Hatherleigh book helped people through pandemic

Thursday 14th April 2022 3:00 pm
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Donna Lewis, pictured, said she was ‘very proud’ to be presented with a West Devon borough mayoral award, for spearheading a book about her hometown of Hatherleigh during lockdown, When Hatherleigh Stood Still.

The project which saw her collect memories, poems, written accounts and photographs from people throughout Hatherleigh, is her tribute to much-loved community figure Dennis Bater, who died of covid two years ago this month, early in the pandemic,

She said: ‘I think Dennis would be very proud of the book. It is something he would have done and he would have felt quite passionate about. We lost some big characters in the community during the pandemic, and this project was a way of getting through it. It started really small in wanting to do something with the schoolchildren and then it was suggested I open it up to the community. I had some really good people who are supported me. Monica Jones, from Hatherleigh History Society, which Dennis was very involved in, got involved. Christina Knights did the illustrations and Tamsin Carter put in hours and hours on the designs. We did have grants but she put in hours and hours above and beyond to make sure the book happened.’

She said she was proud of the result, not just a pamphlet, but a real full-colour book. ‘Every time you look at it you find something different there, especially quirky things from the children. It really helped us get through the pandemic.’

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