‘Bridgwater Together’ Hosts International Musical Evening

eskies posterBridgwater Together is dedicated to bringing together the many and varied international communities in and around the town and sharing our cultural diversity in a spirit of unity and peace on earth loveliness. So it’s no surprise that they’re taking the lead in promoting a seasonal festival of internationalism at the Bridgwater Arts Centre on Saturday 1st December with Irish touring band The Eskies, fronting the line up.

The show will start at 8pm and will be hosted by Somerset singer Yvette Staelens, who’s Voice of the People Choir annually tours Europe linking up with other choirs. While presenting each act she will be performing songs from around the globe, backed on guitar by Westover councillor Brian Smedley.

Tickets can be bought from the ART CENTRE or THE ENGINE ROOM for £5. Or online via Midnight Mango (£6)

Polish Pianist Mariusz will open the evening and swiftly followed by Musica de Timor-Leste – who will play a set of folk songs from East Timor. Portuguese accordionist, Natalia Cerqueira, will sing songs from both Portugal and the British isles and then Somerset singer -songwriter Reuben Vowles, will take things up a gear with some of his own material played on electric guitar. Continue reading “‘Bridgwater Together’ Hosts International Musical Evening”

2018 History Day will be Saturday November 24th

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History Day 2018

For the third year running Bridgwater Town Council will be celebrating local history with a special event at Bridgwater Arts Centre. The event will run from 10am to 4pm and will be free.

Organiser and Town Council Leader, Cllr Brian Smedley, said “Bridgwater people have always been proud of their history whether it’s the first town to petition against the slave trade or the last battle on English soil. Throughout the day the Arts Centre -the first in the country – will be home to a selection of 7 topics from 700 years of Bridgwater history presented by 7 local historians using photos, film, music and short talks. The last two years have seen full houses and we expect the same this year. There will also be food provided. “

The Art Centre will be open from 10am and refreshments are available. The bar area will feature an exhibition by Blake Museum and a rolling slide show of old Bridgwater photos.

Continue reading “2018 History Day will be Saturday November 24th”

‘Talking Bridgwater Up’ as New Tourism Brochure Launched

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Cllr Brian Smedley launching the Tourism Brochure at Bridgwater Town Hall

The long awaited new Bridgwater Tourism Brochure was launched at Carnival weekend at a special event at Bridgwater Town Hall by Mayor Diogo Rodrigues and Town Council Leader Brian Smedley hearalding the start of a push to ‘talk Bridgwater up’. 5,000 of the brochures have been sent to tourism offices and other outlets around the country and the others will be  sent out around Somerset and available at the Town Hall for people to pick up and help promote the town.

Launching the guide, Cllr Smedley said: “We have been aspiring towards bringing in more tourism to Bridgwater and this is another step toward that goal.The message is Bridgwater is a fun town with a proud rebel history and a unique cultural offer, located close to amazing landscapes.  We want to focus on tourism and attract visitors to stay in the new hotels springing up and by providing facilities for them we are creating a legacy for our own people. One of the key aims is to revitalise a town centre that welcomes visitors, provides for locals and is clearly vibrant and different.” Continue reading “‘Talking Bridgwater Up’ as New Tourism Brochure Launched”

Westover Hosts Bridgwater Syria International Football Friendly

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Bridgwater and Syrian footballers. (tbc)

For a while now, refugees from the war ravaged middle eastern country of Syria have been resettled around the globe giving them a respite from the suffering and the chance to start a new life. Clearly they’ve been through a lot. But that didn’t stop us offering them a friendly football match here in Bridgwater at the new Northgate school astroturf pitch, Westover. The Syrians jumped at the chance to play and to mix with the local community and Bridgwater ‘meticulously’ drew up a team from all walks of life.

The game was sponsored by Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, himself transported from his Madeiran place of birth at a very early age and forced to work in Portuguese restaurants ever since and the team was captained by Town Council Leader and Westover Councillor Brian Smedley, still longing for the blue, white and yellow remembered hills of Leeds, from where he was exiled. By his mum. Continue reading “Westover Hosts Bridgwater Syria International Football Friendly”

‘Enough is Enough’ says Town Council on Old Taunton Road ‘Over-Development’

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Cllr Brian Smedley backing Old Taunton Road residents campaign against over development

Bridgwater Town Council Planning Panel today backed calls from Westover Councillor Brian Smedley to say ‘enough is enough’ to any more housing in the overdeveloped area of Bridgwater’s Old Taunton Road  and to save what land was left their for community use, open space and leisure. An application to put 4 new dwellings on the ​old disused allotment site alongside the canal was opposed by the Town Planning Panel supporting residents and other community groups.

Cllr Smedley said “The piece of green land here is overgrown and was a former allotment. There are major problems of access, which would be alongside the dangerous canal bridge which is tricky enough for pedestrians and cyclists never mind adding several more houses into the mix. The point here is that Old Taunton Road is on peak capacity and developers should simply stop ‘infilling’ and instead provide breathing space, recreational land and a community area for this part of town. It’s also true that RTL money from the previous developers here was meant to offset the impact of that development by providing community facility as compensation but in fact this money went to the other side of Hamp which was of no use here in Westover. We need Sedgemoor to accept a formula that identifies compensation funding for developments right here and one of the most hard pressed parts of Westover is right here in Old Taunton Road.” Continue reading “‘Enough is Enough’ says Town Council on Old Taunton Road ‘Over-Development’”