Our Programme 2016 can be found below
'Our talks take place at 7. 30pm at the Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater, TA6 7AS'
Each year we run a wide ranging programme of monthly events for the enjoyment of our members and the local community. During the winter, we have talks and lectures on an array of interesting subjects whilst in the summer, we organize outings. Admission is free to members but everyone is welcome - the more the merrier! Our only request from non members is a small donation (in the form of purchasing a raffle ticket) to assist with venue hire costs and of course, we ultimately would like you to join the Society!
We welcome everyone at our events which start 7.30pm, at the Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater, TA6 7AS.
Wednesday 11th January 2017
"The Tidal Barrier & Regenerating Bridgwater's Waterways"
Ray Alexander of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) West Country Branch talked to us about the inevitable Bridgwater Tidal Barrier, providing both an update on the project, and exploring the IWA's aspirations for Bridgwater's waterways.
Wednesday 12th October 2016
"Bridgwater in the 1950s:
Honorary BDCS President Derek Gibson first came to Bridgwater as a junior architect way back in 1954. Derek delved into his own personal archive and re-discovered many wonderful photo slides of Bridgwater town centre and the River Parrett taken by him during that decade. Exceptionally, for 60-odd years ago, these slides are in colour! Derek commented on what he shows in his own inimitable style, hosting an evening which was as instructive as it was entertaining!
Wednesday 14th September 2016
At 2.30pm we visited Wembdon Road Cemetary for an informative and very interesting tour by Joyce Hurford, also highlighting the work of the Friends of Wembdon Road Cemetary.
Wednesday 8th June 2016
"Thinking on their Feet: Magistrates, the Crowd and the Gallows in Bridgwater & West Somerset, 1801."
This meeting was addressed by Steve Poole, Professor of History and Heritage, University of the West of England, Bristol. Faced with large crowds demanding cheaper bread at times of escalating prices and severe scarcity, justices of the peace were often required to think quickly and use their discretion to maintain order in poorly policed communities. Free markets had to be maintained but the poor had also to be fed - and ill-considered decisions could be costly. This talk explored events in the Spring of 1801, when a crowd, 1000-strong marched into Bridgwater to parley with magistrates while another tried their luck by more direct means at Old Cleeve.
13th April 2016
Annual General Meeting
Talk 9th March 2016
"Protecting Local Heritage: The Role of the Conservation Officer"
Charlotte Westwood, Conservation Officer for Sedgemoor District Council, talked to us the work she undertakes in the local area to preserve the integrity of our historic built environment and protect other sites of historic or archaeological significance.
Talk 10th February 2016
"Bridgwater & the River Parrett – the Inland Waterways Vision"
Ray Alexander (Inland Waterways, West Country Branch) talked to us about the River Parrett, in particular, the IWA's future vision for the docks, river and canals. Ray is the Treasurer of IWA West Country Branch and Hon Secretary of the IWA South West Region.
He explained that a barrage will be created in the very near future to stop Bridgwater and other towns from flooding. The talk was really informative and it was great to learn about the IWA's aspirational hopes for our maritime assets.
The IWA also organises a team of local volunteers who are dedicated to restoring Bridgwater's river, canal and docks to the status and condition they deserve as part of our local heritage. We thanked Ray and all the volunteers for working to maintain and improve our local waterways.
Talk 13th January 2016
"Bridgwater in the 1950s"
The 1950's is a decade that brings back specific memories for those Bridgwater people who remember it.
A38 traffic jams; "Rock around the Clock"; the first motor car, TV, or Hi-Fi on your street; clearing the Courts; brand-new, but dimly-lit, council estates; more pubs you could shake a stick at; Bridgwater's first ever Labour Council; "Productivity" and, of course, the coming of Hinkley Point.
Dave Chapple's illustrated talk on Bridgwater in the 1950's, at once serious and light-hearted, invited those who lived through the time to come and share their memories and consider a little the similarities and differences to our own times.
Of course for younger local people, and outsiders, a good look back 60 years can and will illuminate our present.
Talk 14th October 2015
"Who Lived in a House Like This"
Joyce Hurford shared with us her research on the remarkable and fascinating people who lived in the houses of Bridgwater which we walk past every day!
Talk 9th September 2015
"As Soon As This Pub Closes"
Glen Burrows gave a short and fascinating history of ale houses and drinking habits in Bridgwater - one of Bridgwater's favourite historical pastimes!
Our scheduled speaker, Ursula Martin, is unfortunately unable to give her talk due to an accident; we look forward to her recovery. Glen has kindly agreed to step in after receiving interest in Bridgwater's drinking places from groups attending our guided 'Town Trails'. With the social and cultural history of local pubs being brought to light recently, due to unwanted destruction of the Hope Inn, Black Horse, Pig & Whistle and Withycutter, we hope you will join us to highlight how drinking places also serve as community spaces.
Walk 10th June 2015
'Bridgwater's Blue Plaques:
The Society produces seasonal newsletters to keep members up to date with the work we have been undertaking. Since 2012 a revised style publication has been created and distributed in colour. Past newsletters can be found and downloaded below. It is really important to us to include your contributions so we continue to encourage and welcome submissions from members and the public. If you would like to contribute please go to the Contact Us Page.