Blooming Art in Babbacombe

(Last Updated On: June 26, 2018)




Based at the Healthwatch stall in during Babbacombe Fayre last week I had the chance to talk to people about what we do and to hear about their ideas and concerns. More on that soon when the Healthwatch Torbay Annual Report is published.

It was also great opportunity to meet other groups busy in the Bay and to find out about events that were very local.

The Devon Art Society, for example, were there, reminding us that their always enjoyable and interesting Summer Exhibition is about to take place. It’ll be on this coming weekend at St Anne’s Hall in Babbacombe and as ever it’s a free exhibition – and one where you’ll have the opportunity to buy anything that catches your eye.

The Friends of Tessier Gardens were there, too, inviting us to come along to their Summer Ukulele concert. Coffee, tea and cakes plus The Babbacombe Ukulele Strummers! They’re hoping to raise money, they say, ‘to keep the gardens blooming lovely!’

Tessier Gardens, by the way, is a genuine hidden treasure, a peaceful haven where you can enjoy the abundance of nature or escape into yourself – or both together in this delightful oasis. Hidden away between Babbacombe and St. Marychurch, it’s, as the website says, ‘a delightful park that was given to the town in 1933 by Mrs H.A Tessier “for the use of adults only”. In the same year a ‘Sun Temple’ was constructed in the gardens, as recognition of her generosity. In 1975 a scented garden for the blind was planted with the botanical names of the plants etched in Braille on copper plates.’

At the moment the gardens need some intensive tending, too, so if you’re in the vicinity why not contact the Friends Group to see what help you can offer? The web address is

Bob Jope  Healthwatch Torbay


Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!