A couple of big events coming up next weekend here in beautiful Torbay. On Saturday BBC Radio One are doing a huge 7 hour outside gig on Paignton Green. It all kicks of at 3:00 pm when a few roads in Paignton get closed. Devonian Bus service 50 uses some of those roads so there will be a couple of minor diversions in play between Paignton and Cockington on Saturday. Most of Paignton Green has been boarded up for the event. I was down there this morning and the place looks like Stalag Luft 18.
The other big event is the Olympic Torch is going to make it's way through the Bay. I arrives at Tweenaway Cross about 3:00pm, still ongoing roadworks at Tweenaway Cross, should look good on TV. Then through the centre of Paignton before ending up at the English Riviera Centre. To get there it will have to pass one of the jewels of Torquay, the 11th century Abbey. Closed down by Henry VIII it was bought by a local land owner. Recently Torbay, using lottery money have been restoring it.
Sadly it is presently surrounded by boards similar to those used at Paignton by the BBC. Not the best advertisement for Torquay. Then on, past the balloon which used to adorn the sea front and carry people 400 feet up into the air where they had grand views of the Bay. Sadly it got destroyed in a storm lots months ago and hasn't yet been replaced. All the remains is the gondola covered with bits of the balloon to keep the rain off.
Then past the world famous Palm Court Hotel. Sadly not famous enough to keep it open. It closed down ten years ago and stood empty and derelict before it was partly destroyed by fire 18 months ago. It sits there, fire blackened masonry adding extra colour to our beautiful sea front. Bit of an eye sore really, hopefully the TV cameras can gloss over that bit of the relay.
Then along the Strand, past the Clock Tower, looking good after a big clean up last year. Then up Torwood Street. 5 years ago a development of this area of Torquay was promised, big hotel, cinema, shops and restaurants. The existing shops closed down expecting the bulldozers to arrive any minute and work to start on this wonderful development. We are still waiting for the bulldozers and the big hotel, cinema, shops and restaurants and all the jobs the development promised.
After that it heads up to Babbacombe, never to pass this way again. Not in my lifetime anyway.