Along with great swathes of the country, Feniton is in the grip of an icy blast. The wind whistles through every nook and cranny, while the village is cloaked in an eerie silence without the usual background hum of cars and trains, and the general hubbub of everyday life.
But in typical fashion, it’s brought out the very best spirit of the people who live here. The village Facebook page, Feniton Focus, has been abuzz with offers of help to those in need.
- A local plumber (Ryhan Acott of Ace Plumbing) has offered to help people in the village if they have frozen pipes or a problem with their boiler.
- Mike Court has offered to open up the football club so that those enduring a power cut can stay warm waiting for the electricity to be reinstated.
- The Spar shop put out a plea for £1 coins as they had run out of change and were inundated in no time!
- Owners of 4x4s were offering help to anyone with an urgent problem and Lee Mallen (how did this village ever survive without him?) has been ferrying medical staff into Exeter for their shifts.
- Tim Steel posted, ‘If those without electricity require showers/phone charged/use of an oven or just a warm up, more than happy to extend a welcome in our home’. This comment started an avalanche of comments from people offering to open up their homes for food and shelter to those without heating or power.
- Kathleen Jeacock posted, ‘A big thank you to my new neighbour Lesley Scott who kindly called round to check if I was in need of anything. Very much appreciated’.
I know I will have missed so many people from this list, but it really gladdens the heart to live in such a kind and close-knit village, with such a strong community spirit.
Meanwhile, the ‘egg lorry’ was stuck at the bottom of Ottery Road. The driver was scheduled to make his collection of eggs from the poultry farm, but began to slide on ice and, very sensibly, decided to batten down the hatches and camp in his cab. He was amazed by the number of people who offered him a bed for the night, hot supper and cups of tea. Apparently he was fine in his centrally heated cab and stayed put with his television for company.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel … a train has just gone by and power has been restored to the old village. The constant drip from icicles clinging to the gutters is a reassuring signal that it might just be warming up.