Sudden death of Barton and Hele community figure Paul Jones shocks family and friends

One of the most well-known and popular figures in the Torquay community has died.

The ‘sudden and totally unexpected’ death of much-respected Paul Jones has shocked family and friends. He was 64.

Paul was particularly well-known in the Hele and Barton areas.

He grew up in Hele Village and the Starpitten area. As a young boy he joined Sam Crute on his mobile grocery van in Hele and Barton.

His association with the Stringer family in Barton lasted a lifetime. It began when shop-owner Abe Stringer took him on as a paper boy at the age of 12. He then worked with Abe’s son, Roger, the late former Torbay councillor who ran the newsagents and post office in Barton with Paul by his side. Roger died three years ago. Paul also managed the Stringer’s former shop inside Torbay Hospital when the Barton business was sold.

Paul, who was actually born in Totnes, went to Watcombe Primary School and then Audley Park School. Well-known in Torquay Skittle League circles, Paul met his wife Jeanette through the Scouts and they just recently celebrated their Ruby Wedding anniversary. Even the date of the wedding was fixed to work around the Scout Pack holiday.

After starting their marriage in the flat above Stringer’s Shop, Paul and Jeanette moved to Happaway Road in Barton in 1985 and remained their ever since.

He was well-known for his catchphrase ‘No Problem’.

Whenever he was asked for assistance, it was ‘no problem’.

Involvement in Scouting and Guiding was shared by every member of the family, as well as attending Church every Sunday.

Father Gorran Chapman, vicar at St Martin’s Church in Barton, said in a tribute: “Almost every household, every family and most individuals in Hele and Barton and in our hospital community have crossed paths with Paul and have been helped by him.

“His very tall physical structure mirrored the large part he played in the lives of us all. Several generations of our people are indebted to him.”

Paul, who died on July 1, leaves behind mum Marlene, sister Pat, brothers Stephen, Martin, Christopher and Nicholas, children Sharon, Rachael and Phillip and grandchildren Oliver and Benjamin.