Review of the Year 2019, Part 1: New projects, community spirit and celebrations – Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News

Posted in Tattoo Nightmares on Jan 03, 2020


- THE year was off to a generous start as a team of British divers - including several from Somerset - have been decorated for their part in the dramatic rescue of a boys football team stranded in a cave in Thailand.

The divers were among those named in the New Year Honours List, alongside a host of worthy Somerset names.

Joshua Bratchley was made an MBE, as was Lance Corporal Connor Roe, who hails from Axbridge. And Christopher Jewell, from Cheddar, and Jason Mallinson were given the Queens Gallantry Medal for exemplary acts of bravery.

Expat Vern Unsworth was also made an MBE.

Reacting to the announcement, Mr Unsworth said: This was a team effort and Im very honoured to have been recognised, particularly as you dont engage in a major rescue expecting this outcome.

For me, after saving the boys, this is the icing on the cake.

- TRIBUTES were paid to popular caravanner described as a true gent who was willing to help anyone.

Paul Edwards, 50, who was an active member of Brean Seasonal Caravanners (BSC), died suddenly at his home in Brynmawr in Wales on December 30.

After his death, Martin Mills, chairman of BSC, said: Paul was a true gent who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

He was one of the first to join BSC and was friendly and popular not just among the Diamond Farm caravan owners but Brean as a whole.

- A FATHER whose son nearly drowned after he left him unattended in a toddler swimming pool so he could go on a flume has was spared jail.

The man, who could not be named for legal reasons, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering of a child under 16 following the incident, in August 2018.

When sentencing the man, Judge David Ticehurst, said: This must have been any parents nightmare.

Judge Ticehurst sentenced the man to an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered 250 of public money be given to Mrs Harding and Emma Aims. He was also ordered to pay 250 in costs.


- TRUSTEES of a community hall in Highbridge have revealed their plans to transform it into a community hub for residents.

The groups 1.5million plan would see the Morland Community Hall in Pearce Drive torn down and replaced with an eco friendly, energy efficient building equipped with modern facilities.

Roger Keen, chairman of the halls trustees, said the building was only meant to be a temporary fixture in the town and it needed to be redeveloped as it had fallen into a state of disrepair.

Speaking after the plans were announced, Mr Keen said: We have looked at the costs of maintaining the hall and making repairs to it but we decided that knocking it down and introducing a new, modern building would be the best option for the Highbridge community.

- THE owners of a Somerset hotel thanked two men, staff and the emergency services for their help after a fire broke out in the bar.

Luke Sturman and Melanie Carr, owners of The Oak House Hotel, in Axbridge, said they could not thank the fire service and local community enough for their help after a candle caught fire to a picture and artificial flowers in the hotels bar area.

Luke said: The really fortunate thing in this incident was that Simon, the manager at the Lamb Inn and a gentleman delivering newspapers heard our alarms and came to the front of the hotel and were met by our duty supervisor, who was evacuating guests.

Their action in tackling the fire selflessly stopped the fire spreading further until the fire service arrived.

We will be eternally grateful to them for this.

- FORMER Mayor of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge, Michael Clarke, urged young people to stay safe on the roads after he claimed he had seen a number of children cycling with no lights on around Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge.

Cllr Clarke, who is an avid cyclist, said he was concerned newsagents are not checking young peoples bikes to ensure they have the correct safety gear before they go on their paper rounds and said Somerset County Council needed to launch more campaigns to educate young people on road safety.


- A POPULAR Burnham-on-Sea jewellers shut up shop after more than 30 years in business.

Chris J Francis Gold & Silversmiths was based in Bridgwater in the 1980s and 90s before moving to Burnham-on-Sea, where they were based for 20 years.

Traditional jeweller Chris Francis, who is from Bridgwater, was retiring but said he and his wife Cheryl had enjoyed a fantastic 35 years in business.

Chris said: The business has changed a lot over the years but I am just glad we were able to enjoy 35 years in retail, meeting and speaking to people, before online shopping takes over.

- HIGH speed winds and rainy weather failed to dampen the spirits of volunteers who took part in a special beach clean to celebrate the Friends of Berrow Beachs first anniversary.

On March 9, around 30 volunteers took part in the groups third beach clean of the year and recovered sacks full of plastic debris and items including a gas canister and a lightbulb.

The clean-up was a special event for the group as they were celebrating their first anniversary and the groups founders thanked volunteers for their ongoing support and hard work.

Nigel Hoy, one of the groups founders, said: We are really pleased with how much of an impact this group has had on members of the public and would like to thank all of our volunteers who get involved in our beach cleans

- A DEVICE to measure the speed of passing vehicles bought by three parish councils recorded motorists travelling at up to 90mph along a Somerset road.

Burnham Without Parish Council, Mark Parish Council and East Huntspill Parish Council teamed up to buy the 3,000 speed indication device (SID) last year following complaints from residents that vehicles are travelling too fast through Mark Causeway towards Watchfield.

The SID recorded the number of vehicles and speed of traffic in different locations across the three parishes in the first few months of 2019 and the councils said they hoped it would encourage people to reduce their speed.


- HEARTLESS vandals left 10-year-old Ivy Meager feeling disheartened after they pulled down and burned several of her homemade dog poo bag dispensers.

The youngster hit the headlines earlier this year after she was seen putting dog poo bag dispensers made out of plastic bottles at different spots around Burnham and Highbridge in a bid to tackle dog fouling.

The ten year old inspired Burnham and Highbridge Town Council to install dog poo bag dispensers in the two towns and said she had no plans to stop making the dispensers following the incidents.

-A MAN who drove his car at a woman and her two-year-old son and then fled the scene and crashed into a parked car was jailed for 16 months.

Jacob Monaghan, 29, of Stretton Close, Bridgwater, admitted that in July 2018 he breached his suspended sentence after he drove his car dangerously towards a woman and her son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in Highbridge and damaged a parked car after he fled the scene.

Judge David Ticehurst sentenced Monaghan to16 months in jail, disqualified him from driving for two years and ordered him to pay 107 in costs.

- THERE was drama in Burnham-on-Sea as emergency services worked together to rescue a horse stuck in the mud.

HM Coastguard received a 999 call reporting a horse and its rider stuck on the beach in Burnham-on-Sea.

The rider did not appear to be injured but the horse was stuck and the tide was set to rise.

Rescue units at the scene included Burnham-On-Sea RNLI, Burnham and Weston- super-Mare Coastguard Rescue Teams and BARB Hovercraft. Firefighters also joined to help rescue the horse.

The teams rescued the horse by using strops, lines, manpower, and a winch from the RNLI tractor.


- A CLUB was left devastated but has said it would rebuild after Storm Hannah destroyed their clubhouse causing thousands of pounds of damage.

Brean Land Yachting Clubs wooden clubhouse was blown apart as winds reaching speeds of up to 70mph from Storm Hannah hit Somerset.

The clubs shocked members worked to salvage items from the clubhouse but Derek George, chairman of Brean Land

Yachting Club, said it would cost thousands to rebuild the structure.

- THE Conservatives managed to cling on to power at Sedgemoor District Council to become the only Tory-controlled district council in Somerset.

While Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and Mendip councils all went to the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives at Sedgemoor fought off opposition to keep a majority of eight seats.

Labour made a couple of gains to make it to 12 seats overall, although the biggest shock saw Mick Lerry, the Labour leader on Sedgemoor District Council, lose his seat by a margin of just 10 votes.

- CANCER survivor Sam Scott opened a new tattoo shop in the heart of Highbridge.

Sam, who had been tattooing for more than ten years, had spent five months transforming a derelict shop in Church Street into Coping Studios and said he was inspired to open the store by his passion for art and a lack of business in Highbridge.


- POPULAR Burnham-on-Sea newsagent G W Hurley celebrated its 100th year in business with a party.

The newsagent, in Burnhams High Street, was originally opened as a bric-abrac shop in 1919 by Colin Morris grandmother, Florence Hurley, who later turned it into a newsagents after being approached by a publisher.

Speaking in June, Colin said: I cant believe we have been here for 100 years, its amazing that we have lasted this long.

- COUNCILLOR Andy Brewer was appointed as the new Mayor of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge.

Cllr Brewer had been a town councillor for five years and said he was passionate about supporting local community groups.

He appointed his deputies as Cllr Peter Clayton, chairman of Sedgemoor District Council and Cllr Nick Tolley and said he was looking forward to meeting community groups from across the two towns and is keen to encourage young people to get more involved in their community.

- MORE than 100 people packed into Burnham-on-Sea RNLIs base to see the crews new Atlantic 85 lifeboat officially named.

Allison Reshad officially named the boat and handed it over to Burnham-on-Sea RNLI.

The boat was funded by avid sailor Brian Sigley, Allisons uncle, who sadly died and left the money for the boat in his will.

The Atlantic 85 named Doris Day and Brian was delivered to Burnham-on-Sea in February and joined the stations smaller B Class lifeboat.

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Review of the Year 2019, Part 1: New projects, community spirit and celebrations - Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News

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