Capture Burnham is a local history initiative by North Sedgemoor Local History Group in association with Somerset Film. It has been funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Burnham & Highbridge Town Council. We hope it will stimulate your interest in Burnham’s history and encourage you to visit, follow the heritage trail and maybe even contribute to the site through the comments and gallery functions or by becoming a contributor. Capture Burnham is by no means comprehensive, it is intended to be an archive, which grows over time capturing the changing town and landscape around us. The initial content has been researched and written by a large number of local people following nominations from the public. Many of the pictures on the site have been given by members of the public and are used in good faith, and we are not aware of any copyright infringement. If there is, please inform us and any necessary correction will be made.

John Strickland | Chair North Sedgemoor Local History Group


  Topic Speaker
 10th October ‘Fairies and Other Such Folk- West Country tales and beliefs’. Brian Wright
14th November  Somerset Built Warplanes in World War II. John Smith
12th December The Stuckeys and their Bank.  Janet Seaton
9th  January 2019 The Language of Inn Signs, with some local examples. Nigel Craik
13th February The History of Windmills and Windmillers in Somerset. Sarah Harris  
13th March Popular Music in Edwardian Somerset.  David Sutcliffe
10th April More Burnham Notables. Pat Nichols
8th May Friendly Societies: ‘ Benefits, Brass and The Girtest, Grandest day’. Philip Hoyland
12th June George Reed:  Burnham’s Greatest Benefactor of the Victorian Era. John Strickland
11th September   Annual General Meeting.  

Meetings are held in the King Alfred School Lecture Theatre  from 7pm to 9pm.
Annual Membership is £5 or £2 to attend a particular talk. This programme may be subject to alteration before this web page is corrected.

This short film from the Norman Gobey collection, filmed on 9.5mm in 1937 shows the town decorated to mark the coronation and the events organised to mark the occasion.

37 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi just been on the tec college, the hockey team [ha] you have the names left to right wrong,
    the right is the left, teacher on the right,
    Cant pull up the pubs guess you are working on it,

  2. Grateful if you would confirm which of the dates above are for 2015? e.g. I would think that Jan onwards to be 2015 but see the 8th April postponed till 2015 🙁

  3. I would like to enjoy learning about the area I live in. If I come along on the Members Evening on the 13th May 2015 ( obtained from your web-site) I hope I can find out a little more?

    Please will you confirm there will be a meeting on that evening?

    I look forward to meeting you all.


    Philip Neve

    1. Hello Philip,
      There is a meeting on the 13th May but I have had to replace the Members’ Evening with a slideshow about Roman Artefacts found in Huntspill. There is nearly always some discussion about Burnham at each meeting irrespective of the evenings topic.
      Please feel free to join us for this evening or any other one.
      Thank you for your interest.

      1. Hello John
        I run the local history group for Street and Glastonbury U3A and just wondered do you venture out, to do talks on BOS ? If so I wonder if you tell me please if you make any charge for this ,or (say) only charge expenses ? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
        Francis Thyer
        ( JS note – replied via my personal email.)

    2. Message for John Strickland

      Good to see you today with good memories. I have subscribed ! It’s an interesting website.

      Best wishes, Sarah

  4. It was a pleasure meeting you , briefly , at John and Jean Mackies this morning . Thanks also for the programme etc you gave me . There may be a few family historical details which I can give you .Will try and come to a meeting in the next few months , what time and where do you meet ?
    Best wishes……. Peter Little

    1. Hello Peter,
      Thank you for the email. We meet at 7pm in the King Alfred School Lecture Theatre which is in the building behind the School’s information building.
      Thanks again for making contact and you should now get an email when new posts are added to this website.

  5. John,
    I have lived in this area now for a few years and wish to learn more about the local area. I will try to come along to your meeting on the 10th Feb.

    Kind Regards


    1. Hello Richard, Thanks for your interest. If you can make it I shall be giving an illustrated slide show of maps ,the earliest is 1787, and also aerial photos from the 1900’s. There is an interesting fact regarding Steart Island which probably not many of the local residents know about. I hope to see you there. John

  6. Hi John – Haven’t been able to do much for a while – had to change email address – long story!
    Seen the write up on Burnham Mill which I have a little more detail on, also I am writing up Steart and see that you had a slide show recently and that you had a little known interesting fact? Would be very interested as to what that may be please?


    1. Hello Roy,

      I do intend to put the information about Steart ,from the slide show on the 10th Feb, on this site but need to keep my powder dry until after that evening. If you email me directly with your new email I will send you directly the information I have so far.
      Thanks for the interest,

      1. Dear John
        I’m writing a book about ‘great conservation projects’, beginning with the Steart coastal realignment. I am keen to talk to you about the slide show that you mention in these pages. Was that about Steart Island?
        Simon Bates

        1. Hello Simon,

          It did contain a few images of the island. I will email you my personal contact details so we can talk.
          Thanks for your interest.

  7. Can you tell me anything about Hart House School that was in Berrow Road from 1893-1911? It was run by Herbert Thompson who had set up the original Hart House School in Tregory, Cornwall in 1880 but moved to Burnham in 1893. Are there any records or photos of the school? I cannot seem to find anything about it on the Internet. A male relative of mine attended the school as a boarder in 1901. Regards Barry Phillips

    1. Hello Barry,
      Thank you for your interest show. Yes I do have quite a bit of information on this School including the fact it was a VAD ( Voluntary Aid Detachment ) Hospital around 1915. It will take a while but I will be putting this information under Schools then Hart House School.
      Thanks again for your interest.
      John Strickland

  8. Hi John Roger Harvery very kindly put me in touch with you from the burnham on sea past and present page on facebook. I have for some time 13 year!! been trying to obtain photos of the “Newtown” are of highbridge but not having much luck, i have a few photos provided by Tomas Samuel Mcdade but none really predate 1950, particualry interested in Newtown Road buildings:
    The tablernacle
    The Anchor Inn
    The Globe
    The Somerset Vaults (top house)
    The saw mills
    the brick factories
    Majors Yard

    there are lots of photos of the main part of town, CHurch and Market street the coopers the george etcbut the Newtown area of town is just void of any photos pre 1950

    I have tried so far
    Somerset archives in taunton
    Bos historical society
    The highbridge history book published about 13 years ago
    I wonder if you can help

    Js note replied via my email

  9. Fascinating site. I’m in the process of writing a novel at the moment where one of my characters is evacuated to Burnham for a short while. I wonder if anyone can advise which of the schools took in evacuees during WW2?

    1. Hello Mel,

      Thank you for your kind words. I have much information about evacuees coming to Burnham by train; being selected for accommodation by local residents and the schools involved.
      I have researched your request and the only school I found that definitely took evacuees was St Andrews which was opposite the Pavilion but sadly demolished in the 1980’s. One other school St Margaret’s which was on the sand dunes just North of Maddock Slade road was used as a V.A.D. hospital. There were many private schools in Burnham in the late 1800 and early 1900’s.
      I hope this helps.

  10. Stoke Bishop Local History Group, Bristol are producing a booklet on the men on our local memorials. This includes DW Jacques who attended Braidlea prep school, Stoke Bishop and is on your Burnham on sea memorial as this was his home town. There is an excellent picture of him on the WWI Casualties section of your website. May we please use it in our book?

    1. Hello Jenny,

      I have replied via your own email. Thank you for the interest shown and if we can be of further help please let us know.

  11. New website about the Radio Station in Highbridge (Portishead Radio) has been launched. Although physically located in Highbridge, most of the staff lived in Burnham and the station was a valuable and important piece of local history – sadly gone forever without any commemorative plaque or memorial. Plenty of photographs and stories – and a few videos and sound files too.

  12. hi is there anyone who could come and do a talk on the history of Burnham and highbridge please at a group I run , Burnham a.r.c active retirement community I know they would really enjoy this please could you message me. thank you for reading

    1. Hello Kay,
      Sorry for the delay in my posting this. I am now fully booked for talks until October but if you send me more details and suggested dates I will get back to you.

  13. I would like to correspond via email with John Strickland. I am a railway modeller and it concerns a detail from his recent appearance on TV in the Walking Britain’s Lost Railways series.

    1. Hello Roger,
      Thank you for your mail. I will email you with my contact details via your personal email address.


  14. I am searching for information and photographs of the old grounded coach bodies that existed in the 1930’s to the early 1960’s, near the station. One was directly outside the Lifeboat house, parallel to the railway on the south of the line. Another was in the goods yard, by the eastern siding. Finally, two more were nearer the Jetty placed at right angles to each other, not far from the buffers at the end of the railway. I believe some of these were early Somerset & Dorset coaches, although the one in the goods yard seems to be something quite different.
    I do have a couple of poor quality images of the ones near the station and would be keen to knpow if any good quality images exist of them.
    Thank you, in anticipation.

    1. Hello Steve,
      The photo of the grounded coach near the station can be seen on this website. Here is the link http://www.captureburnham.co.uk/landmarks/burnhams-railway-now-and-then Not a clean image and I know very little of its history. If you would send me the ones you have I may be able to improve them and post them on this website if you wish. The one near the Jetty was a grounded Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway Coach. I am hoping to put more about this under an article about Burnham’s Lifeboats as it was used by Pilots and other sea farer’s while waiting for the tide or a vessel to come in. I do have several images which will be on the article. Not sure about the other one near where the Buffer Stops are now but here is the link to the page showing it ‘end on’ while used as a bicycle store.http://www.captureburnham.co.uk/landmarks/sea-front/south-esplanade. Did this coach get moved near the station building when the South Esplanade was further modernised ? I have yet to discover. I hope this helps,

  15. Hello, I am interested in the history of the Morland Community Hall and the surrounding area.

    Can you help me please, with further information, regarding it’s history.

    Many thanks.

    1. Hello Jane,

      Following our phone conversation this afternoon I will try and help regarding having historic images of Highbridge displayed as part of the improvements you are planning to this Hall. I will contact you again in the near to future.

  16. Thank you John. I have spoken to the new team and would be delighted to have a permanent display of photographs of old Highbridge.

  17. In Feb there was a query about grounded coaches near the station.
    I have information about two that were lived in as housing in the early 1950s- one at the end of Southend Gardens off of Donstan Road. This was cut in two as it couldn’t be got round the clock which in those days was where the large roundabout is now at the top of Market Street. When on site it was put together and a family lived there very happily.
    The other was half a carriage at the bottom of the plot lived in by a gent who had bought the ground where no 3 Donstan Road is now. He ended up having to move off and my parents bought the land and had Mr Stanley Scott build the house. Hence the road name- Don his son, and Stan for the elder Scott.

    1. Thanks Jenny,
      Very interesting and gives more information about both town’s history. I think the one on the sea front known as ‘The Cathedral’ was moved to the Tennis club grounds in Grove Road and used as a changing room for a while.

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