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News Archive > General > Campaign to restore Towan look-out

Campaign to restore Towan look-out

By Warren Wilkins 10th May 2017

Campaign to restore Towan look-out
STATION SAVIOURS: Some of the volunteers who are campaigning to restore the lookout on Newquay’s Towan Headland.

A campaign has been launched to refurbish the historic Coastguard lookout station at Towan Headland.
Residents and councillors are calling for the Grade II listed building to be given a ‘much-needed’ makeover after accusing Cornwall Council of allowing the structure to become dilapidated.

They would  like to see the unitary authority repaint the iconic eight-sided building and enhance the surrounding railings or allow volunteers to carry out the work to prevent it from getting in as bad a state as the neighbouring Huer’s Hut.
Community-minded volunteers have already staged a site meeting to discuss what work is needed and have approached Newquay Town Council’s Footpaths and Open Spaces Committee to take action. The committee plans to write to Cornwall Council expressing its concern over the lack of maintenance on the lookout. The town council’s new open spaces team could be employed to carry out the work, which is yet to be agreed.

The Coastguard lookout station was built as Newquay was a hotbed for smuggling in the 18th century. Preventative men, employed by the port of Padstow, would keep a watchful eye from the lookout for smugglers, sometimes known as Freetraders, engaged in their illegal pursuits. There were many hiding places in the rocks along the coastline where smugglers could hide their ill-gotten gains.  
Steve Slade, the former chairman of the Footpaths and Open Spaces Committee before the local elections, said: “The lookout is an iconic building and it would not take a great deal to refurbish the structure. This could be carried out by the open spaces team or even a group of volunteers.

“The building needs some preparation work and then two coats of masonry paint, which will make it look brand new. It is not a major deal. I think it would be quite a simple job to do.
“I know they are saying there could be a problem with access getting the equipment up there, but I think a couple of ladders and the paint being carried up to the top of the headland and the work would be done within two days with good weather.”

Jon Goodman, who is among the group of residents working to get the lookout refurbished, said: “We as volunteers are working with the Footpaths and Open Spaces Committee to try and renovate the lookout building.
“We have had a site meeting to work out what is needed and the logistics of it. It is a listed building so Cornwall Council should be maintaining it.  Once the new town council is formed and committee members are in place, we will move forward with it.”

By Warren Wilkins 10th May 2017

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