Creative youngsters who decorated shops in Tavistock for a competition have been praised for bringing joy and optimism to the high street with imaginative garlands.

Now in its sixth year, the annual Paint The Town event came to town as Tavistock mayor Andy Hutton judged the garlands on display in shop windows around the town centre.

Schools and community groups revealed their creations in the event, organised by the Tavistock Improvement District (BID), designed to bring spring colour, joy and a sense of optimism to traders and shoppers alike. 

Town mayor, Cllr Hutton, said: “The mayoress and I were very impressed by the originality and creativity of the garlands this year and enjoyed seeing them displayed in the windows of some of our shops and businesses. A lot of time and effort has gone into making the garlands and the standard was very high. Well done to all who took part.”

BID manager, Janna Sanders, said: “ It has been a particularly tough winter on our high street so the ethos behind Paint The Town is more relevant than ever this year. Getting the community directly involved in the high street in this way is really important in reinforcing the symbiotic relationship we all have with our town centre.

“This event has a strong community ethos with schools and other groups all involved and working in partnership with Tavistock BID to celebrate our town. As always, there are some wonderful creations and the town is looking cheerful and feeling more positive. We are so grateful to all those who took part and thank them for their contribution to the business community.”

The competition winner was Mary Tavy & Brentor Primary School, decorating the businesses Allan Dolan and Coffee & Cream.

Judges thought the effort the children had put into making the origami flowers deserved recognition. The design was creative, beautifully bright and really cheerful. 

Mary Tavy & Brentor Primary School Paint the Town winners
Mary Tavy & Brentor Primary School Paint the Town overall winners (Tavistock BID)

The runners-up: Mount Kelly Prep for The Original Pasty House; St. Andrews CofE Primary School at Alex’s Oak Tree and Horrabridge Primary School in Flapjackery.

The award for creativity was won by Tavistock Primary School, with eight different garlands on display throughout the town from the school. The judges wanted to give the school the award for creativity because they were impressed with the thought and originality that went into each individual work of art. The garland at Newells Travel was among the favourites. 

The community award was presented to 4th Tavistock Guides for decorating Country Cheeses.

Paint the Town award winners
Paint the Town overall and category award winners (Tavistock BID)

The Mayor’s Special Award was won by Tavistock College at Fat Face. The window display created by college students earned the Mayor’s Special Award for 2024. The display, commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, also celebrates renewal and the joys of spring. The judges were bowled over by the level of detail and storytelling in the artwork. 

West Devon Art Workshops were commended for their sculptures using recycled materials on display in the Robing Room at The Guildhall and created by people in a community art project combatting social isolation. 

Mayor and Mayoress Andy and  Susan Hutton  & West Devon Art Workshops & Paint the Town sculptures
Mayor and Mayoress Andy and Susan Hutton & West Devon Art Workshops & Paint the Town sculptures (Tavistock BID)