About The Business

About the Business

The Cavendish is one of Torquay’s largest family-run hotels, and we are very proud of the business we have built up over the years.  The Cavendish has been in the family’s hands since 1992, but we have been in the trade for far longer than that.

The first members of the family to start in the hotel business were Joyce and Ernie Blagden, who moved down from Darlington with their youngest daughter Sarah and bought a small hotel called the Shirley back in 1980:

The Shirley Hotel around the time Nan and Grandad took over

The Shirley Hotel around the time Nan and Grandad took over

Back in those days everyone had to help out and as the family moved down bit by bit more and more of us got involved. The grandchildren were put to work almost as soon as they could walk:

Richard laying up the dining room

We all worked hard to make the Shirley a success and we even built our own swimming pool for our guests to use:

The swimming pool we built at the Shirley Hotel

The swimming pool we built at the Shirley Hotel

They were great days but in time the Shirley got too small for us all. By now Vicky and Andy had come down from Knaresborough so the five of them took over the Crofton House Hotel in Croft Road:

The Crofton House Hotel around 1989

The Crofton House Hotel around 1989

As you can see from the picture these were great times to be a Torquay hotelier and with our huge outdoor pool we were always busy through the summer. We usually modelled for our own brochures back then and fortunately a few of those photos have survived:

Angela, Grandad and Nan enjoying a meal

Angela, Grandad and Nan enjoying a meal

Vicky and Charles in the indoor pool

Vicky and Charles in the indoor pool

A warm welcome from Sarah, Vicky and Nan in the dining room

A warm welcome from Sarah, Vicky and Nan in the dining room

The best photos however were the ones where everyone had to go into the bar and pretend to be having a really good time while drinking ridiculous-looking cocktails. Many connoisseurs consider the following photo to be the type specimen for the genre:

The bar at the Crofton

The bar at the Crofton

In 1992 we bought the Cavendish Hotel on Belgrave Road, which brought Joyce and Ernie’s middle daughter Angela, her husband Alan and sons Richard and Edward into the business.

Comments

About The Business — 3 Comments

  1. Having lived in Newton Abbot until 1974, we have visited Torbay often and are looking forward to our stay with you next week as part of the Chepstow Bowls Club party. It will be our 1st time at the Cavendish Hotel.

  2. the road you are on does a bus run pass there thankyou because my mom is coming on the 19th august she car,t walk very well

    • The 32 bus runs from Lucius Street, just round the corner from the hotel, into town. At the moment the 12 is also running along Belgrave Road but I am not sure if this is a permanent change to the service or not.