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“We moved to Dartmouth” MIKE AND NICKY PLEASS MOVED TO DARTMOUTH IN 2012


Over the past 10 years many families have moved to Dartmouth and the surrounding villages. They have enrolled their children in local schools, chosen a favourite coffee shop and found their own riverside routine. Steph Woolvin met two families who now call Dartmouth home....


Nicky Pleass like about Dartmouth, “but the town could do with a Wait- rose,” Nicky says with a cheeky grin! The pair moved here in 2012. They came (via the Cotswolds, South Africa, Australia and the USA) from Staines-upon-Thames where Nicky worked in a garden centre and Mike worked in Global IT for DHL. “I was based in Bracknell for over 10 years, but when my role changed and I didn’t have to manage UK staff anymore I realised I could do my job from anywhere.” It was then the pair, who’ve always enjoyed being by (and on) the water, decid- ed to live as close to it as possible. “We had kept boats on the Solent, and considered moving to Dorset but we’ve always liked the South West and visited Dartmouth and fell in love,” says Nicky. “It’s perfect for sailing as you can easily head off on long adventures, but there are also lots of places to visit locally like Dittisham, Brixham and Salcombe.” They very soon settled into a more relaxed lifestyle with Mike finding all sorts of places to use as his office; from his back bedroom to Alf Rescos and the Dolphin! “I’d be on the phone to customers and work colleagues around the world and they would ask why they could hear seagulls in the background,”


T


he people, the river, the pubs and the orchard… just a few of the things Mike and


he says with a smile. While Mike was working, Nicky


threw herself into local activities. She started volunteering for Dart- mouth Caring Lunch Club in the market and enjoyed it so much she then signed up as a driver - taking people to their medical appoint- ments. “It was a great way to meet people as I often had two hours in the car with someone as we headed off to Torbay or Plymouth hospital. I soon learnt a lot about Dartmouth! I still drive for the charity when I can.” She also started volunteering at the Cancer Re-


but there are also lots of places to visit locally like Dittisham, Brixham and Salcombe.”


search charity shop. “It really wasn’t hard to fit in here, I honestly think Dartmouth is one of the friendliest places in Britain. People want to chat and get to know you. In fact, when Mike and I need to pop into town we actually have to check we have enough time as you always meet someone to talk to – you can never do it in half an hour!” In 2015 Mike retired and threw his energy into Dart Sailability – the


“It’s perfect for sailing as you can easily head off on long adventures,


charity which encourages people with disabilities to get onto the water. “I became a trustee and then didn’t stand back quickly enough when they asked for a fundraising coordinator! I enjoy doing it,and have been delighted by the sup- port and generosity of local busi- nesses and people. However it does take an hour or two a day or more to keep up with all the paperwork!” The rest of the time the pair


are trying to hit their 10,000 steps a day, walking someone’s dog or heading off on their boat. “Since I retired we have tried to do a big trip each year,” says Mike. “We slowly made our way up to Scotland the first year and left the boat there. The second year we sailed around the top of Scotland via the Orkneys. Last summer we brought her back to Dartmouth via Ireland and Wales. Current plans include pottering around Devon and Cornwall, the Scillies and the Channel Islands.” A couple of years ago Mike and


Nicky moved to a house which overlooks the Naval College which means they sometimes wake up to the sound of marching and can watch the passing out parades from their bathroom window! “There isn’t much we would change about Dartmouth, it’s nearly perfect in our eyes. We love it and are here to stay!”


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