The Q Team


Meet the team behind the Quay…

We are all passionate about climbing and outdoor adventure.  Running a climbing wall has been a dream of ours for many years.  Tall buildings are hard to find in the South West so acquiring the Old Electricity Building and transforming it into the South West’s largest indoor climbing centre for you all to enjoy has been a great privilege for us.  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 so that you can develop and master your climbing skills and most importantly – have fun doing what we love doing! Come and meet us at the centre – we are around most days and welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Paul Russell

Centre Director

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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

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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.

Tom Bunn

Deputy Manager

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Tom is the newest recruit to the team at the Quay. He has spent over 5 years working in the outdoor industry most recently at The Barn Climbing Centre where he has done pretty much every job associated with running an indoor wall and plenty of route setting and coaching. A well known climber on the SW scene Tom is also the man behind the popular rustypeg.co.uk website.

Neil Emphringham

Senior Instructor

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Neil is on of our senior instructors at the Quay - responsible for sessions, coaching and helping with the route setting. You can find him in the centre every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. He joined us from 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.

Mikey Cleverdon

Coach and Route Setter

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Mikey is well known in the South West climbing scene. 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 the Barn Climbing Centre in Tavistock. As an experienced youth and adult coach Mikey is the lead coach at the Quay and is also responsible for ensuring that routes are regularly set and re-set. You can see him at the centre every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Tami Wells

Instructor/Centre Receptionist

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Tami is a keen climber who can regularly be found out on Dartmoor. 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. Tami has recently set up her own yoga business, Yoga with Tami - you can attend one of her classes at the centre on Thursday evenings! Otherwise you can see her in the centre from Monday to Friday during the day.

Paul Reah

Instructor and Chef

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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 pastries and he hasn't looked back since. 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. Paul combines his passion for climbing and cooking at the centre. When he's not in the kitchen you can find him instructing on the floor! You can see Paul in the centre on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Jacob Straw

Instructor

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Jacob has been a longtime climber and member of the team at the Quay. He's worked as part of our evening and weekend team for over two years and in the last year has emerged from the kitchen and reception to become a full time instructor. You can find him instructing every Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and when he's not instructing you can often see him hanging off the prow or hiding in the boulder cave.

Jennifer Thomas

Centre Receptionist/Instructor

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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! She works in the centre every Tuesday and Wednesday where you may find her instructing, working at reception or sending out your invoices!

Rory Bascombe

Centre Reception/Cafe

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Rory has been a keen climber and member of the Quay Youth Clubs for a number of years and more recently he's joined us as part of the team. You will see him behind the café/reception on weekday evenings (Mondays to Wednesdays) and all day at the weekend.

Josey Field

Centre Reception/Cafe

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Josey is the friendly face behind reception on Thursday and Friday evenings - two of our busiest nights! A keen climber at the centre Josey works here in her spare time.

Emily Vandendorpe

Centre Reception/Cafe

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Emily is a keen member of the Friday Night Squad at the Quay and can regularly be found taking part in local climbing competitions. An accomplished climber she is now turning her hand to working at reception and in the café in her spare time - you can find Emily at the centre on Saturdays!

Chris Rees

Instructor

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Chris is a recent recruit to the Quay, sharing his time here with work across the road at Haven Banks. A keen outdoor enthusiast Chris is working towards his general outdoor education instructor qualifications but as a CWA he's working here on Sundays as a group instructor.

Alison Smith

Director

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Alison manages the marketing, human resources and events 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 when she can get time away from the office!

Damian Johnson

Managing Director

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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.

Pen Farthing

Technical Director

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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!