Info Needed

On this page we will post pictures or questions about which we need further information from our readers.

If you can illuminate any of these please post in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

Please also check the footballcricket and hockey pages to see whether you are able to supply names to any of the individuals in team photos.


Neil Olsen has alerted us to graves of two WWII evacuees  from London in the Burnham cemetery: Florence Rose (1926 – 1941) who died aged 15 whilst evacuated; and Louisa Hines c1900 – 1941. The latter was clearly not a child so her status as an evacuee is interesting.

Does anyone out there have any additional information about these two individuals?

Some additional information has been discovered, reported here.



Does anyone know anything about this school? We have no record at all other than this recently discovered advert from 1963.

Occupier of Treowen (38 Berrow Road) was  Edwin Lawrence from c1894 to 1902, taken from Census returns and Kellys Directories.



Burnham Gazette of 06/08/1898. An inquest into the death of the son of the Gas Works Manager, W.Stone, in which he was said to have drowned whilst playing “Duck in the Barrel”. William Thomas Stone born 1873 son of William Stone death was registered in the September quarter of 1898, age 25. Does anyone know  the exact nature of this apparently dangerous pastime?



Does anyone know anything about this house:

As most houses in Burnham were brick built, simply because the basic material was at hand, it is possible that as this house was built in stone it was done as a statement of wealth and status. Obviously the stone would have had to be imported, probably from Bleadon, which would have added to the cost.

Could it be Greystones / Graystones which was somewhere in Rectory Road?

21/01/2021 Updated information confirms that this is NOT Greystones. As the owner of Greystones was a member of the Akerman family who were involved with concrete products, it is appears that Greystones was constructed entirely of concrete, as was The Mount (a picture of it can be seen on that page). Occupier of The Mount was William Savidge Akerman and family, “cement manufacturer” in the 1901 Census.

Still looking for information on this stone built house.


This picture is labelled ‘Pruen’s Car’, but it does not appear to be an unrestored Fiery Liz, a Daimler, as it seems to be described as a Standard. It appears to have been photographed at the north end of Alfred St (High St). Can anyone throw any light on the story of this vehicle and the claim made on the sign?


Des Parsons tells us:” it appears it is a Standard. I think it is a 1913 – 1918 Standard Model S, but with a two seater tourer body called a RHYL. It was a 4cyl side valve engine, 9.5HP, 1087cc. This dates the picture  at later than 1913. I would think it was much, much later as you would not want to use your newish car for hill climbing! ”



Please see the ‘Ocean Wave’ page for background information to this puzzle.

Clifford House

It appears that Clifford House, which until a few years ago housed a sub post office, and Ocean Wave house may have occupied the same or adjacent sites. There is also information that a yard at the rear was occupied by a sculptor, Arthur Emery, during the early 1900’s. However the detailed history of this corner of Abingdon St is not clear. Can anyone shed any further light on this?


Just the thing when you want to give the horses a day off.

The only thing we know about this photo is that it was taken somewhere in Burnham.


The census information for 1861 and 1871 identified a property, somewhere around the junction of Alfred St (High St) and Abingdon St, by the name of Mount Pleasant (an odd name for a property in such a flat area). It is not clear from the enumeration exactly where this property stood and no references have been found to it in any other sources. The 1861 record shows it to have been occupied by two separate households: George & Susan Butt and Mary Ann Pearce. George is listed as a Chelsea Pensioner (aged 42) and both Susan & Mary Ann are listed as lodging house keepers. The other members of these households appear to be either dependents of the above named or  single individuals, probably lodgers.

The 1871 census is more confusing as it lists ‘Mount Pleasant’ in  two separated blocks of enumeration: the first is occupied by Maria Richards and her family and the second is itself subdivided into three households (those of  Christopher & Elizabeth Hayman; James & Mary Harris and Thomas & Mary Phelps), all of which appear to be single family occupations.

It appears that this was a substantial property which was subdivided but all other trace seems lost.

Does anyone have any additional information?


Photo courtesy of Ann Popham

Clearly taken on manor Rd, opposite the gardens. The placard on the lamp post says ‘Town Decorating by Burnham Area Youth Club’. It appears to be late 1950’s or early 1960’s. Was this a regular event or a one off? Does anyone have recollections or information about this?


Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.


Is this possibly a celebration of Armistice Day or Empire Day, or something else; and where, possibly the Town (Princess) Hall?????

30 thoughts on “Info Needed”

    1. Hi Clive,

      You will find what information we have found about the Jan Smuts Home on our ‘Charitable Ventures’ page (on the ‘Other’ menu). We have only relatively recently unearthed this information due to an enquiry in 2022 from a reader in the USA which you will see further down the comments list.

    1. Hello George,

      We have not discovered the records going back to this era. I will contact someone who is researching more into the history of this building and staff. I will update this reply if more details are found.
      Thank you for your posting.

    2. Hello George,
      Are you willing to give us your Grandmother’s name as this will help in the research?
      If you prefer I can contact you via our emails?


  1. I went to Treowen school

    You might be interested to know that one of Freddie Fate’s Dinky Dots from the 1930s still lives in Burnham

    1. Thanks for your comment Huw. Any recollections you care to share would be welcome. If you are in touch with the said Dinky Dot perhaps you could check whether she has seen the website in case she has any comments of her own.

  2. Hello, my name is Nigel bath. I am originally from Bristol but reside now in the USA about 10 miles south of Saint Paul, Minnesota. I am posting this message in search of any information available about Jan Smuts home for children.
    I was a resident of that home as a toddler; I must have been about 3 years of age. According to my oldest sister I was sent there shortly after the end of WWII about 1946-47. My time there formed some of my earliest memories. I rejoined my family in 1948.
    I am wondering if there is a website about the home, is it still there, are there any records available.
    Any information would be gratefully received. Thank you

    1. Hi Nigel,

      I assume this is a Bristol establishment as it is not familiar to me as being local to Burnham-on-Sea. We do not have any information about it. Hopefully other readers may have some information and post a reply for you.

      EDIT (Feb 2023) we have now unearthed more information about this, please see the ‘Charitable Ventures’ page on the ‘Other’ menu

      1. Hello Nigel, thank you for your reply. Since i was only two or three years old at the time I have no idea if this was a Bristol establishment (or even what that means or entails). I hope your thought that other readers may be able to shed some light is correct.
        Jans Smuts home for children was located in Berrow road I believe.
        Funny that one of my earliest recollections was a red building near the beach which I believe was a lighthouse.
        Well, thank you. I will wait to see if anyone is able to provide more information.

        1. A number of large houses along the Berrow Road have performed duty as residential establishments of one kind or another over the years, this is one that I don’t believe I have heard mention of among local history colleagues who are native to the area. However as we now know it is local I will canvass said colleagues to see whether any further information is forthcoming. Have you looked at our Ellen’s Cottages and Lighthouse pages?

        2. Our Vice Chair, George Brown MBE tells me: “It was on the left as you come up the rise from Burnham towards Ashtree Road at Berrow. I remember going there after the War with St Andrew’s Church Choir.”

          1. An item summarizing the information we have discovered about the Jan Smuts Home can now be found on the Charitable Ventures page under the ‘Others’ menu.

  3. Hiya, I expect you already have this information:
    Arthur Ruscombe Emery, Monumental Sculptor (Employer) and family lived at 14 Oxford Street (Clifford House now DusiCake Shop) during 1911 Census. By 1939 Arthur was Managing Director retired (Stone Mason) living at 19 Rectory Road and in 1969 he lived in Tregunter, Berrow Rd.

    Walter C. Pugsley, Builder, Heating and Sanitary Engineer was at 14 Oxford Street in 1939.

      1. Thanks for this information Rosemary.
        To walk to my infant school from my childhood home I’m sure I remember there were lots of headstones in the area next what was Abingdon post Office.

  4. Under ‘people’ you should include Ben Travers, the writer and playwright who lived at Hillam in the The Grove with his family. Two of his grandchildren attended St Dunstan’s School while I was there.

    1. Hi Graham,
      Thank you for your suggestion. Ben Travers is certainly a notable person with a local connection. Unfortunately no one has yet provided us with any substantial information about Ben Travers’ connection with Burnham. All we would be able to do at this stage is to paste or paraphrase info from Wikipedia which only mentions Somerset in passing. Your comment gives us a little more but it would be nice to have some further detail to flesh out a new page if any readers are able to supply it.

  5. The fact that there is a large American flag displayed along with a Union flag might be significant. Less likely to be a celebration of Empire Day (May 24th), might it be taken on June 8th, 1946 the day of the Victory Parade in London?
    Not many ladies seated…

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