske’s wonderful photo of the boats being returned to the water is a symbol that life is starting to return, slowly, to normal. Of course, even using the word ‘normal’ seems flippant when so many of us still can’t hug our parents or enjoy a beer with our closest friends.
But there is something reassuring about partaking once more in the simple pleasures we used to take for granted. For me, this took the form of an enjoying an ice cream from Joey’s on The Quay recently. I was disproportionately excited about a cone with a flake, and when Mary Challacombe served me, she too seemed even more gleeful to be allowed contact with customers once more.
Traders on both the sea front and the High Street have gone to great efforts to get ready for re-opening, and as the article in this edition mentions, now is the time when local businesses need our support more than ever. My sense of glee at the shoots of Ilfracombe’s recovery reminded me how lucky we all are to live in such a wonderful corner of the world.
So, while we may be frustrated at how slowly we are able to emerge from our lockdown cocoons, and how far away true ‘normal’ is, we should savour each moment along the journey. Revel in being able to get almost everything you need from our local High Street traders. Be a tourist in your own town by enjoying an ice cream or fish and chips regularly.
Go one step further and treat yourself to something more often enjoyed by tourists such as a boat trip or a visit to one of our fabulous local attractions. They will all need you, because with actual visitor numbers likely to be way down, it will be down to Ilfracombe residents to keep the town thriving. And of course, it’s not just retail that needs your support. The pages of The Ilfracombe Magazine are packed with local trade and amenity providers who are ready to give you a quality, personal (and crucially, local) service. So please make this your first port of call for any business you may need. The town’s future depends on it.