Isabel Bailey Photo Collection

John Strickland, Chairman of North Sedgemoor Local History Group has digitised a series of photos from glass negatives, which belong to Mrs. Isabel Bailey (nee Channing). Mrs. Bailey has kindly given permission for the photos to be featured here. Below are images of Burnham Road, the Vicarage, war memorial, Market Street x 2, Walrow Railway Bridge, Walrow, the Line Gates in Church Street, the Fuel Works on the River Brue, Bristol Bridge and a mystery location. See comments below for where it might be.










The sign in the picture at the bottom of the Bridge, just to the left of the group of young people reads” To Motorists, Public Schools within 400 yards. Proceed slowly.”

Our mystery location – could the building at the end be the radio station?

35 responses to “Isabel Bailey Photo Collection

  1. Pingback: Old Images of Highbridge « Capture Highbridge·

    • Wonderful photographs. Are any of these photographs dated, or any idea when they were taken.

      • Hi Louise, thanks for your comment. John and members of the North Sedgemoor Local History Group think that the photos date from the 1920s but it’s difficult to be certain. Maybe others can confirm? – Deb R

      • I have had a close look at the photograph which includes the Town Hall, and a poster showing the date Thursday April 23rd is clearly visible. The only years upon which April 23rd fell on a Thursday that I think are relevant were 1925 and 1931. My money is on 1925, judging by the clothes and the vehicles that can be seen in this, and other photgraphs.

      • Sparks Butchers were an olde Highbridge family whom I knew fairly well. I went to school with David Sparks at St Margaret’s in Burnham during WW2 – the Emery family lived in Worston in the end terrace house just before Puddy’s orchard where he had pigs and chicken. Opposite the terrace is Worston Rhine, where we children frequented quite a lot. I had the idea of trying to sail in a New Zealand Butter box that my grandparents obtained from the co-op in Market street for firewood. I got in and immediately sank – I managed to get out with the help of the other kids covered in duckweed!!!!

  2. Hi Great site and facinating to see the old photos. I was born and brought up in the Railway Hotel, Market Street ’58 – 69. My parents also lived in Market Terrace for a while in the early 50’s. I will dig out some photos we have and see if I can up load them.

      • Hi Didn’t get round to the photos but will hopefully soon. I now have a stack of old photos from the Railway Hotel, skittle teams, functions and other events if you think they would be useful.

    • My great great gran was proprietress at railway hotel,market st around 1899 ..harriette bustard wippell. Is the original building still standing?

      • Hi Wendy, there is certainly still a building on the site (with the local library on the ground floor) and set back from the main road as was the Railway Hotel but I’m not sure if it’s the same one, though it certainly shares the scale and position of the entrance. I’ll ask visitors to the site for their input on this question…

    • Hi Lynda would love to see these photos As im trying to compile a history of the globe inn and can’t find any photos or history beyond the 1950s

    • Hi Lynda, I am the admin of Sedgemoor Village Pub History Facebook Group. I would appreciate any photos you may have of Railway Hotel, Highbridge.

  3. I’m not sure. My dad worked at the station from around 1951 and we lived in Worston Lane in one of the bungalows. I don’t recognise the angle…but I could be wrong!

  4. Looking at ‘newer’ pictures of the radio station and comparing them with this picture, makes me sure that this picture is of the radio station. There is a tall radio mast visible to the left of the building just above the trees.

  5. Regarding The Lamb Inn Church Street. Listed in “Kelly’s” Directories 1923 and 1935 is Henry Jarvis, beer retailer. No mention of The Lamb Inn. The 1939 directory lists The Lamb Inn with A Jones as proprietor.
    Des Parsons.

  6. I Test a 1930’s Morris Minor Saloon car for MOT each year which had an original Tuckers Garage bakelite fob attached to the key with Tuckers Garages Limited Phone Highbridge 9 written on it !

  7. Loved the pictures especially as they date from the period when my gt grandfather (Fitz) James Gunstone was a monumental mason on Burnham Road. Unfortunately the1923 Kelly’s Directory does not give a house number. He may have lived over the shop but on the 1925 electoral roll his address was 80 Church St. When his wife died in 1929 he was still working at the age of 77yrs and his address was Woodchester, Burnham Road. Are these last two addresses residential streets? Hope you can add him to your map of businesses.

    Also if anyone has any idea why someone would suddenly in their sixties add Fitz to their name even on legal documents I would be very interested!

  8. I lived at No 5, Worston Lane in my grandparents house until 1945, their name was Dewfall. He left in 1968 to live with us in Southampton.
    Many memories of the area, one of which was the expanse of grass on the slope of the Bristol Road (A38) – we called it The Ramp and was our play ground. We used to get New Zealand butter boxes from the co-op for firewood and I thought it good idea once to use one as a boat in Worston Rhyne. It sank with me in it of clourse, and I came out covered in duckweed. Got hauled off to the tin bath….!

    • Do you remember Isleport Farm. My greatgrandfather left with his 11 brothers and sisters in the late 1880’s.

  9. My grandfather was a S&DJR signalman at Highbridge ‘B’ box until the end of WW2. On most days when he was on earlies I would be there with him, sometimes helping on his allotment which was just down the line after the calf loading stalls on the GWR line.

  10. Talking of Highbridge carnival, I vividly remember this annual event when the procession was led to the bonfire by two rows of men either side the main road holding long stocks above their heads at the end of which were roman candle fireworks blazing WOW! was that not a sight to remember and then the bonfire after…..!

    • Hi Roy Just come across this site , we are researching Highbridge at the moment for a Cox family and a Hardacre family who were well known in the area 1850s onwards and looking particularly at 1892-1914. We have lots of confirmed info but need to find someone hopefully with much needed information and photos. We have a photo of Annie Alice Cox who married John Richard Hardacre.
      At one stage he was chairman of the carnival committee and belonged to the original pigeon homing club and worked on the railway and lived in church street. Be good if you are able to reply to my email shown below

  11. Further to my comment about working at Tuckers Garage in the 50s Looking towards the Garage The first shop on the left was a Newsagent and sweet shop, next door was Bill Robinsons watch repair shop, between the watch makers was a lane to get into the rear of the garage and Tylers yard. The first part of Tuckers was a small car showroom and the second part was the office and cycle shop. Bill Robinson the watchmaker had an old Austin 7 Chummy that I used to service .Happy days.

  12. I remember Isleport quite well, although the farm I’m not familiar with. I do remember though the abattoir there as I worked at Brue Farm in 1943-1945 and I was told to go to that place to see the owner. It was the first time that I have ever been to a slaughter house and I couldn’t understand what was going on. I cycled out through Walrow and it was about a couple hundred yards from the junction with the Wells road, and on the right.
    I wonder if Mike you remember the Knights who ran the Veggy Shop and Bakers either side of the watchmaker? They were very good friends of ours and moved to Whimple in Devon.
    I am also olde enough to remember horse drawn vehicles in and around Highbridge, and Buncombe tarmacking Church Street with his steam rollers We used to have our milk delivered by horse drawn dairy cart, we put out our milk cans and milkman filled them from his churn, and we paid him at the time. This was eventually replaced by Co-op deliveries.

  13. Does anyone remember Mrs Duddridge’s veg shop which was next to Ivor Fisher’s newsagents? It was usual to see her cat in the window, fast asleep on the vegetables. health and safety eat your heart out!!
    I also remember the cheese factory and the Coop which had one of those wonderful overhead lines which sent the money to and from the shop to the person dealing with the payments. Any change was returned promptly in the cylindrical metal container. It always fascinated me.

  14. Was is Spark’s, the butchers in Market Street that had a cashiers desk the other side of a hatch at then end of the counter? A huge wooden meat block that was ‘shaved’ every night to clean and leaving the familiar sawdust on the floor of the shop!
    I do remember the Duddbridge family but is was my great aunt Grace Cook who had a veg shop on the opposite side to Fishers, her son Alan had the barbers next door but this was all much later than some of the photos on this site.
    I have vague recollections of Buncombe’s steam road rollers, not least as my Grandfather, David Emery, owned a Burrell Showmans engine which he restored and kept at the Railway Hotel where I lived in the 1960’s

    • You are correct Lynda! Mr Spark’s butchers shop had a separate cashier’s desk in what looked like a cupboard!! I remember one of the cashiers was the daughter of the Railway Station Master, her name was Pat Edwards (she later married and became Mrs Biffin.) Mrs Cook’s Green Grocery shop was on Church Street (Next to what in the 1940’s was called by us younguns Bug’s Alley!) There were two Barbers working in the shop next door – both named Cook. One day I got one of them to cut my hair really short to get rid of my curls….as a boy I did not like Curls!!(:-)
      Lynda your comments were dated April 2015. I hope you manage to read my comments almost 5 years later—Gordon – January 2020

      • Hi Gordon and thank you for your comments! I remember the name Biffen. Mrs Cook was Grace, my great Aunt, her sister Sybil was my Grandmother. One of the Cooks in the barbers was Allan, their son, not sure if old Mr Cook was a barber, I remember him in the grocers more.

    • Whilst enjoying looking through all the photographs of Highbridge (thank you Deb) I noticed the name Lynda Mitchell…….. We were were witches in a play in the ‘old’ town hall in the 60’s. I was Sue Foxley and lived in Coronation Road. There used to be a cafe on the corner to church street run by Mrs & Mr Cox and Miss Lawrence and a lollipop man was on the opposite corner ensuring kids could cross the road safely down to Beechfield infants school. I can remember standing on the bridge over the line gates as a kid when the steam trains went through to Burnham then wondering how my Mum always knew what I’d been up to! Those were the days, LOTS of memories – LOVELY to see the photos they’re great.

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