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ISBN: 9780857040992
The Book of Burnham on Sea
The Book of Burnham on Sea
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Lying at the mouth of the River Parrett on Bridgwater Bay, Burnham-on-Sea has been dominated by the sea. A small village until the late 1700s, the town grew as a seaside resort in Victorian times and today Burnham is a thriving town of some 18,000 people.

Local author Robert Thomas recounts the many rich incidents of Burnham’s past, reaching right back to Arthurian legend. He tells of a major naval battle, smuggling, piracy, shipwreck and “murder most foul”. Whilst he relates the stories of the good, the bad and the downright evil, most of his fascinating text is about ordinary folk who sometimes did extra-ordinary things. People like the fisherman who built a pub and ran a toy warehouse and the parson who built a lighthouse and a spa complex. Then there was the farmer who narrowly escaped being drowned as an infant, who went on to devise means of greatly improving the productivity of his land and that of his neighbours, as well as founding one of the first friendly and mutual benefit societies.

We are reminded of the gardener who emigrated to American and established what has become a multi-million dollar business; the royal chef who had a retirement home in the town, and the local celebrity known for his ‘three mile voice’.

Above all, Robert Thomas paints a picture (richly illustrated with over 300 images) of what it has been like to live in Burnham in the last century and a half: the schools, the clubs, the events, the societies, the churches, the shops – the warp and weft of everyday life in this fascinating community.

Winston Thomas was born in 1909. His father had his own business in Burnham, which Winston succeeded to. He married Una Clapp in 1938 and they had one son, Robert. He was a member of the Local Improvement Group for many years and a shareholder in the Burnham Institute. Both he and Una were active members of the Burnham Dramatic Society when it re-formed after the war. Robert (Bob) was born in 1939. He took over and ran the family painting and decorating business, founded by his grandfather Frank Thomas back in the 1890s, for several years before changing direction and buying a restaurant (after training as a chef). Over the years he has also worked in a local nursing home, as a tutor in the F.E. Centre, and as a market research interviewer. In between whiles, he was a regular contributor to Somerset Magazine.

There were two things thatWinston passed on to his son: a love of the town of their birth including a deep interest in its history, and perfectionism, which is why this book has taken so long to write.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 099 2, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published October 2011.

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This book, edited by Robert Dunning, is written by experts and profusely illustrated by a wide range of colour and black and white photographs, engravings and drawings, together offering an up-to-date study of church architecture and history in Somerset.
The Archaeology of SomersetThe Archaeology of Somerset - £12.99
From the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras through to the archaeology of the recent past, this exciting and superbly illustrated volume, edited by Chris Webster & Tom Mayberry charts the history of Somerset from the earliest times. Whether you know a lot about the subject or very little, this is sure to be a book which informs and surprises you, as it uncovers part of the rich and complex past of a county like no other.
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Somerset - The Summer LandSomerset - The Summer Land - £9.99
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Charles Wood's Somerset Quiz BookCharles Wood's Somerset Quiz Book - £8.99
Drawing from the small print of history and personal experience Charles Wood teases and warms hearts in this entertaining Somerset Quiz Book. This is an ideal companion for goggle-eyed grockles and inquisitive settlers wondering what they have let them-selves in for – and a useful refresher for natives whose history, geography and just about everything else leans toward ciderous befuddlement. Other formats available: Amazon Kindle
A Somerset MiscellanyA Somerset Miscellany - £8.99
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How to Survive in SomersetHow to Survive in Somerset - £12.99
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Murder & Mystery on the Great Western RailwayMurder & Mystery on the Great Western Railway - £9.99
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Neville Stanikk's rambling journey from Lynmouth (in Devon, but only just) to Bristol docks, told in more than 140 stunning photographs representing his discovery of an ever-changing landscape filled not just with seaside towns but with history and mysticism; picturesque villages and hills; castles, towers and ancient buildings.
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Web Price: £24.99
28.96 EUR 31.24 USD 40.93 AUD

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