Fresh out this week, Bridgwater Town Council has brought out a ‘Treeflet’ – a small booklet which replaces the town guide this year and instead takes you on a history tour of the town tree by tree. The booklet has been written by Brian Smedley and historian Miles Kerr-Peterson with specialist tree content by horticultural adviser Roy Cheek and evocative photography by Terence Peppin. Cllr Smedley says ” There are 50 different trees in this book and you can follow a history trail around the town tree by tree learning about not just the fascinating history of our town but also about the trees themselves. In a year when there isn’t going to be much travel in or out of the area it’s a good staycation-treecation option for you. Pick one up now and pop it in someones Christmas stocking why don’t you!”
The guide can be picked up from the Town Hall or from a couple of shops in town – currently The Sweetbox on Cornhill and Cornhill Records in the Market -but will be more widely available in the new year. People can obtain a Treeflet for a small donation to the ‘Tree Fund’ thus converting paper back to trees.
Also this week Hamp Green Rise has become the first town street to successfully see a ‘Town Tree Fund’ project through from uprooting to replanting. See story here.
You can apply to the Tree Fund by Contacting Town Clerk, David Mears at Bridgwater Town Council email;- email@example.com or phone;- 01278 427692
It wasn’t so long ago that the residents of Westover’s Hamp Green Rise boasted the most magnificent avenue of Cherry Trees in the town. Then suddenly an inspection by County Council saw almost all condemned to the axe due to some disease and of course with no chance of replacement as County ‘stopped funding that sort of thing’ in its general quest to stop funding almost ‘any’ kind of thing. Residents were not happy and kicked off big time with a petition and a campaign to ‘stop the rot’-or at least stop the wholesale destruction of trees without replacements. Bridgwater Town Council stepped in, drew a line and set up a tree replacement fund. After a series of summit meetings, voting through a funding policy and quite a long time coming, the trees are back in Hamp Green Rise, funded by Bridgwater Town Council, planted by Clean Surroundings and tended by the residents. “Perfect team work” says Town Council Leader Brian Smedley (Westover) “Now we intend to roll out the scheme across the town and inspire and encourage people to take an interest in their trees, identify areas of need, set up tree support groups and apply for some funding.”
Fresh from his global success with his hilarious ‘Xmas Lights Switch on’ video, new Comedy Mayor Cllr Leigh Redman, has now ‘turned on’ the festive shop windows of Bridgwater with his annual seasonal window of the year prize. It was only a week ago that you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing Bridgwater’s Mayor, with Sedgemoor’s Chairman Cllr Peter Clayton, ably performing the role of Robin, at his side turning on those Christmas lights a fraction too late and providing comedy gold from the One Show to Have I Got News For You via The Last Leg, to the Ellen de Generis TV programme to ‘What’s Daft in Papua New Guinea This Week’. Bridgwater was making its mark on the world stage again, even if it was for all the wrong reasons. This week if you were doing your Christmas shopping you couldn’t move without seeing Comedy Mayor standing outside your chosen shop in chains and mask judging ‘Xmas Shop Window of the Year’…..and this Christmas the window chosen was Bridgwater’s ground breaking High Street vegan takeaway ‘Scoffage’.
Sedgemoor District Council Development Committee has narrowly voted to reject a bid to convert a West Quay Hairdressers to a late night chicken takeaway following objections from Bridgwater Town Council and Westover ward councillor Brian Smedley. The committee voted 6 votes to 5 with 2 abstentions to reject the bid and instead backed a motion by Cllr Kathy Pearce (Lab Westover) that the application was contrary to Policy D25 which referred to the impact of noise, disturbance and odours on the neighbours. Ward Councillor Brian Smedley (Lab, Westover) said that the measures attempting to deal with waste management had only heightened fears in relation to fire risk and the result would still be a noisy late night takeaway with maximum impact to an area already identified as number 1 on Police Priority list for anti social behaviour and now would be made worse by the danger of fire to the neighbours. It would also fly in the face of plans to enhance the West Quay pedestrian zone.
The Bridgwater Stop Line (at the time called the Taunton Stop Line) is a line of World War 2 defences built in the summer of 1940 stretching from the mouth of the River Parret to the Devon Coast on the English Channel. For Bridgwater History Day 2020, Bridgwater Town Council Leader Brian Smedley researched it’s history and told the story including a fictitious German invasion and major attack on Bridgwater and the Stop Line. A film is available on YouTube and we reproduce the text here.