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Books by David C Bown

Click on the blue Links below to go down the page to the book you want to look at. 

1: Bridgwater & Around Through Time.   

2: Burnham on Sea & Highbridge Through Time.

3: The Bridgwater Railway through Bawdrip

4: Bridgwater in the 1890’s, through the lens of the Rev Charles Bazell

5: Postcards from the Past: Bridgwater.

6: Somerset Village Churches: Sedgemoor.

7: Finding the Bridgwater Railway.

8: Somerset Village Churches: West Somerset.  Due Spring 2018

 

  Last updated : 05/05/17                                                                                                                  

All these books available on Ebay (Pay using Paypal).

Search using the book title you require.

Or alternatively buy locally if indicated in ‘Availability’ under each book heading below.

 

 

Bridgwater & Around Through Time.

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

 

This book shows many views from the early part of the 1900’s revealing some of the history of Bridgwater. Many of the pictures show features that have long since disappeared.

It is split into the following sections: Bridge & River, Blake Gardens, Eastover, Fore Street, Cornhill, High Street, Docks & Canal, St Marys Street, Taunton Road, Other areas, and many local villages including Aller, Ashcott, Bawdrip, Burrowbridge, Cannington, Chedzoy, Cossington, Dunball, Highbridge, Knowle, Langport, Middlezoy, Othery, Puriton and Westonzoyland.  Below are some sample pages from the book…………….

 

Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgwater-and-around-through-time/320308398173301

 

Availability:  Signed copies direct from the Author by post via Ebay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgwater-Around-Through-Time-/132053386279?hash=item1ebefec427:g:vEoAAOSwcUBYRBv8 ), from the Blake Museum book shop on Saturdays throughout Jan, Feb, or http://www.blakemuseumfriends.org.uk/shop.htm, and from WH Smith in BW. 

 

Email me at dbown100@hotmail.com  for more details or if the book is out of stock.

 

 

Front Cover Picture below right :   The Bridge and Quay  1909  

The low tide reveals that a boat is positioned on the gridiron ready for repair work by Carvers boatyard. A mass of mud and reeds covers that area of the bank today. The last building on West quay directly above the bridge was Binford House. The library building stands there today. Ships and small boats lay on the river along West Quay, but there are none there today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Penel Orlieu at left.       The Canal and Docks at right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Western Station at left.                                               The old GWR Woodsheds that were along where the Clink is now, at right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crandon Bridge with the old Silver Fish Café at left.       Knowle Hall gates at the Crandon Bridge/Silver Fish junction on the A39.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burnham on Sea & Highbridge Through Time.

 

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

 

Burnham on Sea and Highbridge history in the early part of the 1900’s is revealed by this book which is split into the following sections: Sea Front North, Sea Front South, Streets and Buildings, Gardens, Berrow Road, Highbridge, The Railway at Highbridge.

 

Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Burnham-on-Sea-and-Highbridge-through-time/1492699494341643

 

Availability:  Signed copies direct from the Author by post via Ebay (search for Burnham on Sea & Highbridge Through Time), from the Blake Museum book shop on Saturdays in Dec, Jan, Feb, or http://www.blakemuseumfriends.org.uk/shop.htm , and from Hurleys & Info Centre at BOS.

 

Email me at dbown100@hotmail.com  for more details or if the book is out of stock.

 

Below are some sample pages from the book……………. 

 

 

Front Cover Picture below right:  Looking south towards the jetty.  1904 

A white funnelled paddle steamer is moored at the jetty on a quiet day at Burnham. The high tide has covered the sands, and a lone person stands near the water on the wooden steps that led down the sloping sea wall. Today the 1988 sea wall dominates the view, which apart from the sea wall has changed very little.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Station and the Seafront at the North end of the Promenade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a few views from around Highbridge, Church Street and the famous Clock.

 

 

 

 

The Bridgwater Railway through Bawdrip

 

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

 

At 86 pages, many with photos, this new book 'The Bridgwater Railway Through Bawdrip' takes a fresh look at the railway's history with 'new' information and photos not previously published in other books. Here is a fascinating book about the planning,  purchase of the land, building and operation of the line.

 

This is the first book on the railway since ‘The Bridgwater Railway’ by JD Harrison was first printed in 1981.

 

The Bridgwater Railway opened for business on 21st July 1890 and ran from Bridgwater Station (re named Bridgwater North in Sept 1949) over the Bristol Road and the GWR railway via bridges, across Horsey Lane, under the A39 road bridge near Bradney turning, through Bawdrip, and Cossington, to Edington Junction near Burtle, a total distance of 7miles, 3 furlongs, where it connected to the Glastonbury to Burnham railway. There was one station on the line at Cossington. In 1892 there were 9 ‘up’ and 9 ‘down’ trains each day, and this was reduced to 7 ‘up’ and 8 ‘down’ by 1903. In 1923 Bawdrip Halt, was built, a concrete platform long enough for 4 carriages, and a year later a shelter with seats was added. The first Bill submitted by the town of Bridgwater to Parliament in April 1866 was rejected. Some years and several Bills later, a Bill of August 1882 was successful, and eventually through the years 1888 to 1890 the line was built by the Bridgwater Railway Company. The operating company was to be the LSWR Company, but the railway was initially leased and run for 3 years by the S&DJR, the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway. The new line offered a route through Edington and Glastonbury to Evercreech Junction where the S&DJR then went north to Bath or south almost to Bournemouth. From Bath the Midland Railway went to Birmingham and the North.  From Bournemouth the London & South West Railway went to Southampton then London Waterloo. The Bournemouth to Burnham connection was also seen as a Channel to Channel service for the S&DJR. After 64 years of service the Bridgwater Railway Line was finally closed in October 1954. Dismantling of the line took several more years as far as can be determined at the moment.

 

Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/The-Bridgwater-Railway-through-Bawdrip-319676441489684/

 

Availability:  Signed copies direct from the Author by post via Ebay by post (Search for ‘The Bridgwater Railway Through Bawdrip’), from the Blake Museum book shop on Saturdays throughout Dec, Jan, Feb, or http://www.blakemuseumfriends.org.uk/shop.htm , Gwilliams at Edington, the S&D Railway Trust at Washford station, the WSRA shop at Bishops Lydeard station, and the S&D Railway Heritage Co. Ltd. at Midsomer Norton.

 

Email me at dbown100@hotmail.com  for more details or if the book is out of stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridgwater in the 1890’s

 

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

 

It is not often that ‘new’ photos or prints appear that have never been published before or seen by the general public at large.

So here we have a unique collection to show you. This is an A4 sized book of around 64 pages, and about 50 full size photo pages. The photos appear to date from around 1893/4, some ten years before the appearance of the first motor car in Bridgwater.

 

 

For many of the photos it was difficult to identify the location, but eventually most of these were identified. However a number of ‘Mystery’ photos were displayed on Bridgwater Past & Present Facebook page and also a series of weekly articles in the Bridgwater Mercury during Feb, in the hope that readers would be able to help identify the location of the 5 or 6 mystery photos. A copy of the book was on offer to the first person who correctly identified any of these photos.

Well that’s done and dusted and only one photo was identified, a photo of Albert Court within Albert Buildings on North Street. Mike Searle of the Blake Museum made the identification. So there are free copies of the book going begging to anyone who can identify the remaining ‘Mystery’ photos.

 

Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/Bridgwater-in-the-1890s-1718022601777371/

 

Availability:  Signed copies direct from the Author by post via Ebay (Search for ‘Bridgwater in the 1890’s), and from the Blake Museum book shop on Saturdays throughout Dec/Jan, Feb or http://www.blakemuseumfriends.org.uk/shop.htm

 

Email me at dbown100@hotmail.com  for more details or if the book is out of stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Framed Prints.

Many of the photos are of such good quality that they have proved to be ideally suited to enlargement and framing. 

These very attractive and exclusive framed prints are now available to go on the walls of your house or your commercial premises. If you have older premises in Bridgwater it may appear in one of the photos or there may be a view nearby that may appeal.

 

Currently they are being made available in A2 size only, which is approx 420mm x 594mm, or 16.5” x 23.4”.

 

Examples of these framed prints are now available for viewing and purchase in the Victorian Kitchen at the Blake Museum, Bridgwater.

 

 

 

 

Postcards from the Past: Bridgwater.

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

 

A brand new book just released in Dec 2016.  As well as old views around Bridgwater, you get the chance to read what Bridgwater people were writing about in the early part of the 1900’s.

 

In fact the oldest postcard in the book dates from October 1899, and sports a One Penny Lilac Queen Victoria stamp. Pretty rare!

 

Some of the stories told are quite comical, some quite abrupt, some long, some short. The handwriting can be quite difficult to understand and so on each page you will find a little help to get you going. My personal favorite is on Page 17 where the writer says ‘Dear Ma, Bridgwater is a pretty place, but am just starting east towards Portsmouth. Had a pint of cider with my supper last night so am feeling very fit this morning’.   Fascinating stuff!

 

Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/Postcards-from-the-Past-Bridgwater-1218297204882794/

 

Availability:  Signed copies direct from the Author by post via Ebay (Search for ‘Postcards from the Past: Bridgwater’).

 

Email me at dbown100@hotmail.com  for more details or if the book is out of stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Somerset Village Churches: Sedgemoor.

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

You don’t need to be religious to appreciate the Churches of Somerset.

 

Many churches have interesting features such as Norman fonts and arches, ancient pieces of window glass, intricately carved wooden rood screens and pulpits. Occasionally there might be something a bit older like Saxon relics or building remains, as in Rowberrow church where there is a fragment of an Anglo-Saxon Cross.

 

This 60 page book covers only the village churches in Sedgemoor.

 

It could be an ideal companion for a day out visiting churches, as a reference book containing detailed photos and information, or just an interesting read.

 

Availability: Now you can purchase on Ebay. Search for ‘Somerset Village Churches: Sedgemoor’.

 

Bawdrip & Middlezoy Churches shown on this book cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somerset Village Churches: West Somerset.

 

Crowcombe & Treborough Churches shown on this book cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the Bridgwater Railway.

 

Now available direct from the author or via Ebay.

 

This companion book to ‘The Bridgwater Railway Through Bawdrip’ aims to show you what can still be seen and where it is.

The line was in operation from 1890 to 1954. Surprisingly there are many relics from when the line was in operation, if you know where to look. 

Maps and photographs help you pinpoint the places to go and visit for yourself.

 

The line and probably most of the buildings were completed during a 2 year period between April 1888 and July 1890. There is an excellent description of the line in the Bridgwater Mercury edition of 9th July 1890, just prior to the opening of the new railway.

 

After 64 years of service the Bridgwater Railway Line was finally closed in October 1954.

 

Now in 2017, 63 years later, what remains of the railway?

Is there anything we can see today?

The answer is ‘Quite a lot’!

 

 

 

 

 

Above photos:

Top: Railway over the road at Bawdrip. Bridge 306. : Bawdrip Halt 200yds to the right.

Btm: A39 Road over the railway near Woolavington corner. Bridge 305. Cossington Station 1/3 mile beyond this bridge.

 

 

Above photos:

Top: Railway over Dole Lane track, north of Chilton Polden. Bridge 299. Edington Junction to the right.

Btm: Stone End Crossing, about ½ mile further north of bridge 299. Edington Junction to the right.

 

Bridges, buildings, steps, walls, cuttings, and embankments are all things that can still be seen.


There are quite a number of places where you can actually walk on the original track bed, and walk under or over the original bridges. In other places buildings remain to this day. Although now in private hands most of them are visible from public land.

 

‘Finding the Bridgwater Railway’ aims to pinpoint all the structures that still survive from this fascinating branch railway, using maps and photos and instructions to guide you there.

 

Some of the places described have no surviving remains, but are important places to see nonetheless. A place like the river crossing at Chilton Drove, near the end of the line, is a wonderful place to walk along the river on a sunny day, despite the fact that there are only a few areas of rising ground either side of the river to remind us of the bridge that once stood there.

 

Sometimes it is necessary to negotiate rough overgrown ground to see the structures properly, so you are advised to go appropriately dressed for the task ahead of you. If you go in the summer the problems may be undergrowth, brambles, insects, etc. In the winter months, when some of these structures are easier to see, you will probably have to content with flooded tracks, wet slippery banks and the like. Both visiting times have their pros and cons.