Regent St. was developed on the causeway which originally extended west from the site of the Mason’s Arms (on what became Victoria St), to serve the Royal Clarence Hotel. The entrance to The Clarence was from this street (The coach entrance archway can still be seen) as there was then no vehicular access across the dunes from the seaward side. The passageway between the east end of the street and the Masons Arms was widened to become a northward extension of Alfred Street (High Street) when the Lifeboat Temperance Cafe was built.
Royal Clarence Hotel showing gateposted entrance to Regent St, by this time connecting with the original North Esplanade
Advertisements from Burnham on Sea Golf Handbook, probably 1910’s
Above advert from Burnham on Sea Guide, probably 1940’s
The building which appears in the picture below as the International Stores (subsequently the Job Centre, now vacant for many years) was once home to The Blue Bird Cafe. An article about a Rail excursion to Burnham, in the Western Gazette of 28th August 1931, says of this:
‘I lunched late at the “Blue Bird.” I mention this fact not because suppose that my gastronomic cravings can in the smallest degree interest the reader, but because he ought to know that the “Blue Bird” exists. It is a delightful cafe, and one is served well. Besides the name is charming and appropriate. If Maeterlinck’s blue bird*can flourish anywhere, surely it can at Burnham.’
(*The magical ‘Blue Bird of Happiness’ from a play by Maurice Maeterlinck)
The picture above, possibly from the 1970’s, shows the International Supermarket and W.H. Smiths. If this is compared with the picture at the head of the page it can be seen that the building has been truncated (note upstairs windows), probably when Alfred St was extended.