The Love Topsham Team
The team, now in its third year, is made up of a core group of Topsham residents and business owners with a strong background of business acumen alongside an intense passion for the town, its fabric, history and crucially, its future.
Topsham resident, yoga teacher and marketing consultant, Jo has worked in branding, graphic design and marketing for nearly 30 years in Hong Kong and the UK.
Jo was instrumental in developing and rolling out the Love Topsham branding, the town’s website and the Visit Topsham booklet in the very early days of the organisation – establishing the group as a proactive and professional ‘force for good’ within Topsham.
Heading up the Communications side of Love Topsham, Jo is also an active part in the newly established Exeter Visitor Recovery Group. Jo lives with husband Paul, Ella the cat and teenage boys between Topsham and Ascot.
Topsham resident since 2017, Paul’s career has involved leading global teams in the pharmaceutical industry, across marketing, strategy and business development roles. Paul now works as an executive/ life coach and mentor, alongside his position as the Lead at Love Topsham and member of Exeter Visitor Recovery Group.
Paul lives with wife Jo and travelling cat Ella between homes in Topsham and Ascot, keeping an eye on grown up children and two grandchildren.
An avid Brentford Football Club season ticket holder and keen tennis player, Paul now adds kayaking and paddle boarding on the Exe to his growing list of hobbies.
Jane has always lived in and around Exeter, finally moving to Topsham in 1999 and she can’t ever imagine leaving. Having now retired Jane previously worked as a medical underwriter at the infamous London & Manchester Assurance company in Clyst St Mary for over 30 years.
Most days Jane can be found walking around Topsham, with her husband Pete and dog Chili. They all love travelling, particularly in their Campervan, either in this country or in Europe. Jane loves volunteering to help improve the experience of Topsham for everyone. As Joint Head of Volunteers, Jane says she “generally makes a nuisance of herself albeit in a nice way”.
Pete has lived in Devon all his life and migrated to Topsham from Countess Wear just over 20 years ago, so still a relative newcomer to the town!
Having had two careers, one in Financial Services and the latter in Tax Technology, Pete has now retired and can be found either on the golf course or walking around the streets and lanes of Topsham with his wife, Jane and their dog Chili. In his spare time he loves travelling around the UK and France in their Campervan or occasionally taking solace in the local hostelries, purely in the interest of research, of course.
Pete loves living in Topsham and helping the Love Topsham team as Joint Head of Volunteers with Jane, making the town a better place for everyone – with a particular area of expertise in the Christmas lights display across Topsham.
Retired for about 8 years and having moved to Topsham only 2 years ago, most of Carolina’s working life has been in finance. Alongside family and work commitments, involvement in the community has always taken an important role, such as helping to run scout groups and village events on Dartmoor, as well as becoming treasurer of several organisations.
We came back to Devon after 36 years away in 2019. A professional designer since I was 15 and founder and director of the award-winning branding, publishing and communications agency thebigideascollective.com. I am also a Fellow of The Royal Society of the Arts. While continuing the day job, I also design the graphics and website for Love Topsham.
Since coming back to the south west I have become a director of Love Topsham and a Trustee of the arts charity Daisi. Now living in White Street with artist Alison and at the moment theatre and event designer daughter Katy. You will usually see me walking around the town with Pip the dog.
Lily Neal opened the business which is now known as The Topsham Bookshop in 1993, and so after 27 years of dealing in secondhand books in Fore Street, she is one of the oldest-serving retailers in the town, with long experience in working for and with local businesses and in dealing with local councils. In her early years as a shopkeeper here she was very involved with the erstwhile Topsham Traders Association, at one stage serving as its Chairman and also, through the Association, taking on the role of Co-ordinator for the two Topsham Maritime Weekend events which happened in the late 1990s.
Always involved in local activities, Lily has done voluntary work for the Topsham Museum (including writing a short book on its founder, Dorothy Holman) and served on the committee of the Topsham Film Society. She has also (at different periods!) run a poetry appreciation class and a singing group in the town, and been a founder member of the TCMS, helping to arrange chamber music concerts four times a year In Topsham for over five years.
A few years ago she was heavily involved in the group known as Save The Topsham Gap, which has tried to protect the town from inappropriate development, but lately she has devoted her time to Love Topsham.
Graham is a freelance journalist. He edits two property industry publications and writes on housing for national newspapers; he was previously a journalist at the BBC.
Graham handles the press requirements for Love Topsham and is an essential member of the communications team. He has been a White Street resident for 20 years and has served on the boards of groups including Estuary League of Friends, Topsham Society and Topsham Film Society. You’ll often find him, with his dog Macy, in and around the local coffee shops…
The Love Topsham team have a great mix of local knowledge, retail experience, marketing drive and endless enthusiasm but we’re always keen to get others in the community involved in what we do. If you have something to contribute – from helping plan strategy to being on the town’s Christmas display team to distributing leaflets and posters – do please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org