Carnival day sums up all that is best about Bridgwater and so what better day than this to launch the latest initiative from Bridgwater Town Council to promote the place as a tourism destination. The Blake Museum was the venue of choice and after Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Tony Heywood opened the box and Leader of Council Brian Smedley took out some brochures and talked about them, special guest Alex Dunn was on hand to say a few words.
Alex was born in Bridgwater. The Mary Stanley in fact. His father Angus was the curator of the museum, the town librarian and the chairman of the Arts Centre back in the 1960s. Alex today is the treasurer of Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Club and a key member of Bristol Civic Society. So it was interesting to hear of his perspective.
Past, Present and Future
Alex divided his look at Bridgwater into 3 parts, the past the present and the future. The past was a world rich in history and culture which the town has in bundles, whether it’s the last battle on English soil out there on Sedgemoor or the first petition against the slave trade. The present showed a Bridgwater of sudden opportunity with the continents largest building site -that nuclear power station – on its doorstep, bringing with it a new wave of incomers, an increase in hotels and the scope that allows for a new generation to discover what Bridgwater has to offer. The future would be the legacy of this. If the town grasped this opportunity to market itself as a holiday destination with a great cultural offer and also the jumping off point to explore the delights of Somerset from Exmoor to the Mendips and from the coast to the levels then the economy could only benefit.
However, an ironic sting in the tail , Alex wasn’t so sure that with the Climate Emergency people would be spending so much time flying around the world in environmentally damaging planes and so instead would look for more home based destinations. Whoever would have thought climate change might be a selling point….
Cllr Smedley asked for people to take hand fulls of the brochure, boxes of the brochure or maybe even one or two and help get the message out there. Boxes were available at the Museum and also at the Town Hall office. But not to worry, several thousand had already been dispatched with a distribution company to ensure the brochures were zooming across the land to tourist information offices the width and breadth of the country.
Talk up Our Town!
And then there was a bonus guest. Four ladies from Exeter civic society turned up led by Nerina Frampton, the lady that had visited Bridgwater in 2018 after reading the original brochure and had been so dissapointed that she wrote a critical letter to the Mercury. Undaunted, the Leader of Council took the bull by the horns and invited Ms F to come to the launch and say what she thought of the new brochure…and? And she was pleased! “Much better! 10 out of 10!” She said. And so everyone went home happy.
Drop in to the Museum or the Town Hall and see for yourself . And help us get out the message. Talk up our town!!