Recent Ventures


To mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 a celebration was held which included the unveiling of the ‘Nelson Gates’, part of the Marine Cove regeneration project, and the unveiling of a plaque commemorating H.M.S.  Burnham.

Mayor Denis Davey, Neville Jones O.B.E. and David Heathcote Amory M.P. unveiling the plaque. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.
Town Band playing at the unveiling. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.
Town Crier Fred Smith and David Heathcote Amory. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.

A luncheon was also held at the Council Chamber including the presentation of a White Ensign with Standard, to be housed in the Council Chamber, and participation by T.S. Dulverton, the local Sea Cadet Unit.

Thanks to Ann Popham for loan of brochure.



The Burnham Heritage Trail was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and developed by the N.S.L.H.G. in association with Somerset Film and supported by the Town Council.

(l-r) John Strickland (N.S.L.H.G. Chair); Lord Mayor Martin Cox; Deb Richardson and Town Crier Alastair Murray formally open the Heritage Trail.
Walking the Trail with the Town Crier.



An annual ceremony takes place to give awards for outstanding contributions to the community.  Below are extracts from  an example programme from 2014.

Programme loaned by Ann Popham



Two plaques commemorating the receipt of destroyers from the U.S.A. during WWII were placed on the sea front (see information about ‘Warship Weeks’ on Wartime page).

Thanks to Alistair Murray for loan of the invitation card.


BUFFER STOPS  – August 2015

In 2009 discussions began with BAE Systems about recovery of a set of buffer stops, similar to those once used at Burnham station,  from the former Royal Ordnance Factory site at Puriton.

Refurbishing the stops, Identifying a site for them as close as possible to the site of the original Burnham terminal buffer stops and securing permission, all legal necessities and agreements with the Town Council  about ongoing upkeep proved a lengthy process, which was undertaken by a special project group of the North Sedgmoor Local History Society, with the support of a number of other agencies.

It was not until 2015 that all of the necessary work had been completed and the buffer stops were ready to be unveiled. The stops now form the starting point of the Heritage Trail.

Refurbished buffer stop awaiting transport to site.
Buffer stop craned in.
‘Unveiling’ ceremony with Tessa Munt (MP), John Strickland (N.S.L.H.G. Chair); Town Crier and members of the project team.

For more images see Burnham’s Railway – Now & Then



A core group of members of the Buffer Stops project group went on to develop an independent group to promote Burnham’s railway heritage.

As its first project the group had hoped to source a  signal of the original type  to be erected near to the site of Burnham’s original signal. It proved impossible to obtain an old signal in sufficiently good condition. It also emerged that such a structure would exceed the height allowed by planning regulations. Efforts were therefore directed at sourcing a replica signal, with the help of the  Gremlins Carnival Club.

As this turned out to be lengthy process an interim project of  obtaining a replica station sign to be located on the site of the old excursion platform alongside Marine Drive, close to where the original sign stood.

Following on from this in June 2016, with the co-operation of both the Town Council and Somerset County Council, the name of the portion of Marine Drive between its junction with Pier St and the entrance to the Burnham Holiday Village was renamed ‘Old Station Approach’

The replica signal was installed alongside Marine Drive in August 2016, its pebbled base surround incorporating the base of the original signal post.

In October 2016 an information panel featuring a1929 map of the station and coal yard, which had been donated to the group was erected in the  park which now occupies part of  that site.

A weather vane, featuring a railway locomotive bearing the number of the last locomotive to leave Burnham-on-Sea, was erected on the town green,  which stands on the site of the old station forecourt, in November 2016.

In January 2017 another information panel was put up near to the Burnham-on-Sea name board with an illustrated account of these items.

The items were formally unveiled in March 2017. At this time the children of St Andrew’s Junior School presented a framed collage of the railway and town which is on display in the Information Centre.

An illustrated walk leaflet is also available at the Information Centre.

More recently a replica signal box, based on the original Burnham box held at the Washford Railway Museum, was erected in the same general area. It is hoped that this box, as well as being a commemorative artefact, will house a number of ‘pop-up’ ventures.

28th AUGUST 2020:

The S&D Railway Heritage Walk has now been formally opened.

Thanks to Ann Popham for Railway Heritage Group information & images.



The 160th anniversary of the opening of the line into Burnham ( first passenger train May 3rd 1858) was commemorated by a 4 page anniversary supplement in the Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News and by a ceremony on the site of the commemorative buffer stops.

Commemorative ceremony attended by Lord Mayor & Deputy Lord Mayor Andy Brewer (left above) and by a traction engine.
L-R: Billy Conybear (fireman on Burnham trains); Terry Fry (engine driver); Gordon May (son of driver of last train); Andy Brewer (Dep. Lord Mayor); Mike Lawrence (traction engine owner) and Bill Hancock (Lord Mayor). Thanks to Mike and Peter Hawkings for photos.
Town Crier unveiling the new buffer plaque. Thanks to Andy Bennett for photo.

A leaflet was produced with an illustrated walk down marine Drive along the track site and through the Apex park returning along the River Brue, as well as a commemorative replica ticket.

For more information see Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway



A major Conservation project has recently been completed on a Chest Tomb in the Churchyard at St Michael’s Church Brent Knoll.

Tomb before restoration.


The tomb which is Grade 2 Listed marks the place where Edward Symes and his wife Elizabeth are buried. Edward was the village Surgeon and died in 1781 at the age of 43. He would have worked at a very exciting time in the medical world as at that time Dr Abraham Ludlow was helping to introduce Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccine (the world’s first vaccine) in Bristol.

Work in progress.

The work could be carried out thanks to a grant from Viridor Credits Environmental Company together with money from local organisations, including the North Sedgemoor Local History Society, plus local individuals. It is hoped that following this work the tomb will available for future generations to admire and enjoy. The work was done by Glynwoods & Plint masonry repair specialists of Glastonbury.

Work completed with remains of original inscription preserved.
New complete inscription added to reverse of tomb.

Thanks are due to Mr George Brown MBE, and Dr Ged Keele of ‘The Friend’s of St Michael’s’, for initiating and overseeing the project.


2 thoughts on “Recent Ventures”

  1. Back in about 1953 there was an old railway carriage parked near what had been Burnham station. I think it was previously a mail van, as it had several doors but no seats and only very small windows. A gang of about six or seven of us aged from six to eight, mostly boys, would congregate at this carriage after school. Two would go inside and the rest would try to storm the carriage – which they eventually would succeed in doing, since there were about six doors into it. However since those inside the carriage were a metre or so above them they could be held off successfully until they made a plan to keep the defenders occupied while some attackers came in through an undefended door. When the original defenders had been ejected two new defenders would be chosen. The game could last for hours, to the alarm of our mothers, who would begin to start wondering what had happened to us.

    1. Thanks for your really interesting recollection Tony. I wonder whether this might spark of memories for any other readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *