Famous Visitors


We have no firm evidence as yet but it is possible that Turner might have visited and painted in  Burnham. One of his paintings, dated 1781 is titled “View In The Avon Gorge”. It is known that he toured Bath and Malmesbury that year. It is also known that he undertook a tour of the West country July – September 1811. A page on The Tate website says he also visited Devon in 1813. Within this context one might give weight to the two clippings below, the first from the Bridgwater Mercury Burnham Visitors List for 1890, the second undated, found among the Dupuis Diaries:

Please let us know in the Comments at the end of the page if you have any other information about this.



Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip visited Highbridge Radio Station in 1958.

The Royal couple arrived by Royal Train at Highbridge and were received at the Radio Station shortly after 10 a.m. by Postmaster General Ernest Marples. They were to observe a demonstration of the working of the station and the Queen was to send a message to the ship ‘Empress of  Britain’. Following this they rejoined the Royal Train and left for engagements in Bristol.

Arriving at Highbridge Station.

The Queen signs the visitors book.

Thanks to John Davey for scans

Footage from Norman Gobey’s films posted on YouTube by Digibee 1:




Princess Ann opens Save the Children shop in Regent Street (can anyone supply the date?)

Is the gentleman accompanying her Admiral Sir Mark Pizey?

Photos courtesy of Ann Popham (in picture at right with camera).



In 1994 Burnham featured in the Challenge Anneka T.V. programme. Anneka Rice co-ordinated the provision of a new building to house the BARB hovercraft.

Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.



The New Theatre in Princess Hall was opened by Princess Alexandra 1995

Thanks to Ann Popham for these three pictures.



Prince Edward visited BARB in 2009 to mark the 5th anniversary of the Spirit of Lelaina going into operation, and again in 2014 to unveil sea-front information panels.

Thanks to Ann Popham for photos.



Danny La Rue appeared at a Save the Children charity fete at the Manor Gardens. Does anyone know when?

Photos courtesy of Ann Popham.


RICHARD WYATT (TV Broadcaster)

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