Homecoming for a Babbacombe boy

Neil Tozer Director of Ridgewater Sales and Lettings

Neil Tozer Director of Ridgewater Sales and Lettings - Credit: Poppy Jakes Photography

The professional journey for Neil Tozer has taken him full circle to now make a proud homecoming to the Babbacombe and St Marychurch area that shaped his childhood. 
Ridgewater Property Ltd. have now opened a new office on the corner of Babbacombe Road and Reddenhill Road, taking on the fantastic legacy of over 50 years in the community from former residents of the building, Torquay Real Estate. 
It is particularly special for Ridgewater Director Neil and his wife Jennifer, who both know every nook and cranny in this part of Our Naturally Inspiring Bay.  
“I was brought up in St Marychurch and lived around the St Marychurch and Babbacombe area until my early 20s,” said Neil.  
“I went to Torquay Boys Grammar School but my Primary School was a place not many people recognise now. It was called Kirkstead College in Barton Road, it’s now Kirkstead Close.  
“My parents also had businesses locally. My dad ran a shop in Fleet Street called Russell Antiques, before that area of town was redeveloped, and then around 1986, he bought Gilberts Pet Shop in St Marychurch precinct, so he was part of the local community for a long time. 
“I worked in my dad’s shop as a youngster and my wife, Jennifer, has also lived in Babbacombe all her life and she now works for the Ridgewater business, so we are very much a local enterprise.  
“We actually got married in September, during the Covid crisis, and Jennifer’s parents still live in Babbacombe, so the acquisition of the new office really feels like we have come back home.  
“My childhood was spent cycling around Cary Park, playing on Babbacombe Downs and spending time on Oddicombe Beach. That was my youth, and Jennifer was the same.  
“I then went into the leisure industry, managed some bowling centres and worked across the south-west, including in Bristol, Taunton and Plymouth.  
“It was when I started working for Barratt Homes as an area sales manager that my passion for the property industry began to really develop. My job was to sell new homes and that progressed to the establishment of Ridgewater Property Ltd.”