A walk up Park Road, St Marychurch

The changing face of Park Road

I have been walking up and down Park Road for well over seventy years, and during that time, I have seen numerous changes.  Come with me for a walk from Teignmouth Road to Petitor Road, and I will show you some that I can remember.

At the junction of Teignmouth and Park Road was the familiar corner shop, now converted to living accommodation,  Park House.  Across the road is a quaint, now listed property which was once a china shop and, because of the number of chamber pots on display, was named locally as “Po Corner”.  Continuing up to the middle of the terrace (Albert Place) we once found a dairy, later to become a wireless repair business, photographic studio run by Sean Hickey, and finally a signwriter’s workshop.  At the end of the terrace two Torquay Co-operative stores, grocery and butchery departments.

A quick glance into Western Road and we shall have seen the Havelock works, located in an old mission hall.  This was the home of the internationally know “Devon Violet” perfume, run by Mr Leslie Lowndes-Pateman.

Proceeding up Park Road we would come across a saddlers shop, later to become a china store, no chamber pots, and finally a retail electrical store.  Next door was the newsagent and next door again a shop selling decorating materials which became a greengrocers.  At the end of the terrace was a chimney sweep.

Crossing Western Road we stop at No. 44, once the home of the Devon Art Stoneworks run by a member of the well known Crute Family.  This later became the home of Edna White, local historian.  Next door we had the garage owned by two engineering brothers and next door again Park Road Post Office.  This office closed as a result of the national Post Office cutbacks.

We now pass by the Gothic cottages and arrive at a ladies’ outfitter which later became a hairdresser, a blind manufacturing business and finally a bridal salon.  Next door was the private residence of Mr Davey, Stonemason, while next door again a family baker, and then a small furniture retailer.

Passing Glen Flats and crossing over Compton Place we come to “Highfield” and the local doctor.  We are almost at the end of our walk but not before we have taken a look at the final building which forms the corner with Petitor Road.  The first part of the building had a side annex which had at times been a milk bar, barber shop and an opticians.  The main building was a greengrocer.  Tucked in behind a small corner was a high class tobacconist, and finally the gentlemens’ outfitters seen by Mr R Kellow, Councillor and one time Mayor and a perfect gentleman.  After his retirement it became an auction house.  This block is now private accommodation and is named Park House.  One would think having houses at each end of the road, so named, would be very confusing.

Napoleon once said that Britain was a land of small shopkeepers.  This is certainly true of Park Road.  But what have we now?  Not a single shop or business, how times have changed.

A Marychurch man