THE Singer family returned in force to Oldway Mansion to mark the end of one era and the start of a new one for the estate.
Some 32 members of the Singer family, whose family built the historic mansion, recently invited an equal number of members of the local community to celebrate with them the start of the new phase in the life of the mansion and gardens that have been at the heart of life in Torbay for so long.
Guests included members of the council and the Torbay Development Agency, members of local heritage groups and friends of the family who have all contributed to looking after the Paignton estate over the years.
The family enjoyed a tour of Oldway and the Rotunda given by Mark Jones, of developers Akkeron which will build a hotel and housing in the grounds.
They were accompanied by Friends of Oldway chairman Paul Hawthorne, who showed them the extent of the decay the buildings are suffering from currently.
Guests were welcomed by Louisa Hutton, great great grandaughter of the mansion's original owner, sewing machine inventor Issac Singer.
The guests enjoyed a three-course lunch courtesy of the Singer family.
Mayor Gordon Oliver spoke of his memories and associations with Oldway, and said the Singers would always be very welcome in Torbay.
James Brent and Mark Jones, of Akkeron, outlined the plans for the future of the estate.
John Wilson and Paul Hawthorne from the Friends spoke about the heritage and legacy of the Singer family and Oldway going forward.
The annual meeting of the Friends of Oldway will take place in the ballroom at the mansion on Monday, December 3, at 7pm.
Mark Jones from Akkeron will present the plans and programme for the restoration and development work in the house and gardens , and both he and Iain Masters from Torbay Council will take questions from members.