Around and About


  1. Edithmead
  2. Middle Burnham
  3. Berrow Rd
  4. Berrow
  5. Brean
  6. Brean Sands Holiday Park
  7. Stoddens Rd
  8. Rectory Rd
  9. The Grove
  10. St Ann’s Villa
  11. The Colony
  12. Love Lane
  13. Harvest Home
  14. Deliveries
  15. West Huntspill
  16. P.C. Hillman
  17. Bob’s Ices

If you wanted to get out and about:

Unfortunately those on a tight budget might have to make do with being pulled by a goat.


Here is a miscellany of local places and people



Photo at top of page, and below, dates unknown.



Middle Burnham Farm with K. Knight (L) & C. Butt (R).


Above: Brunswick Terrace.

‘The Hall’, now the Community Centre

Oakover Girls School (below), at the bottom of Sea View Rd.

Above, entrance to Ellen’s Cottages & High Lighthouse, note benches opposite.

Below: The Golf Hotel, later to become Kathleen Chambers House an RNIB establishment. This was opened for its new purpose in 1953 by  Mrs kathleen Chambers, ex Lord Mayor of Bradford and campaigner for women and for the deaf-blind. Now rebuilt.


Post Office, dates unknown.

Photo courtesy of Bob & June Thomas. Date unknown.

Old cottage and church

Charles Pearson card, date unknown.

Paradise Farm and Dairy

Paradise Stores



Brean Village c1950’s. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.
Brean Down, date unknown. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.
Brean Ferry, date unknown. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.

From Tucker’s Farm by the entrance to the beach at Brean, to Brean Down, the road was at one time privately owned and gated. Until the 1960’s a toll had to be paid to gain access to Brean Down and the ferry (cyclists could go free if they walked.). Landowners later discovered that charging for parking was more lucrative that charging a road toll (information from notes by Evan Strickland).


1950’s? Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.

Brean Sands Holiday Camp was first known as ‘Dean’s’. Holiday makers arriving in Burnham by train were bussed by Gratton’s, Harding’s and Burnell’s coach companies. The camp was regularly patronised by parties of workers from a number of large companies (Wills Tobacco, Harris’s Sausages of Colne, Frys of Keynsham and Spiers of Bath). At one time the camp was the major single user of water from the Berrow Water Company, an independent  farmers’ co-operative, and so paid 50% of the cost. The camp was used by the military during World War 2. It subsequently became Fred Pontin’s first camp. Much of the land on the seaward side of the coast road was never purchased, people erected wooden bungalows or holiday chalets and fenced in the land and after 12 years could claim statutory squatter’s rights. (information from notes by Evan Strickland)


Postcard scan (photo pre 1924), courtesy of Ann Popham.



Henry Young and his men building Rectory Rd 1904.



The large house known as ‘The Grove’ stood in extensive wooded grounds where the road Gardenhurst now runs, north of Rectory Rd. The house later became known as Hart House  and during the early part of the 20th century was enlarged to become the Manor Hotel. The Rectory, to the south, later became known as Gardenhurst and served  as a school. It eventually expanded to take in the Manor Hotel.

Map below is from o.s. 1844-88.

The area was developed for housing during the early years of the 20th century.


Building gang on Grove development


One time home of Lord Cave and of John Saunders

The map shows the course of St Ann’s lane, leading between the high and low lighthouses, it is interesting to speculate whether this is a remnant of the course of the ancient River Siger. There is anecdotal evidence that trows would at one time land coal directly onto the beach near the low lighthouse and that it was transported to the road by a narrow gauge horse railway. Was this down St Ann’s Lane?

Low lighthouse from St Ann’s Lane

The Villa

Map (o.s. 1921- 43) showing the relative positions of St Ann’s Villa,  Ellen’s CottagesThe Mount, The Towans and The Colony.


This appears from the engraving to originally have been a handsome building. It is shown, in census information and trade directories from 1848 to 1939,  to have been occupied by a series of families mostly of business owners, clergy, ‘gentry’ or other people of independent means. Occupants included John Prior Estlin (1866) brick manufacturer, merchant  and member of the Local Board Committee (later of ‘Tregunter‘  and Marine House on the Esplanade).

Engraving, date unknown.
Date unknown, courtesy of Ann Popham.

The Colony Lodge, still standing on the Berrow Rd


At beginning of works for  new road to the A38 (Queens Drive).


Photo courtesy of Bob & June Thomas.

Farm carts were decorated for the celebrations.



Cox & Cox had premises at the north end of  Victoria St but their warehouse was near to the brewery on Highbridge Rd. Their wagons would no doubt have been a familiar site on the local roads.

Outside premises in Victoria St
Warehouse undergoing demolition.



The Weston grocery company had a shop at No. 51 High St, Burnham during the first half of the 20th century. At one time, probably during World War I fuel shortages,  they operated a fleet of gas powered delivery vehicles (see comment from Des Parsons below).

Photo courtesy of Bob & June Thomas.



Weare’s shop was in Victoria St. Their delivery van is here seen making a delivery to ‘Osra’, the house on the corner ofGolf Links Road. The date is not known but the vehicle appears to be of 1920’s vintage.

Photo courtesy of Bob & June Thomas



Dawson’s Dairy & Grocery occupied No 41 Victoria St in the early years of the 20th century

Outside the Adult school in Adam St. Note GWR Enquiry Office sign in background. Date unknown.



The Globe Hotel (now the Pimpernel, previously the Huntspill Arms and before that the Scarlet Pimpernel). The date is unknown but is sometime after 1916, when the Derham family took over the hotel for Holts Brewery (until 1949). The sign at right has a pendant marked R.A.O.B. which probably indicates a meeting place for the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, a fraternal organisation started in 1822.

Below: charabanc excursion at the Crossways Inn.



Perambulating around and about one might no doubt have come across P.C. Hillman on his beat, but when???

Does anyone know more about this robust looking gentleman?



This mobile business was run by a member of the Marchent family who ran bakery and tea-room businesses in Burnham for many years. It was the first to start up in Burnham after World War II.

Photos courtesy of Ann Popham.
Kiosk at South Esplanade.
Marchent’s earlier ice cream cart. Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.

2 thoughts on “Around and About”

  1. The Brown Brothers Gas vans were converted to run on uncompressed “Town” or “Street” gas. This gas was available as a by product from turning coal into coke. Our local Burnham Gas Company (and Weston) probably supplied the gas for these vehicles, making the conversion worthwhile. Fuel was often in short supply during the war periods for obvious reasons. Vans and buses were more suited for the conversion because of the size of their roof. Cars were often converted but looked hideous with the large balloon on the roof, but what did it matter, there was a war on. These look like WW1 vehicles but many more were also converted and used during WW2. The Dutch, French and German’s also had their versions of gas vehicles. I am led to believe that 1 litre of fuel had to be replaced with 2-3 cubic metres of gas? Petrol engines would run easily on gas but Diesel engines still need diesel to start, then switch over to gas.

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