Bridgwater Town Diary

Some things what happen in Bridgwater and some equally personal thoughts about them by Westover Councillor and Town Council Leader Brian Smedley. All opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily not bonkers.

Bridgwater Town Council Meets the New Police & Crime Commissioner

The weather outside was frightening..but..

Outside, the heavens had opened. But inside it was like heaven itself as the grandiose setting of Bridgwater Town Hall played host to the autumn meeting of Bridgwater Town Council.  The crowds gathered to hear the latest Unitary updates, Climate Change initiatives, Town Deal priorities, Transport schemes and Youth projects. By which I mean 3 people braved the weather and sat as lonely as 3 clouds in the 500-seat auditorium. But in fact we had a special guest.  This month we’d managed to get down the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford to his first grilling by Bridgwater councillors. The plan was to take the PCC on a tour of the hotspots of the town so he could see for himself. But it poured down with rain so we didn’t. Instead we took him into a small Guantanamo Bay style interview room and ‘had a little chat’.

Continue reading “Bridgwater Town Council Meets the New Police & Crime Commissioner”

Bridgwater Unveils a Monument for International Workers Memorial Day

Cllr Tony Heywood unveils the Workers Memorial in Blake Gardens

On the 28 th  April, we remember those workers who have lost their lives or have been
seriously injured at work. Workers Memorial Day commemorates those workers. So says
the wording on the newly erected workers memorial monument unveiled today by Trades
Union officials, Bridgwater Trades Council and Bridgwater Town Council in Bridgwater’s
Blake Gardens. ‘We work together, we stand together, we remember together. Remember the dead: fight for the living.

The monument is located to the North-West side of Blake Gardens, soon to be planted with red
roses, within a couple of feet of the former Labour Headquarters at Unity House, Dampiet St. The
memorial was the idea of the UNITE the Union South West 8257 Branch, based at Hinkley Point ‘C’
construction site. The names of Unite branch officers Jonathan Davies, PJ Wand, Gary Stiff, Gareth
Fairburn and Steven Davies are engraved on the monument along with the people who unveiled the
monument Malcolm Davies (UNITE Convenor at Hinkley C), Steve Preddy (UNITE SW Regional
Officer, Rob Jordan (EDF Construction Director) and Cllr Tony Heywood (past Mayor of Bridgwater). Also in attendance at the opening was Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley and Dave Chapple the Secretary of Bridgwater Trades Union Council. Jonathan Davies was Master of Ceremonies. Continue reading “Bridgwater Unveils a Monument for International Workers Memorial Day”

Fascism-The ‘Man-Made’ Pandemic

The shoes of the Jewish victims of Fascism line the banks of the Danube in Budapest

Today, January 27th,  is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  This is the official day when the United Nations asks us to remember the 17 million victims of Nazi terror in the Second World War . Six Million were Jews in state sponsored attempted genocide of a race and 11 million were political opponents-Socialists, Communists, Pacifists, Trades Unionists or other victims of Fascist terror such as Gypsies, Homosexuals and the Disabled.  And these were the people that were clinically and methodically destroyed by the political will of the ruling Fascists. Like you’d pass a policy today with a decision and a directive. These people must die, now find a way to do it. Fascism found the clinical industrial way through the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Dachau and Treblinka. Another 20 million military personnel died in a united global effort to end Fascism and thereby to end the terror. A further 40 million civilians ‘got in the way’ and perished in bombings, invasions and deportations. Fascism was the reason for all of this. Hitler came to power by the democratic will of the German people-and then silenced all opposition.

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Hail Britanosaurus Rex!

‘Making Wessex Great Again!” King Ian the Cake

Yfel æthwôn uppan innera innerfram m¯æle of squirelleye. ð¯ær yfel weargbr¯æde brægen wunian cwildb¯ære. Ale, yfel myniansingalliciansagu onwealg bollokovi oððætðyllic pro stund lêo hit hê beran me ðanon ðone as nutyejob cribb.”  Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell Grainger is difficult to understand at the best of times, but his latest fixation with the Anglo-Saxon England of Alfred the Great is ‘odd’ to say the least. Using the protection of parliamentary privilege as an outlet for his ‘fantasy role play King of Wessex’ project he has been leading some (totally mythical) army into some (totally fictitious) battle.

King Alfred -the only English king to be called ‘the Great’ was famous for hiding in the Swamplands of Somerset, burning cakes while he was thinking about something else and then raising up an army to defeat the Viking invaders at Edington. Probably the one in Wiltshire, but for the sake of a good story let’s say it was the one near Chilton Polden. Continue reading “Hail Britanosaurus Rex!”

With History, There’s Always a Lot to Look Forward To

Bridgwater History Day has now become a feature on the Town’s calendar and although this year we couldn’t do our regular get together in the Bridgwater Arts Centre, epaulette to shoulder with 100+ other local history buffs and the usual mad rush to grab a dish of some fine Medieval Potage, we still managed to recreate the atmosphere of a bunch of bumbling amateur history enthusiasts struggling with 17th century technology over a 21st century wifi set up. By which I mean we did it online. A film has been made of the 2 and a half hour proceedings and several of the items are already in you tube form….AND….they’re all here assembled on this very page for future generations to marvel at what passed for historical research and interpretation in 2020.

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