Welcome  to   


      Paignton Heritage Society  





   We care for Paignton's past, present, and future. 

Our aims are :

To preserve and open to the public all the heritage buildings in Paignton.

To encourage tourist and trade initiatives that will benefit Paignton.

To support local concern over critical planning applications.

To monitor the policies and plans of government, council, and developers.

Latest - Tony Moss

 More than 100 people attended the memorial service.  Personal tributes from friends and ex-colleagues highlighted his sense of humour and his deep interest in Paignton and Paignton's history. David Watts described Tony  as "Paignton's Heritage Pioneer" and that will surely be Tony's epitaph. 



Current programme of talks - 2016/17


The following events will be at the Gerston Christian Centre, Gerston Place, Paignton (almost opposite the Post Office), starting at 7.30 pm.  Members £3  non-members £4.        Refreshments included.   Enquiries:  David Watts 01803 523434       dwdw.[email protected]



There will not be a meeting in December. 


Thursday January 26

Mike Holgate tells us about "Murder & Mystery on the Great Western Railway".


Thursday, February 23  Nick Pannell introduces us to "Spiritual features of Devon".


 Thursday, March 23   David Watts tells us about "The life and times of Weston Villa, Paignton" - which is the house he lives in.












      Quarterly newsletter -  December 2016


A message from our new Chairman – David Watts


My sincere thanks to everyone at the AGM on 27 October 2016 for the unanimous support I received to become the Society’s new Chairman as successor to Tony Moss.   Tony will be a very hard act to follow.  His leadership and contribution over the years has been truly outstanding.  We all wish Tony and his wife Mary the very best for the future.


For my own part, it has been nearly 10 years since becoming a retired resident of Paignton together with my wife Christine.  We moved here from the South East to join our family some of whom had already made Torbay their home for more than 40 years.  Our interest in Paignton’s heritage spans the same period and Tony very quickly put me in harness to help get the 100 year covenant in place for Paignton Green despite resistance at the time from parts of the Council.  It was an ‘interesting time’ to say the least.


Many of you will know that more recently I’ve been helping with preparation of the Paignton Neighbourhood Plan which the Localism Act enables our own community to produce.   In due course our Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the statutory development plan for Paignton and Council decision making on planning applications.  The importance of Paignton’s heritage sits at the heart of the Plan.


As your new Chairman I hope to take forward three personal objectives in particular in the coming months:


i )  Growing the interest in Kirkham house which I’m very aware exists within our community and by visitors alike;


ii)  making additional use of our website capability to feed the growing interest in the heritage of Paignton;


iii)  adding to the literature so far produced by the Society – particularly in respect of the previous success with ‘town trail’ interest


At the same time, it is clear we will continue to find ourselves at the centre of threats and opportunities to Paignton’s heritage, and especially in respect of the following matters discussed at the first Committee meeting on 14 November 2016 following the strong interest shown by the discussions at the AGM: 


Paignton Hospital


The various public meetings held over recent weeks have been remarkably consistent in the community view that whatever the future of the hospital building(s) might be, the health service changes proposed have not found support at all.  Hence there has been little discussion so far about what the future may hold for the building complex itself.  It will be important for our Society to be ready with thoughts and suggestions should this prove necessary.




Details of the planning application to transfer Torbay School to a revamped ‘My Place’ building can be found on the Council’s web site under planning application number P/2016/1159.   


The Public Notice in the press (9 Nov 2016) requires any support / objection to be sent to the Council Planning Service by no later than 30 November 2016.   

This deadline is well before the next meeting of the Society.  I will therefore be seeking the approval of our Committee members to send in at least a holding objection on the Society’s behalf.  However, please do take up the opportunity to view the proposals yourself and send in your views to the Council.  Let me know if you need any help (01803 523434) or [email protected]




With the Council now seemingly back in control of events, it is important to send a reminder that there are artefacts still held within the building that belong to the Society and to ensure arrangements are made for their safe keeping.


Looking to the next steps, it will be important to help in every way we can towards  seeing this important heritage asset brought back into life – but at the same time guarding very strongly against yet another thought that only on-site ‘enabling development’ would secure this.  There’s usually more than one way to skin a cat if the mind is applied.


The Cinema


As requested of me at the AGM I am seeking to find out more about progress being made and how we could be of help – including any chance of a site visit !!



Do you pay your sub by standing order?    If so, please amend your instruction so that you pay the current sub. of £10.00 per annum. This will save the Membership  Secretary a lot of  work,  

otherwise she will have to write to  you to ask you to pay the odd £5  shortfall and amend your standing order.   

Please check the amount of your  payment and amend it if necessary.


Are you on the internet?   If so, and if you are willing to receive your newsletters by email instead of hard copy (you know who you are!) please contact Eileen - 555214 or [email protected]


At the AGM, all the members of the outgoing Committee were re-elected en bloc.  They are Peggy Head, Ken Rowe, David Coaker, Anne Pentney, John Pentney, and Eileen Donovan.


David Watts, Chairman,

Weston Villa, 34 Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 5JZ

01803 523434          [email protected]




Paignton Green Covenant


“Torbay Council covenants with all inhabitants of the wards of Blatchcombe, Clifton with Maidenway, Goodrington with Roselands, Preston and Roundham with Hyde (“the Paignton Wards”) that for a period of 100 years beginning on the date of this deed it will not on the land shown edged red on the plan attached erect or permit the erection of any permanent structure without any such proposal first obtaining the majority of votes in a referendum of the persons who at the day of the referendum would be entitled to vote as electors at an election of councillors for any of the Paignton Wards and are registered as local government electors at an address within the Paignton Wards.  For the purposes of this covenant ‘permanent structure’ shall mean any structure intended to remain on the land for a period greater than 6 months in any period of 12 consecutive months.  This covenant shall not apply to the installation, construction or renewal (whether by statutory undertakers or otherwise) of any media for the supply or removal, electricity, gas, water, sewage, energy, telecommunications, data and all other services and utilities and all structures, machinery and equipment ancillary to those media”.


It needs to be noted the land edged red did not include the playpark but does include the rest of central and north greens