HAPPY childhood memories of family days out in Cockington prompted TV star Sue Barker to agree to be the patron of the Cockington Restoration Appeal.
Sue, who was born in the Bay, is supporting the new £150,000 public appeal towards a £1.2million, three-year restoration project to restore Cockington Country Park to its former glory.
During her tennis career, Sue won a Grand Slam women's singles title at the 1976 French Open and reached a career-high singles ranking of world number three.
She is probably best known for being one of the main sports presenters at the BBC and host of the Question of Sport quiz show and the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon.
Speaking to the Herald Express, Sue said: "I have such happy memories of Cockington. Visits used to be a regular family fixture.
"Although we lived in Paignton, Cockington was always a favourite for us.
"We loved it and used to go there to feed the ducks and walk in the grounds.
"We used to enjoy walking around the village and looking in the shops. I have such happy memories of the place so when I heard there was a plan to restore it, I was keen to have my name put down to lend the project some support. I was very happy to do it. It sounds like they are doing a fantastic job."
Sue said that work commitments means she doesn't get to return to the Bay as often as she would like.
"I have said that now I am on board with this campaign, I definitely will. My brother went down to Cockington not so long ago and took his son. He said there was some parts that really did need some money spent on it. It needs to be restored. He was surprised how it was.
"As kids you build up memories of a place with rose-tinted glasses on. He said it would be great to get some money spent on it to restore it to how it was.
"I am going to go and have a look myself but with the Olympics last year and Wimbledon this year it hasn't quite happened yet.
"I am looking forward to just having a little walk around.
"There are some places in Devon that conjure up such happy memories for me — Cockington is one of them."
Sue said the campaign was a golden opportunity to really make a difference.
"I remember that back in my day, and I'm going back to the stone age here, the village was always buzzing with the clip clop of horses in the background.
"There was always things to see there. You could walk up to the park and have a beautiful day. It was a magical time for me really.
"It would be great to preserve and enhance it for those generations to come. I really applaud Cockington for applying for the funding and really setting out an aim for the future."
Sue was born in Paignton and then lived in the town but has strong links with Torquay.
"I have an affinity to Torquay," she said. "My tennis career was Torquay based and I spent every weekend and most evenings in Torquay.
"I used to have to travel back on three buses to get home.
"As much as I am Paignton born, I consider myself very much a Torbay girl. Without the Palace Hotel, without my coach Arthur Roberts, I would never have had the career that I did."