Paignton Green, which runs alongside the seafront at the popular Devon resort, has been a venue for Anderton & Rowland since the late 1800s. Originally – and for over century – the fair was held during regatta week, at a busy spot with the pier nearby and a row of hotels behind the main road.
Two new hotels at this location indicate a significant investment in the family resort, and this year for the first time the fair was open for the whole of August.
Torbay, which comprises Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, reported good summer bookings after a slow start from all sectors of the accommodation-providing market, but nothing to rival last year’s record-breaking crowds. The railway station is only a short walk from the front and offers an alternative to visitors not wishing to drive.
Joint lessee Simon DeVey explained the extension of the stay. “We are just filling in the gaps this year,” he said. “We have traditionally attended three events, so have extended the visit to include the non-event days. Children’s week brings in extra visitors in the middle of the month. Trade could have been much better, of course, during the very hot days, but picked up well in the evenings and when the cooler weather returned.”
Vicky DeVey, joint lessee, thought footfall was down a little compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The commodious nature of the Green allows all the attractions to be well spaced out in two rows. The Mouse spinning coaster has a residency which spans July and August, while the firm’s newly refurbished Twister looked quite spectacular, as did the lighting on the Super Trooper. A good selection of top-class machines aimed at both the family and youth market appealed to locals and holidaymakers alike.
George DeVey Snr spoke of the enduring appeal of the dodgems and the gradual progression and evolution of the mechanics that have taken so much work out of building up and pulling down. “The makers claim the new tracks can be built up in two hours,” he told us. “We could do that on occasions with the alloy track, but that was with nine men.” George was very impressed with the appearance of the two fold-up tracks the firm now present.
Paignton Green is an ideal site for the children on the fair, who were very happy to take advantage of the sandy beach and warmer than usual sea.
The attractions at Paignton Green included: Anderton & Rowland’s Wild Mouse spinning coaster, dodgems, Terminator Miami, Twister, Number 1 waltzer and Happy Caterpillar family coaster (permanent site); Billy Farrell’s tagada; Edward Evans’ Thriller Express Matterhorn; Perrin Mott’s Trooper XL Super Trooper; and Katie Louise Noyce’s North Pole fun house along with supporting juveniles, inflatables, bungees and games. Catering was by the lessees.
Main photo: Anderton & Rowland’s Convoy at Paignton