Leah Whitcher, former Community Builder for Torre and Upton – now a Community Builder for Paignton Town Centre & Clifton with Maidenway (as of 1st April)


Spring is here at last. It’s my favourite time of year – all that shiny new green growth, the sunny yellow daffodils, purple pansies, grape hyacinths and crocuses popping up from their pots. And I saw my first fat bumble bee (‘teddy bears with wings’, as I call them) bouncing off the window pane a few days ago. My sunflower seeds are growing, too, along with the five varieties of beetroot I’m attempting this year. Beetroot mountain here we come!

So what is happening in Torre and Upton? The big thing, of course, is the Coronation weekend coming up in May with events happening all over Torbay. In Torre and Upton there are a number of community events: Upton Social Club (Saturday 6th May from 1pm), is closing the road for a Family Day with face painting, a barbecue and their very popular rodeo. There is also talk of something happening in Brunswick Square, so check the Community Partnership Facebook page for news about that. And at the Together Church on Thursday 4th (2pm – 4pm), there is a Coronation Tea Party and quiz. I expect there may be other, smaller, neighbourhood events too. If you’re having a street party or other event, e-mail me some photographs to pass on for the Torre and Upton Facebook page: [email protected]

Meanwhile, I’m putting together and editing my last edition of the Torre and Upton Community Magazine, which will be in the local shops, hair salons and cafes and posted to a few hundred addresses in April, so look out for that.

Spring is all about the new and I’m off to pastures new – handing over my post as Community Builder for Torre and Upton to be a Community Builder for Paignton Town Centre alongside Joanna Reynolds, starting in April. I shall be visiting some groups and individuals alongside the new Builder as part of my handover. I’ve already started saying au revoir to people (because it’s not really goodbye). I will still chat to some of you on the phone and even have the odd coffee or lunch in Union Street, as I have a friend who lives in Torre and we both love the little cafes there. And you will no doubt still see me at the St Mary Mags Christmas Markets, an event I love, and one or two other community events.

I will miss my regular stomps around handsome Torre and the conversations and laughs I’ve had with you. As for pastures new; I have been an advocate for Paignton since I moved there in 2013. Like Torre and Upton, it has a fantastic history and heritage and huge potential. The area around Church Street and Winner Street is – I’m convinced – destined to become Paignton’s version of Brighton Lanes, which is exactly what I think Union Street could be.

As ever, if you have a question or an idea for a community project or would like to volunteer, then you can contact me on 07703 715235 or email [email protected]

Enjoy this lovely season of renewal and have a wonderful Easter.