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.

Gavin Atkins

Centre 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.

Jacob Straw

Deputy Manager

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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, on reception, in the kitchen and as lead instructor for clubs. He's now enjoying life as a Deputy Manager at the centre! 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 out on local crags!

Tom Williams

Deputy Manager

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Tom lives, eats, breathes and dreams climbing. Being half Austrian, his love of the mountains is easy to explain, despite growing up in decidedly un-rocky Berkshire. While at university just up the hill Tom probably spent more hours at the Quay or on local crags learning, teaching and sharing his passion with his peers than he did on campus. He now joins us as a Deputy Manager to pursue his passion in the outdoor industry.

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.

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!

Pen Farthing

Technical Director

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Pen has worked and played in the outdoor industry for over 25 years. 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. When not climbing Pen can be found in Afghanistan walking dogs for the Nowzad dogs charity...but that is another story!

Aaran Eade

Director

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A keen outdoor enthusiast since his days in the Army, Aaaran is one of the founding directors at the Quay. He now splits his time between his new venture, Rock Up, and the Quay.

Jennifer Thomas

Finance Administrator/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, instructing or sending out your invoices!

Michael Robinson

Centre Administrator

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Michael is the newest member of our Admin Team. A keen climber and qualified instructor, he's helping us out in the office and behind reception whilst Leslyn is having some time off with her new baby!

Emily Vandendorpe

Centre Administrator

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Emily is a keen member of the Thursday 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.

Leslyn James

Centre Administrator

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Leslyn, has been a member of the team for over four years. A novice climber she’s keen to try to get on the wall when she can. When she’s not in the Centre you’ll find her exploring North Devon whether it’s on a bike, in the sea, horseback or walking.

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 and has worked in restaurants across the UK and Europe. 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.

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.

Ben Sprague

Instructor/CNC Lead

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Ben has been at the centre for over 4 years dedicating most of his time to Clip n Climb. As a keen climber, Ben has developed his professional skills and qualifications and now is an instructor both Clip n Climb and The Quay. Ben enjoys bouldering sessions on Dartmoor with his 3 children, as well as exploring the delights of Devon and beyond.

Fred Bevan

Instructor/CNC Lead

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When Fred first joined our team he had little climbing experience, but since working here he has progressed to become an accomplished instructor and is currently training to be able to teach lead climbing! When he's not working here, Fred can be found in the gym or trekking on the moors!

Rory Bascombe

Instructor

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Rory has been a keen climber since a young age, developing his skills through various climbing activies. He first joined us a member of the Quay Youth Squads and has developed to join us as a member of staff. Rory can regularly be find sampling the local climbing, often projecting some hard climbs!

Charlie Webber

Cafe, Reception & Clip 'n Climb Instructor

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Charlie is one of our most experienced Clip 'n Climb instructors. Since working here, Charlie has worked his way up to lead Clip 'n Climb instructor and is training to be able to instruct on the traditional climbing wall too. In his spare time, he can be found bouldering on Dartmoor or skating in his local skate park.

Jack Woodcock

Cafe, Reception & Clip 'n Climb Instructor

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Having been working as part of our Clip 'n Climb team for over 2 years, Jack is one of our most experienced Clip 'n Climb instructors and has now turned his hand to instructing on our traditional climbing wall too. In his free time, Jack can often be found climbing at various climbing walls around the region and bouldering at many of the local crags.

Tom Corras

Instructor

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Tom is a accomplished member of the Thursday Night Squad at the Quay. When he's not instructing in centre, he can usually be found climbing at the local crags, projecting some of the hardest climbs around!

James Hembury

Instructor

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James is a keen instructor here at the Quay. Since joining our team in 2016, he has progressed to take on the role of organising all of our youth clubs and squads. In his free time, James can be found climbing at local crags or here in centre!

Angel Freeman

Instructor/Cafe

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Angel has been working in the climbing industry for over 5 years, coaching, instructing and route setting in Australia. She has recently moved to the UK and has been working here with us ever since! She is currently the coach for our weekend Monquays kids club, a job which she loves! When she's not working, she can be found climbing here in centre, at local crags or travelling around Europe!

George Wills

Insturctor/Cafe

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George has worked in the outdoors industry since 2011 and has been working as a freelance instructor for the past 5 years. When he's not running sessions here or elsewhere, he can be found training up on the moors for Mountain Rescue or hanging out around the centre!

Erika Cann

Clip 'n Climb Instructor

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Erika first discovered climbing at secondary school, and is yet another member of staff who started off here at The Quay in the youth clubs. She is currently completing an art diploma, in the hope of studying fine art at university. In her spare time, she can be found climbing here in centre!

Anya Coles

Clip 'n Climb Instructor

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Still in education, Anya can often be found working on the weekends in Clip 'n Climb around her studies. After starting out in one of our youth climbing squads, Anya can often be found climbing around the centre.