SOURCES of information on the local history of Burnham and area
Compiled by Alan Wheway
If anyone wishes to know any of the history of Burnham and the immediate surrounding area there are only a limited a number of sources that are of essential use. Local historians are quite few in number but their work in recording the progress of the town is important nevertheless. The essential sources are these:
Charles “Charlie” Dunbar Pearson (1868 – 1940) was a local man who photographed many of the local landmarks during the 20s and 30s.
The late Glyn Luxon (1928 – 2018) also amassed a large collection of self produced photographs that are now curated by the North Somerset Local History Group.
Geoffrey Maslen and Heather Cavell collaborated on publishing two books which are collections of local photographs and postcards of Burnham. Both published by the Alan Sutton Publishing Group in 1988 and 1990 respectively
Burnham-On-Sea And Highbridge In Old Photographs ISBN 0-86299-489-6
Around Burnham-On-Sea And Highbridge In Old Photographs ISBN 0-86299-798-4
Probably one of the largest collections of local photographs, slides,maps, documents and other memorabilia belong to the Winston family, Bob and his father Winston, who together in 2011 published “The Book of Burnham on Sea” “A Record of the Ebb and Flow of a Somerset Seaside Town” Printed by the Halsgrove Group ISBN 978-0-85704-099-2.
Another essential guide is “A History of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge” by V.J.Wrigley, published by Harry Galloway Publishing in 1998. ISBN 1-873931-91-3. This is an academic work compiled by Wrigley a classical scholar from Uppingham and Queen’s College Oxford.
Another collection that is kept at the Heritage Centre in Taunton are “The Dupuis Diaries”a collection of 21 diaries., which were compiled by the wife of Theodore Crane Dupuis, Vicar of Burnham. This is something of a misnomer in that they are more like scrapbooks that have press cuttings, reports of family holidays abroad and excursions to various places throught Europe and the UK.
But by far the most expansive, extensive work undertaken by any amateur is that done by Samuel George Nash, known to everyone as “Sam”.
Most of his archive material is now stored at the Heritage Centre in Taunton and consists of 22 boxes of over 140 individual files.
HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES THAT YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING:
SOMERSET HERITAGE CENTRE:
SOMERSET ARCHAEOLOGY AND NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY:
KNOW YOUR PLACE MAPPING PROJECT:
BRITISH NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE (requires membership for which there is a fee):
SOMERSET & DORSET RAILWAY:
GRAVESTONE DATABASE PROJECT:
https://www.findagrave.com/ Search or add memorials & photos