What’s the future of Teignmouth’s ‘real-life Fawlty Towers’?

A hotel dubbed as a ‘real-life Fawlty Towers’ should be bought by the town council and run as a social enterprise, councillors have claimed.

The Bay Hotel, on Powderham Terrace, on Teignmouth seafront, has been closed since 2017 after the proprietor Shirley Bothroyd was arrested for Arson with Intent.

Bothroyd subsequently was jailed for 22 weeks for a string of assaults against her employees and a police officer, before then being given a hospital order after she threatened to burn down her neighbour’s house in an argument over her pet lizard.

Calls are now being made by councillors for direct action to be taken to deal with The Bay Hotel through compulsory purchase as the hotel in a prime seafront spot is failing into decay and has been derelict for nearly two years.

 

Cllr Alison Eden is proposing that the town council compulsorily purchase The Bay hotel using borrowings from the Public Works Loan Board.

She said: “Teignmouth’s former ‘Fawlty Towers’ Hotel is fast falling into decay and dilapidation. This grand building is becoming a poor advert for our glorious town and action needs to be taken now.”

Shirley Bothroyd, who owns the Bay Hotel, has plead not guilty to assaulting five people and a police officer
Shirley Bothroyd, who owns the Bay Hotel, has plead not guilty to assaulting five people and a police officer

The current status of the building is unknown, with town councillors have been unable to contact Bothroyd since she was sectioned.

Former hospitality manager Andrew MacGregor has put forward a proposal to run the hotel as a social enterprise.

He added: “I’d relish the opportunity to help run the establishment as a top-quality boutique hotel operated also as a social enterprise training centre. It could provide those young people not academically inclined and in some case marginalized with a vocational career option.

“I’m concerned in particular about how we can help the 8.2 per cent of young people who are not in education, employment or training in our town.”

Female hotelier dubbed female Basil Fawlty writes series of epic rants from prison complaining about cell mates and life inside

Cllr Peter Williams, who is also a local businessman, said that it was an option he was interested in exploring, adding: “We should certainly explore this further. I don’t want to see yet another part of this town deteriorate. Surely it’s ‘win/win’ if we can preserve the building and create opportunities for our young people.

“The town council could sell the building on directly as a hotel of course, but I like the idea of using a social enterprise to help our young people and put money back into the council’s coffers. It could generate regular income for the council at a time of uncertainty and cuts.”

The hotel was notorious and dubbed the ‘Fawlty Towers’ of South Devon, including via a series of damning and scathing reviews of the hotel on TripAdvisor.

No decision on the future of the hotel has been made and the town council has been unable to contact Bothroyd as the owner of the building to establish her intentions.

 

You Likey?