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Philip Evans


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SIDMOUTH: Chamber looking to build on trading ‘family’

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Ottery St Mary’s business community must make the most of its trading “family” in order to develop opportunities, the new chairman of the town’s chamber of commerce has said. John Campion, 69, moved to Ottery with his wife Myra last year to take over at Seasons Tea Rooms - and just 12 months later he is heading up the town’s business community. A former member of senior management at the gaming organisation Rank, Mr Campion has now set his sights on boosting business in Ottery and hopes to build on the chamber’s strong foundations. He said: “I will be looking to maintain the progress made over the last couple of years in promoting Ottery and to ensure that all local traders feel they can make a difference. “Ottery is a small town with a big heart and everyone can make a difference in ensuring the town is prosperous.” After retiring six years ago, Mr and Mrs Campion decided to take on the challenge at Seasons and have been working day and night to make the new business a success. And as chamber chairman, Mr Campion hopes to make the most of Ottery’s resurgent street market to attract visitors to the town. He said: “I am now approaching 70 but I still have plenty of energy and I soon realised retirement was not for me. Both my wife and I are Devonians so it was like returning home for us. “We took over at Seasons in March of last year and it has been a lot of hard work with many long days. But we are both very excited about the tea rooms and working alongside the business community in Ottery.” He added: “As chamber chairman, I feel I have a number of challenges, one of which is to blend the old with the new as there are a number of relatively new traders and businesses in the town. But developing the general community spirit would be a good start. “I see the street market as a huge opportunity and we will, wherever we can, assist in its development. Any attempt to bring more people into the town has to be of benefit. “Ottery is like one big family – we certainly feel as though we have been adopted by not only the community but also the traders. And it is being a family that will ensure the town’s ongoing prosperity.”

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