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find us by foot, bike, bus or car

Telephone: 01392 426 850

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meet the team behind the Quay...

we are all passionate about climbing and running a climbing wall has been a dream for us for many years.  Aquiring the Old Electricity Building and transforming it into a centre for you to enjoy has been a great privilege.  With the support of our team of instructors, our goal is to provide a safe, welcoming and vibrant environment for climbers of all ages, abilities and experience to develop and master their climbing skills.  Come and meet us at the centre - we are around most days and welcome your thoughts and feedback.   

Damian Johnson - Managing Director

after spending 10 years in physics and 15 in the finance industry, Damian is realising his (day) dream of opening an indoor climbing centre.  A climbing and mountaineering enthusiast, Damian has spent his holidays wandering mountains, climbing ice fields or hiding in caves dreaming of the day when his own wall would amount to more than a few bolt-on holds in the garage.   


Alison Smith - Director

Alison manages the marketing and administration for the Quay.  Like Damian, she has spent most of her career in the finance industry and is enjoying her new investment in the centre.  A keen runner, surfer and enthusiastic but novice climber and mountaineer, Alison is looking forward to improving her climbing, whilst keeping the finances in order.


Paul Russell - Director and Centre Manager, Quay Climbing

Paul has over 25 years experience in the outdoor education industry.  He spent most of his younger days either climbing in the mines of North Wales, or walking the mountains instructing Duke of Edinburgh groups.  He can still be found doing what he loves, just a lot slower.   


Aaran Eade - Director and Centre Manager, Clip 'n Climb

Aaran has spent over 22 years in the Army as a fitness instructor and mountain leader in the Army Physical Training Corps, where he pursued his passion for climbing, kayaking and mountaineering.  He has completed the Marathon des Sables, the Dynamic adventure series and the Devon coast to coast and now plans to channel his energies into the success of the Quay and Clip n Climb.

the Quay crew...

Paul Russell - Director and Centre Manager, Quay Climbing

Paul has over 25 years experience in the outdoor education industry.  He spent most of his younger days either climbing in the mines of North Wales, or walking the mountains instructing Duke of Edinburgh groups.  He can still be found doing what he loves, just a lot slower. 


Gavin Atkins - Deputy Manager, Quay Climbing
being born over 200 miles from the nearest natural crags, climbing was an obvious choice for Gavin! After many years and many climbing trips in the UK and Europe, he became an outdoor instructor in his spare time.  10 years later this evolved into his full time profession, along with route setting.  He comes to the Quay straight from East Anglia, where he was involved in the redevelopment of the region's premier climbing venue.   
Neil Empringham - Deputy Manager, Quay Climbing
Neil is our most recent recruit to the Quay having joined us in April following a number of years as Residential Manager at the Rock and Rapid Adventure Centre in South Molton where he looked after pretty much every activity they offered and managed the indoor climbing facility. A keen surfer, sky diver and, of course, climber Neil brings with him a wealth of outdoor experience and has rapidly become a key member of our route setting team. 
Mikey Cleverdon - Instructor, Coach and Route Setter Quay Climbing
Mikey is well known in the South West climbing scene as one of the region's leading climbers and boulderers.  A passionate climber from an early age Mikey has many years of indoor wall experience having instructed and set routes at the Mill Adventure Centre South Molton and, most recently, at the Barn Climbing Centre in Tavistock.   As an experienced youth and adult coach Mikey is taking on the role of coaching at the Quay and, working within the wider team of route setters, is responsible for ensuring that routes are regularly set and re-set.



Anne-Marie Dobner - Instructor/Centre Receptionist

Anne-Marie has enjoyed the outdoors since childhood hiking trips with her Dad but got hooked on climbing after attending a beginners course at an indoor climbing centre in Sydney five years ago.  She hasn't looked back since.  Two years ago, her mounting intolerance of really big spiders inspired a move to the UK, where she began her career in the outdoor activities industry. 

Tami Wells - Instructor/Centre Receptionist

Tami is a keen climber who can regularly be found out on Dartmoor as well as travelling further afield to the Peaks and South East Spain for climbing adventures.  When she's not climbing she enjoys yoga and walking her dog, Tryfan, as well as spending time with her family most of whom are keen climbers too. 




Jennifer Thomas - Centre Receptionist

Jen didn't quite know what she got herself into when she got the job at the Quay...a climbing virgin the team threw her in at the deep end and she was leading on her 3rd training session!  With a background in personal training, Jen is a great addition to the team and when she is not at the centre she keeps herself fit running around after her little boy.  She's got the climbing bug now and is excited about this new challenge.

Paul Reah - Chef and Cafe Manager

As a keen climber and a chef Paul is the pefect person to take care of the menu at the Quay.  He's been cooking since the age of 7 when he copied his Nana making scones and pastries and he hasn't looked back since.  After qualifying as a chef Paul has worked in restaurants across the UK and Europe and has held Sous Chef and Head Chef positions in hotels feeding 1200 guest a day as well as fine dining restuarants in the UK.  Most recently Paul and his brother owned and ran the Pavillions Restuarant in Torquay but since being forced to close due to the redevelopment of the harbour areas Paul has combined his passion for climbing and cooking and has joined us to enhance and extend our menu. Are you hungry yet? 

Pen Farthing -Technical Director

Pen has worked and played in the outdoor industry for over 25 years, sharing his passion for the mountains with those who want to know what all the hype is about!  He manages his own outdoor business, The Adventure Fitness Company, which provides training and assessment courses for the MLTE and BCU and safety cover for overseas charity treks to Morocco.  Pen is currently running a series of CWA and SPA courses at the Quay - look on our news items for course dates and more information.  When not climbing Pen can be found in Afghanistan walking dogs for the Nowzad dogs charity...but that is another story!




general facilities

the centre is well equipped for climbers, groups and friends or family accompanying them.  We have male and female toilets located on the ground floor and the first floor.  Disabled access toilets are available on the ground floor. 

There are large pidgeon holes in the lounge area of the main climbing arena as well as lockers (we ask climbers to provide a key as deposit for locker use).  

There is a separate kitting up room in the Clip 'n Climb centre.

If you do not have your own gear we have a large stock of rental items for hire by centre users including climbing shoes, harnesses, belay devices, chalk bags and chalk.  If you are signed up for a course or taster session your equipment will be provided free of charge.  We do not require children to wear helmets whilst climbing in the centre however helmets are available to hire, free of charge, upon request. 


If you are looking to purchase gear then why not visit Taunton Leisure?  They have a great range of outdoor equipment including a huge climbing section, together with a knowledgeable and friendly team who are on hand to offer advice based on real experience rather than sales talk.  Registered members at the Quay get great discounts on all gear at Taunton Leisure plus access to fantastic monthly specials.  Click here for more information.

want to find a climbing buddy?

if you want to find a climbing partner at the Quay, we run a noticeboard in the centre or you can send an email to us via our Contact Us page (select the option 'find a climbing partner' from the drop down menu) and we will post your name, contact details and short message on the  'Climbing Buddy' board.

Alternatively, the website can help.  Simply sign up to use their fantastic service and search for the Quay!  Click here to find out more.

opening hours

the centre is open daily at the following times: 

Monday to Friday:  10am to 10pm

Saturday:  12.15 pm to 8pm

Sunday:  12.15 pm to 8pm


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