Traders are flying the Flag for Porlock

Local sewing group make new flags for Porlock High Street

Porlock.– Flags have gone up along Porlock High Street to bring cheer and vibrancy to the village at a time when the annual Carnival fell victim to Covid for the second year. The new flags are part of the High Street Recovery Programme funded by Somerset West & Taunton Council.

A number of Porlock traders had approached the Porlock High Street Support Group (PHSSG) earlier in the year whether there was a way to bring seasonal colour to the High Street. With bunting not being an option due to taller buses and lorries using the narrow street through the village, project lead Lesley Thornton worked on a flag design inspired by the Exmoor palette, with the Christmas tree supports being used as flag holders.

“In no time, a community project was well under way”, explained Lesley Thornton. “It is fantastic to see what can be achieved when people come together from the village. We have been able to create a legacy for the future, and it is hoped that this project is a catalyst for a whole series of flags to celebrate local events for years to come.”

“Porlock resident Jackie Jago, owner of Minehead’s Threads, sourced all material at cost”, Lesley Thornton continued. “Jackie is now helping all volunteers to sew the flags she has cut out. Anita Lovell, who runs Bramdowns Tearoom in Porlock, is hosting the sewing group, which she hopes will become a regular community group as a result. The volunteers were excited for this opportunity of a community project as they had felt very isolated during the recent lockdowns.”

Duncan McCanlis, Chair of the PHSSG, commented: “We are grateful to all the volunteers who helped with the flags. Saturday, 4 September, will see our next big pop-up event in the High Street, with a ‘Family & Circus’ theme. We hope this will not only cheer up those upset about the absence of Carnival, but also help our many independent traders.”

Pop-up Events turn focus onto Porlock High Street

Porlock.  An eco-themed pop-up on Saturday 5 June 2021 is the first in a series of monthly events, animating and celebrating Porlock High Street, to aid recovery from Covid-19 lockdowns.

Funded by Somerset West & Taunton Council and organised by Porlock High Street Support Group, this event aims to draw the local community, as well as visitors, to the High Street in support of local traders.

Duncan McCanlis, Chair of the Porlock High Street Support Group, explained: “We are grateful to Somerset West & Taunton Council for providing the finance. This allows us to not only organise these community events, but we are also able to provide traders with a new online platform, put out more flower planters and benches around the High Street, all in support of Porlock’s amazing range of High Street shops.”

The first event will see a number of pop-up stalls along Porlock High Street where people will be able to buy and swap plants, find information about community projects, such as Plastic Free Porlock Vale, bring and take items at a freecycle table – and more.

Local children will be raising money towards the repair of the church clock  by selling home-cut wild flowers outside St Dubricius Church.

“The series of six events will take place every first Saturday of the month, always with a focus on the High Street,” says Sarah Shorten, who heads the Events Team. “Each event will have a different theme, such as music or wellbeing, encouraging locals and visitors to rediscover a High Street and traders that are vibrant and authentic.”

The event this Saturday 5 June 2021 will run from 10 am to 2 pm.

More details about the event and Porlock traders can be found via the Porlock High Street Support Group’s Facebook Group

The photo shows the Porlock High Street Support Group, from left to right: Duncan McCanlis, Lesley Thornton, Melanie Tesouro Willmott, Sarah Brice and Sarah Shorten.