Long-serving North Tawton Councillor Gill Hoggins remembered

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Wednesday 15th July 2020 5:55 pm
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Gill Hoggins, sixth left, was thanked for her 30 years’ service to North Tawton and North Tawton Town Council in July 2017, pictured with North Tawton councillors and the council chairman, Steve Whiteley, fourth left. AQ 0591 ()

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A LONG-SERVING member of North Tawton Town Council, Gill Hoggins, was remembered at the Tuesday, July 7 zoom meeting of North Tawton Town Council.

Steve Whiteley, Chairman, North Tawton Town Council, made the announcement and said it was with great sadness that former colleague, Mrs Gill Hoggins, had died the previous day.

He explained: “Councillors, staff and members of the public present were equally saddened at this news, and gave a rousing round of applause in recognition of all that Gill had done and achieved, for both the Council and North Tawton in general.”

Gill was a Councillor for 30 years, 10 of which as Chairman.

A member of the public at the meeting, Mrs Carol Hughes, said: “Her service for North Tawton Town Council was remarkable, she was a one off, unique, and her inimitable style of Chairmanship will long be remembered.”

Mr Whiteley continued: “Gill had a very hands-on approach to being a Councillor, and would often say, I will go and visit him/her in person, rather than have the to-ing and fro-ing of a lot of paperwork.

“She played a major part in negotiating the acquisition of the Town car park and the Council office from the Strawberry Fields Developer. “Most meetings took place face-to-face around her famous large oak dining table, at which anybody who was anybody had sat at one time or another.

“Gill was President of the Evening WI for many years, also a North Tawton Twinning committee member, and had a longstanding association with North Tawton Rugby Football Club, of which she was a life member and trustee.

“She was involved in NTRFC through the whole of her married life, was the driving force behind their move from Butts to Taw Meadow, and was also a huge supporter of Ladies Rugby.

“She was the first woman to serve on Devon RFU, and in fact the first woman to serve on any County Committee. Whilst on Devon RFU she worked with Nick Leonard, a development officer, in introducing Tag Rugby.

“Gill, dare I say it these days, was a woman in a man’s world - she played darts for the Fountain Inn men’s team. In the 60’s, when young Ladies were sipping Babycham or vodka and lime, Gill was drinking pints of draught Bass! - something unheard of in those days.

“I have known Gill for well over 50 years, it was a privilege to call her a true friend. She will be greatly missed by all.”

In 2017 upon completion of her 30 years with North Tawton Town Council, then newly-appointed chairman, Steve Whiteley presented Gill with an engraved vase, flowers and a card among other items.

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