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North Devon businesses mixed views on good weather over the Bank Holiday

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: May 09, 2013

OUT AND ABOUT: Ilfracombe Beer Festival  crowds enjoy the bank holiday sunshine.     Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref:  BNMS20130504C-006_C

OUT AND ABOUT: Ilfracombe Beer Festival crowds enjoy the bank holiday sunshine. Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20130504C-006_C

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THERE'S been mixed reaction from businesses across North Devon following the Bank Holiday sunshine.

Some companies reported a bumper number of visitors last weekend – but others say the good weather drove people away from the towns and towards to beaches.

The Met Office has a base at Chivenor which recorded a warmer than usual Bank Holiday Monday.

Temperatures peaked at 19.2C on Monday while Sunday was slightly cooler at 14.4C and Saturday cooler still at 13.6C.

Helen Chivers at the Met Office said: "19.2C is quite warm for this time of year. We normally expect to see day time temperatures reach around 14C."

Rob Braddick runs several businesses including The Pier House and Waterfront in Westward Ho!

He said the good weather had a positive impact as hundreds of people flocked to the coast.

Rob said: "We probably had the best Bank Holiday weekend ever at The Pier House and The Waterfront.

"Loads of people came through the doors. The phones in the holiday centre have been constantly ringing. We did 700 carveries on Sunday at the Waterfront.

"If you have good weather you don't want to live anywhere else.

"There was not an umbrella in sight. The sun has the feel good factor."

Rick Turner, who runs The BIG Sheep and Atlantis Adventure Park in Bideford, said: "This Bank Holiday Weekend's sunshine is a great omen for the rest of the 2013 tourism season.

"We have had a great start to the year, seeing double digit growth in visitor numbers over the past two months.

"The glorious May Bank Holiday Weekend is just what the industry needs with significant numbers visiting the region.

"We cannot stop the trend of last-minute booking of holidays, but when visitors are enjoying great days out either at the attractions or on the beach and go back to work with sunburnt faces and big smiles, the South West Tourism industry will be taking the bookings."

"The pessimistic Met Office eventually conceded that this was going to be a glorious weekend and well done to them for getting it spot on.

"Lets now hope that we get a scorching summer and make 2013 a bumper year for everyone in tourism." However, Adrian Shearing, who runs Jack and Molly's in Torrington with his wife Amanda, said he felt their shop was quiet over the weekend.

Adrian said: "Perhaps bigger towns like Bideford or Barnstaple did better. For us it was quite quiet.

"We did have Torrington Mayfair. I have never seen so many people at the Mayfair and Carnival.

"Lots of people were out and about having a good time with their families in the sunshine. Everyone is getting ready for summer."

Kaylea Hynd from 62 The Bank in Barnstaple said the good weather had a negative impact on business over the weekend.

She said: "It draws people to the coast and we are in the town centre.

"It took customers away as people were sitting outside in beer gardens."

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