The Brixham Military Museum Started in 1994/95

The Brixham Military Museum Started in 1994...

The idea of using the ATS hut as a museum was in 1994 when Mike Ford came across the disused hut that was being used by Torbay Council workers to store their tools. The hut was in a bad state of repair and grounds were overgrown.

In early 1995 Mike set up along with Rod Hart, Sue Sleep and Carole Hart a small group, to try to raise awareness of the site.

Meetings were held between these members at the Redcliff Hotel, Paignton and the Weary Ploughman, Churston. The first fundraising events were when the four members along with friends attended local schools where they did talks and displays on WW2. The first ever donation was £20 from Sacred Heart school, Paignton in 1995.

In October 1995, the group met at the Battery site with two councillors, Mike Morey and Vic Ellery, where discussions were held with Mike and Rod.  The project was officially called The South Devon Forces Museum Project.

Mike and Rod continued to meet with council members and also met with the Museum Commission, who came from their headquarters in Taunton to visit the site.

During this time Ex Home Guard Ron Coleman was working on trying to save the Battery Gardens site and published his own book about the battery.  Ron meet Mike while walking in the Battery gardens one day and they spoke about the project.  Later Ron contacted Mike Ford and after a discussion with Ron and another Ex Home Guard Len Tucker the fight was on.

August 8 1996 we had a planning meeting with Miss Addison of Torbay Council, where with various reports, plans and the Council legal dept we discussed a lease for the ATS hut to use as a museum. 

The first major job
Replacing the Roof

Brixham Battery Heritage Group 22 April 1997

Ron Coleman

The Brixham Battery Heritage Group was named on April 22 1997. The proposal of the Terms and Conditions of our first five year lease where recieved by Mike Ford.

Ron Coleman, Len Tucker, Mike Ford and Robbie Robinson continued to raise funds and members.

The first committee in was formed in 1999 and on March 30 2002 (Easter Saturday) Councillor Bob Pudner, Mayor of Torquay, cut the tape to officaily open our centre. A miniature cannon was fired and Bob took the baton to start the 6 piece brass band that was in attendance, and we were officially declared open.

Phil Trayhorn took over as Chairman and carried on in the post for 11 years.  Phil successfully got us the Lottery Heritage Grant of £50,000 to allow us to build our Education centre.  All the hard work paid off with the site then being given English Heritage Status

Until his passing in Feb 2006 the group was proud to have a veteran sergeant, Mr Ron Coleman, who manned the Battery with others during the WW2 as their Secretary.

As a registered charity, the Heritage Group has been generously awarded various grants and relies heavily on donations from visitors. Another way of receiving funds is through organised school visits and also visiting other heritage sites where we host WW2 displays.

The Brixham Battery Heritage Centre was founded in 1999, and became a Registered Charity (no 1082171) in that year.  None of this would have happened without the dedication of the founder members.

We would like to thank everyone connected to the Battery both past and present. This is only a brief history of our group. Records and photographs are kept on site and visitors are more then welcome to come along and browse through them.