Old boots 'treasure' set to be returned
A STRIKING collection of blooming old boots is set to be reinstated once flood defence works have finished in Teignmouth.
Boot Hill, a treasure trove of fishermen's boots with flowers sprouting from their tops, are to be returned to their New Quay home once the £4million flood scheme is finished at the end of the month.
Local businesswoman Tricia Kirkby and Teignmouth councillor David Cox asked the Environment Agency to return the items once the work is done and the agency, responsible for carrying out the scheme to protect 412 homes around the Back Beach area, is happy to oblige.
Boot Hill is attached to Garstone Garden Ornaments on New Quay.
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It is believed to have started in 1947 and is said to be the first meeting place of the Teign Fishermen and Watermen's Association.
The boots, formerly of fisher men, have been turned into flower pots displaying glorious blooms, becoming a visitor attraction.
The site featured in a 1968 Teignmouth holiday guide.
The Environment Agency carefully packed away the collection at the beginning of the construction of the new flood defences so it could carry out the work close by without damaging them.
Tricia Kirkby, owner of Garstone Garden Ornaments, said "Boot Hill is quite an attraction. It's very popular with visitors and locals."
Cllr Cox said "It a uniquely Teignmouth feature, many visitors photograph and comment about it.
"I remember it as a child when the harbour fiesta was held.
"I have asked the Environment Agency to return it — and perhaps they might like to donate a suitably inscribed boot to the collection."
An agency spokesman said: "The collection has been kept safe until the work has finished when we will return them to their rightful place."