My Honiton with Pam Beckett

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 23 July 2018

Pam Beckett of Honiton Toy Shop. Ref edr 28 18TI 7302. Picture: Terry Ife

Pam Beckett of Honiton Toy Shop. Ref edr 28 18TI 7302. Picture: Terry Ife


Pam Beckett speaks about the caring people of the town

Pam Beckett of Honiton Toy Shop. Ref edr 28 18TI 7294. Picture: Terry IfePam Beckett of Honiton Toy Shop. Ref edr 28 18TI 7294. Picture: Terry Ife

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Pam Beckett. I am the owner of The Honiton Toy Shop in High Street, which has been open for the last 32 years.

What do you love most about Honiton?

It has to be the people – they’re a friendly, caring bunch. I have made a few long-lasting friendships in Honiton and thousands of acquaintances. If I were to pop out to the bank or supermarket, someone will always stop and talk to me. In the 32 years of owning this shop, I have seen families grow through their generations, which is very surreal. We have seen bumps grow, and those bumps grow up to be adults, and then bring their bumps into the shop.

What’s your favourite memory associated with Honiton?

One of my favourite sets of memories is the ten years I was leader for Cottrell Cubs. All the boys coming through, and all the fun weekends – and now seeing them grown up into adults – it’s wonderful to see how they have progressed through life. Another warm memory is sitting on the balcony above the toy shop each year, watching the carnival floats go by. And too many more memories to mention!

How do you think Honiton’s high street compares with other towns in Devon?

The layout and flow of the high street is really good, and there is an ease of access and parking from all surrounding areas. It is nice to have the independently owned shops here because that is what makes a high street unique and brings the shoppers into Honiton. However, I miss how it was 30-odd years ago. It was busier, there was more of a buzz and I think we had more traditional shops. There was a lot more community spirit in those days. You knew everybody and everyone looked after each other.

Where in Honiton have you had your best-ever meal?

The best meal I had was at Maguires in Black Lion Court – they did the most delicious triple chocolate cake. I had two portions of it because it was so good! For the best breakfast in town, I go to Smileys. They do the best bacon and egg in town. They cook it as you wait – if you want it burnt, they will burn it. If you want it raw, they will raw it! I have spent a lot of money in that place!

What is your favourite building in Honiton and why?

A building I do like in town is St Michael’s Church. Both my sons got married there and my husband is buried up there. I think it’s nice and old fashioned, and the church itself is beautiful. It is such a shame that it is closed.

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