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Three Great Torrington Cavaliers celebrate their 80th birthdays

News Story from the North Devon Journal.

THREE members of a charity group who have been building and burning iconic landmarks since 1970 have celebrated their 80th birthday.


Great Torrington Cavaliers have been erecting giant replicas of iconic landmarks before setting them ablaze for decades and Bob Fisher, Dave Marker and Tony Easton have all been there every step of the way.

The trio have all celebrated not just turning 80, but also having been members of the Cavaliers for more than 40 years and are looking forward to burning down the group's next ambitious build.

The project is a replica of Trumpton, which was the village from a children's BBC television series and will be burnt down next month.

Back in the 1970s the charity group was formed by Larry Alexander who promised to put on events "the like of which Torrington had never seen before".

Tony joined the group in 1973, Bob was a founder member in 1970 and Dave joined in 1972.

Over the years Tony said he has enjoyed many highlights and has loved being part of the community.

Building bonfires is only a small part of the Cavalier activities, over the years they have worked around the town raising money for charity or working on projects to enhance the town or help individuals.

"It is the friendship and the camaraderie over the years that have been the real highlight," said Tony.

"It is not just the bonfire events either. It is the behind the scenes things we do for Torrington that not many people know about – like helping renovate the Bluecoat Primary School."

The trio of "wrinklies" as they call themselves have seen, along with the whole world, iconic ships, the Houses of Parliament and other huge bonfires be burnt to the ground to raise money for charity.

Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, a Viking ship and the German battleship Bismark are some of the impressive creations put together by the troop.

Founding member Bob said: "We wrinklies can't do anything like the work we used to do, but the new generation of Cavaliers are just as enthusiastic as we were and as we continue to be.

"The current bonfire – Trumpton Village – is almost complete, thousands of people will attend on Saturday, August 29, and many local good causes will benfit."

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