The Station in Teignmouth was formerly manned by HM Coastguard but as with many Coastguard stations it was eventually closed (probably in the early '90s) until taken over by the Teignmouth NCI.
On Mothering Sunday in March 2003, John Langford, who was then the Station Manager of Exmouth NCI, was walking along Teignmouth Seafront with his family and saw the redundant Coastguard Lookout and thought it would be a good position for another NCI Station.
John obtained the approval of the Trustees of NCI to approach Teignbridge District Council, who were the leaseholders, and Teignmouth Council. Teignbridge District Council had initially leased the building out as a beach hut but it later become a store for the Eastcliff Cafe. Ian Palmer, the proprietor of Eastcliff Cafe, very kindly relinquished his lease.
John Langford worked tirelessly with the shops and businesses in Teignmouth to obtain funds and support for his project. John held two public meetings in February and March 2004 when Teignmouth NCI was formed with a just 9 volunteers.
The Lookout in 2004 with the old windows.
Upgrading and Advancement
When access was gained to the Lookout after the lease was signed it was realised that a lot of hard work was needed before it could become operational. The floor was not safe and it would have been easy to have ended up in the cellar! When it rained the original 1920's windows leaked. Cupboards were needed to store equipment, worktops had to be made; the list went on and the costs went up!
NCI Head Office gave Teignmouth a loan of £250 and with support from local businesses and shops work was started on converting the old Coastguard Lookout into the NCI Lookout that you can see standing today. While the building work was going on some of the founder members travelled to Exmouth NCI to receive training and to qualify as Watchkeepers.
The First Watch and Opening
The first service watch for Teignmouth NCI took place on the 1st August 2004. In those early days the Tower was manned only at weekends and during the school holidays.
In April 2005 the Lookout was officially opened by the then Mayor of Teignmouth, Cllr Mrs. Mary Strudwick, who presented the station with a cheque for £1,000. She had very kindly nominated us as one of her mayoral charities for the year.
In May 2007 Teignmouth achieved Declared Facility Status as part of the Maritime Search and Rescue emergency services.
From left to right:
John Langford, Station Manager of Exmouth NCI
Jon Gifford, Chairman of NCI nationally
Mayor of Teignmouth, Cllr Mrs. Mary Strudwick
Anthony Bradshaw, Training Officer for Teignmouth NCI.
The early years team
The New Lookout
In June 2013 we obtained planning consent for a new lookout to replace our rather small cramped quarters and moved to our splendid new home in September 2015.