For the past 4 years Bridgwater Town Council has been producing an annual ‘Visitors Guide’ to promote the town as not just a tourism destination but also to celebrate to sense of pride that Bridgwater people have in their own community. Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) said “In 2018 and 2019 two standard issue ‘tourism’ brochures were brought out and we sent these all over the country. They were well received. But…then lockdown hit us, people were staying at home and so we came up with the idea of exploring Bridgwater through it’s trees and produced a ‘treeflet’ based on a tree trail around the town centre. Of course it didn’t help that Sedgemoor had chopped down 3 of these trees by the time the brochure came out….However, now that the pandemic is on the way out, we’ve decided to promote that other passion of Bridgwater people, it’s history, it’s culture and it’s heritage.”
Cllr Smedley continued ” We know this is popular because for the past 6 years we’ve organised an annual ‘Bridgwater History Day’ at the Bridgwater Arts Centre and each one has been packed out. So I got together with some local historians-Miles Kerr-Peterson and Tony Woolrich, and we’ve drawn up 40 key topics from Bridgwater history and produced a booklet, available to schools, tourists and the whole community to wander the streets of our historic town and take in the atmosphere of the places where history happened on our doorstep. We’ve done this in conjunction with a flag project scheduled for later this year designed to brighten up the High Street with banners on the same themes that we’ve suggested. So this year we’ll be literally awash with history and flying the banners of civic pride.”
Another Bridgwater First!
The booklet will be launched at the Bridgwater Art Centre in Castle street at midday on Friday 18th March. People are welcome to drop in and pick up a booklet or more.
Cllr Smedley adds “The Art Centre is another Bridgwater first. The country’s first art centre. It’s a great location. The heart of the Bridgwater heritage zone with it’s 18th century Georgian architecture and many people have commented favourably on the recent introduction of boxed trees lining the pavements, as it would have looked like when the street was first built. We hope people will appreciate the history project, come along and take some booklets, get them around and about and keep one as something to be rightly proud of about our town.”