CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF MINEHEAD
 
 
 
 



1046       Minehead written in document as Mynheafdon
1087       Doomsday Book records that AElgar, Earl of Mercia, son of the famous Lady Godiva, was the Saxon owner of Minehead before the conquest, with a population of 340 which included Minehead Alcombe & Bratton.
It was one of the many Manors of Dunster given by William the Conqueror to William de Mohun, for services rendered at the conquest in 1066.
1090       -1100 William de Mohun gives the Manor of ALcombe to the Benedictine Monks of Bath.
1265       William de Berkeley and a Welsh horde invade and are repelled into the sea.
1279       First mention of the park stretching westward beside the stream towards Woodcombe.
1400’s   Minehead bought by Lady Elizabeth Luttrell for 10000marks.
1400       St. Michael’s church rebuilt.
1407       Seven distinct hamlets of Periton, Woodcombe, Hyndon, East Myne, North Ridge and West Myne are noted
site of West Myne (radar station)
1421       Lady Margaret Luttrell contributed ten shillings to provide a wooden jetty for the town.
1461       Market established with at least 9 stalls near the Cross
1463       Patent rolls show ‘a commission to Thomas Maunsell and John Castell to provide mariners for a ship called  “Le Trinite of Myneheade “ for a fleet which the King is providing against his adversaries and rebels.
1457       Manor Baliff receives fine of 6 shillings and 8pence from Alice Cookes of Townsyend (now Townsend house)
1480       Tower added to St. Michaels church
1500       Fan vaulted roof and a rood screen added to St.Michaels church
1536       Dunster and Alcombe religious houses pass to the Crown with the dissolution of the monasteries.
1543       Next to Bristol, Minehead has the most ships and sailors at the Kings disposal in the Bristol channel.
1548       Parish registers start.
1558       Minehead gets a charter from Queen Elizabeth and becomes a borough with the right to govern the harbour.
1599       End of 16th century, Court Leet meet in Tudor Rose room of the Old Manor estate office (the Priory).
1601       Minehead charter is taken back and the harbour reverts to the Luttrell ownership.
1615       Townsend house occupied by John Baker.
1616       Harbour completed in present position by George Luttrell
1628       Gibraltar cellars on the quay built by Robert Quirke (one is now St.Peters on the Quay)
1630       Robert Quirkes almshouses built for 11 needy people in Market house Lane.
1637       investigation to whether the ghost of Mother Susan Leakey exists.        
1641       population approx 1383
1644       Parliamentarian leader General Middleton and his troops forced 9 Royalist colonels to seek refuge in the town.   
1656       Minehead stocks removed and mended.
1668       George Fox the Quaker visits Minehead.
1670       The custom house robbed of kegs of brandy and rum.
1673       Post office formed
1676       Town Mills, Bampton Street built. (now town mill court)
1682       Colonel Francis Luttrell strengthened the seaward side of the harbour wall.
1686       The Lower/middle Town Inn built (Mineheads largest and most important) known as the ‘Plume of Feathers’.
1701       Jacob Bancks arranged for a survey of the harbour.
1705       Minehead described as having 318 houses and a population of 1800; 120ft of new harbour, an inner wall encased in stone, completed by      Dorothy Luttrell.
1715       A great storm shattered the sea facing wall.
1716       Sea wall repaired.
1717       Dollens field in Alcombe purchased from Susannah Turner as a Quaker Burial Ground.
1719       Francis Bird’s statue of Queen Anne presented to the town by Sir Jacob Bancks and installed in St.Michaels church.
1734       Gunter’s Tenement at the foot of church steps rented as Minehead’s first poor house.
1736       21st February.  The ship ‘The Lamb’ driven ashore at Minehead with the loss of 80 lives.
1744       New Quaker meeting house, with burial ground, constructed on north side of Market house lane.
1744       8th April . John Wesley preaches on Minehead seafront. He was an Anglican who preached so powerfully that people in droves began to read the Bible.  The scheme they used to read the Bible was known as a METHOD and they eventually became known as Methodists. John Wesley therefore is commonly known as a Methodist. his brother, Charles, wrote numerous hymns, one is "Hark, the Herald angels sing".
1746       The Inn called ‘The Crooked Fish’, Frog Street (now Holloway Street) built.
1753       The Poor House, Church Steps, suppressed and the 29 inmates put onto Parish relief.
1754       The Inn called ‘The Dukes Head’ Frog Street (now Holloway Street) built.
1754       The Poor house reopens as Parish relief proved to be too expensive.
1762       Merchants petition Henry Fownes Luttrell for permission to make a turnpike road from Puddle Bridge in Lower Town (near the Old Priory) to the Strand near the entrance to Quay Street.
1769       Free school established by Henry Fownes Luttrell with Henry Dugdale from Brixham as Head master, possibly on the site now occupied by the community Education Centre at the top of Holloway street.
1783       Population approx. 1128
1791       5th July. Edward May, the Miller at the foot of Bampton Street was trying to ease some pitch out of a barrel with a hot poker and set fire to it. He rolled it into the nearby stream where it set fire to a pile of wood and thence to nearby houses and the market place. There was only one death. Mr D.Price, a maniac, who was locked in a room.
1792       The Queens Head on the Quay near the Customs House was destroyed by fire, along with 16 houses.
1793       Effigy of Tom Paine burnt (who was he?) see: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRpaine.htm
1793       John Fownes Luttrell forms the Minehead Association to uphold patriotism and allegiance to the government.
1794       Visitors reported as ‘visiting Minehead as a bathing place in the summer season’.
1796       12th July. Foundation stone of the new town, to replace fire damaged Minehead, laid at Alcombe by William Davis and James Taylor. The    Georgian houses in Bircham Road were the only part of the project built.
1800       Goodlands, coal & builders merchants formed – taken over by Sharpe & Fisher in 1997
1801       Census records population as 1168
1811       Methodist meetings start at the Old Dye House, Bampton Street, home of Isabella Binding.
1811       Votes purchased in Parliamentary election by offering houses recently built at the Cross.
1815       St.Michaels church tower struck by lightening in March.
1820    The Duke of Wellington Inn built opposite the Plume of Feathers as a coaching inn.
1821       New workhouse built in Middle Street by William Horn, paid for by Mr Luttrell.
1830       Population approximately 1239
                6 main streets – Frog street, Bampton Street, Friday Street, The Butts, Middle Street and The Parade.
                Market house (single storey) built, described as ‘new built’ this year by Savage in the ‘hundred of 
                Carhampton’              
1831       Baptist chapel in the Parks built.
1838       Minehead, as a member of the new Williton Union, sends its paupers to the new Williton workhouse
1843       Contested Parliamentary election.
1847       Methodist Chapel built on the site of the Old Quaker Burial Ground in Combeland Rd. Alcombe.
1851       Census shows population 1542
1860       27th July, West Somerset Free Press founded by Samuel Cox the printer & bookseller of Williton.
1861       Census shows population 1575
1861       Edwin Palmer (founder of Tarr & Foy) builds the Chapel in Grove Place Alcombe.
1865       Races on the Sands started in Minehead
1866       Minehead parochial school built in Middle street. architect J.P.St.Aubyn
 1867      Minehead cricket  club founded
1868       Gaslight & coke company formed
1869       Streets lit by gas
1870       The Carlton built in Martlett Road
1870       Stuckeys bank built – now Chanin &Thomas
1870       New residences built in the Avenue, Blenheim Terrace, later extended to form Blenheim road
1871       Bill for making a railway between Watchet & Minehead passed by parliament
1872/3 Railway station built at Minehead by John Pearse and Sons
1874       16th July, broad gage railway reaches Minehead
1874       Water supply company formed
1874       A small Methodist chapel erected in Station Road
1874       The  Beach Hotel built
1875       Hotel  Metropole built
1876       Methodist  church opened in the Avenue on April 16th
1877       Coastguard cottages built, and Clevelands built by Thomas Lomas, architects  Foster & Wood of Bristol
1877       Floyds, the ‘Ready money drapers’ opened in Friday  Street by Isaac Floyd.
1877       Bristol channel chemical works built by Thomas Lomas on Culvercliffe, past Quay West
1877       James Date, photographer of Watchet sells his business to Herbert  H Hole who opens a studio in Minehead, next to the Town Hall.
1878       George Lutrell builds a network of sewers with most of the 300 houses, and all new  ones connected.
1879       Clanville opened –architect Aubyn
1880       The Church of St.Andrew, Wellington Square built. Architect G.E.Street, builders: John Pearse and Sons
1880       The Wellington coffee tavern opened (a temperance hotel replacing the earlier version).
1880       The first contested parliamentary election in West Somerset since 1843 on 3rd April
1880       James Phillips expanded his auctioneering business from Bridgetown (1860) – later Phillips, Saunders & Stubbs.
1881       Census shows population 1774
1882       Cox’s publish the Minehead Advertiser and visitors list each Tuesday in Summer.
1882       Minehead & West Somerset Golf Club formed by Dr.T.Clark
1882       Alfred Vowles, local photographer, born in Axebridge
1882       Railway converted to standard gauge
1883       New Queen’s Head opened in Frog Street
1884       Reading room opened in Wellington Hotel
1884       Shopkeepers agree to close early on one day a week
1885 Extension added to the Methodist Church in the Avenue, built by John Pearse and Sons
1886       Westholme, Quay Street built
1886       Enlarged Methodist Church opened on 1st July.
1887       Elgin Towers is the first house to be built on North Hill, built in St.Michaels Road for J.B.Kennedy Cooke.
1887       Bristol channel Chemical works  destroyed by fire on October 29th
1888       Town hall built – architect J.P.St.Aubyn (community hospital since WW1) closed 2011 as new multi-million state of the art one built. Sadly its only an emergency one and not as expected. The population still have to go all the way to Taunton for most appointment with consultants.
1888       George Hayward Parade Aerated water manufacturers started.
1889       Minehead football club founded
1889       E.J.Foy & sons founded in Park Street, Ironmongers
1889       Masonic Lodge built in Bancks street by J.Burgess.
1890 onwards, houses in Blenheim Terrace started
1891       September term, free compulsory elementary education available.
1891 Census population  as 2071
1892       The Wellington coffee house demolished and replaced by the present building
1892       Oct.1st  St. Michaels church lit by gas.
1894       16th May, Queen Anne’s statue, formerly in St. Michaels erected in Wellington Square and unveiled by Mrs.Luttrell.
1894       Gas Company in liquidation.
1894       Minehead local board became the Minehead Urban district council.
1895       G.F.Luttrell initiates the scheme to build a pier at Minehead
1895       The church Institute built in Bancks street
1896       The Roman Catholic Church built in Townsed Road, by J.B.Marley
1896       17 houses built in Summerland Avenue
1897       Drinking fountain erected by public subscription, at the end of the Avenue, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee
1897       Gas works solvent again and being enlarged
1897       A restaurant exists in the Old Priory
1898       The Sisters came to Minehead in 1898 and founded the St Louis convent. St Teresa's school was opened in 1926. The grounds of this convent school adjoined the convent gardens. The convent in Minehead closed in 1994 - but the school is still there, known as Minehead First run by Somerset county council.
1898       Polo Club founded
1898       Horse races on the beach ceases
1899       Irnham road recreation ground opened
1899       A new infant school opens in Middle street opposite the existing building for 145pupils
1899       28th Dec. Minehead Mercury ceases publication
1900       North aisle added to the Catholic Church.
1901       Townsend house is a boys high school
1901       The George Leicester was the first lifeboat in the newly opened lifeboat house. A Miss Leicester from London offered a sum of money for it to be built, and Mr.Luttrell gave the land.
1901       25th May, Mr Luttrell open the 700ft pier.
1901       25th June, Gas street lighting installed in Summerland Street (now road)and The Avenue; to be lit ‘whether moonlight or not’.
1902       Houses built in parts of Friday Street and Holloway Street.
1902       The Baptist Chapel in The Parks is enlarged.
1901/2     The Market House built by W.J.Tamlyn in The Parade; architect Piers St. Aubyn.
1902       Mount Royal built on North hill by Mr.Spiller of Taunton prior to 1905 channel View Built.(channel view already built in picture showing Mount Royal not finished).
1902       Northmoor and Northmoor cottage built
1903       Minehead electricity supply company erects its works in Quay Lane.
1903       Benares built? (see picture showing it being built before the Promenade Hotel was there)
1903       Penryn Northfiels road built.
1903       St. Michaels Church Alcombe built.
1903       Kildare lodge built for Dr.A.V.Boyall by architect Barry Parker.
1904       Congregational Church built in Bancks Street.
1905       Promenade Hotel built.
1905       Alfred Vowles, photographer, started work locally.
1905       Victoria Reading Rooms, Bancks Street built; now the Royal British Legion.
1905       The Greenhead Band plays at the new Bandstand on the promenade.
1905       Minehead views displayed in G.W.R. carriages.
1906       April, schoolroom added to the Methodist church in the Avenue.
1906       John Ridler, a Porlock trader, opened a shoe shop in Park Street with his son, Ernest.
1906       Yandles dairy opens in Blenheim road – actually open before that as listed in the 1901 census. Closed in 1935, recently Moniques dress shop, now a hairdressers.
1906       Marston Lodge Northfield road built
1907       Beaconwood hotel built
1907       Minehead cemetery opened.
1907       The Esplanade lit by electricity.
1908       apprx. Electricity works in Marshfield Road Alcombe built.
1908       Capron & sons motor &cycle depot opens in the Parade.
1909       26th Dec. the old electricity works in Quay lane, reopened as a Roller skating rink, also used as
a Drill hall.
1910       One of two of Quirkes 1630 cellars on the harbour converted to a Mission Room dedicated to     St.Peter, with a reading room upstairs ( the inner cellar was demolished when the Pier Hotel was built
Now called The Old Ship Aground.(so was the Pier Hotel built in 1910? Thought it was about 1902)
1910       Stuckeys bank in the Parade absorbed by the Westminster bank. The building then became Hallidays Antiques ‘Ye Odds and Ends’.
1911       A  year of bad storms that result in starting the demolishing of the houses on the seaward side of Quay Street. It was finished after the 1914-1918 War.
1911       census shows population as either 2511 or 3455??
1912       May, the French pilot, M Salmet in the Daily Mail aeroplane, lands on the sands but later crashed into the sea near Watchet and was rescued.
1913       J.Gliddon & Sons (Williton) bought Tarrs the ironmongers.
1914       Minehead council school for boys, aged 7 upwards, opened in Watery Lane; the infants school remained in its building and the girls took over the old junior department.
1914       An armoury was established in the drill hall in Quay Lane.
1914       The Town Hall was taken over as a V.A.D. hospital, run by the Red Cross - In 1909 the War Office issued the Scheme for the Organisation of Voluntary Aid. Under this scheme, the Red Cross were given the role supporting the Territorial Forces Medical Service in the event of war.They did this by recruiting volunteers, called voluntary aid detachment members. They came to be known simply as 'VADs'. They were trained in first aid and nursing and proved invaluable during both world wars.
1914       6th June – The Queens Hall on The Strand was built – seating 750 people. Built by J.B. & S.B.Marley.
                opened with “Oh I Say” from London’s Criterion Theatre.
1915       The Strand Hotel built.
1915       Llanberis school evacuated from Ealing; run by Misses Frost & Dennison. It was set up in Blenheim road and stayed until after World War II.
1916       Alcombe under the jurisdiction of MUDC
1917       16th December – Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the Science fiction writer etc., was born in Sunnyside, Blenheim Road. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke)
1918       Completion of the removal of the seaward side of Quay Street.
1918       11th September, all cinemas were to be ventilated between performances due to an epidemic of catarrh and influenza.
1918       23rd December, Peace committee formed to arrange in what form Peace Day should be commemorated in Minehead.
1919       13th January, the sun recording instrument was to be moved from the Golf Links to MUDC premises and a Mrs.Goldsmith to be paid £1.10s for the sun records.
1919       May, Minehead receives its first motor ambulance.
1919       16th June, payment for rats’ tails discontinued.
1919       1st September, MUDC refuses to purchase the Pier for £8000.
1919       Boots the chemist opens at 4 The Parade, later used by the butcher Malcolm Dean .
1919       Chanin & Thomas ( estate agents, chartered surveyors and auctioneers) started.
1919       MUDC protested over the continuation of unemployment pay, felling that it had a demoralising effect and resulted in an indifference and a disinclination to seek work.
1920       2nd Feb. A site near Elgin Tower is discussed for a War memorial.
1920       19th July, Elgin Tower site donated by  Mr Magor of Northfield House, for the War Memorial - approved.
1920       18th Oct. Elton Ware, Osborn, Ward Vassall & Co.(Solicitors) to be informed that there was no museum in the town, but if the executors of Sir Edmund Harry Elton were disposed to present some to the town, care would be taken of it and the same be publicly exhibited whenever a suitable place should be provided.(I wonder what this was and did it go to Allerford museum??)( Sir Edmund Harry Elton, 8th Baronet (3 May 1846 - 17 July 1920), was an English inventor and studio potter noted for his production of Elton Ware at the Clevedon Elton Sunflower Pottery.)
1920       The Town Hall is opened as the Minehead & West Somerset (Luttrell memorial) hospital.
1921 Census shows population as 6013 with 1240 inhabited houses.
1921       7th March, works committee asked to suggest a site for a captured gun.
1921       21st March, the bandstand was erected on Esplanade Green.
1921       7th Nov. Siderfin’s Tanyard hooter to be sounded on Armistice day (Nov. 11th)
1921       18th Nov. The War memorial unveiled in Martlett road.
1922       Queen’s road and Irnham road to be made up and taken over by the council.
1922       Periton Mead reconstructed by Morley Horder.
1922       10th Jan. G.W.R. requested to restore all pre-war cheap, fast and comfortable travelling facilities, as quickly as possible.
1920’s   The Girls council school and the Infant deprtment become the Primary school while the Boys school becomes the secondary school (now St.Michaels first school).
1920’s   Mr.Henry Wood’s Cosy Cinema operating in Bancks street, opposite the United Reform Church.
1922       10th July, Clerk instructed to write to Mr.P.Williams informing that the selling of edible stuff in public conveniences must be stopped at once.
1923       Elgin Tower converted by Mrs.Walkley into an hotel.
1923       26th May, Winston Churchill inspects the Artillery camp on North Hill and plays Polo at Dunster.
1923       Lloyds stores founded in Quirke Street by Mr.B.Lloyd (later moved to Friday street and name changed to the Arcade Stores (because of confusion with Floyds). Closed in 1997 to become a branch of Minehead Radio.
1924       10th March, a site for the old gun must be found when Blenheim Meadows is laid out as a garden.
1925       9th March, Chamber of Trade request that:” Hobby horsing be kept under control and limited to one day in Minehead.”
1925       8th June, Application made for a 12 m.p.h. speed limit in town.
1925       9TH Nov. New Dennis fire engine purchased from Mr.Capron for £950 for the fire station in Market house lane (now the Citizens Advice Bureau)
1925       2nd Sept. Alcombe village hall opened by the Countess of Cromer.
1925       Blenheim gardens opened.
1925       Crown Post office, Wellington Square opened (now the HSBC bank)
1926       11th Jan. Naming of Orchard Road.
1926       8th Feb. The Council refused an offer by Aerofilms  to sell them  for 1guinea, a set of photographs that had been taken of the town. They     specialised in taking pictures from above.
1926       8th March, Mr Totty takes over musical entertainments and the placing of chairs on the esplanade.
1926       10th May, Mr Hancock hangs a framed copy of the petition, that had been sent to the King asking for the revival of Minehead’s Charter, outside the Council Chamber.
1926       Thanks are given to Mr Kille, who exhibited the wireless news outside the Council Chamber during the Strike.
1926       Paganel Road named.
1926       St.Teresa’s School, for the daughters of Gentlemen opened in Townsend Road.
1926       Third gasholder erected near the Harbour.
1927       Arrival of lifeboat ‘Hopwood
1927       1st Feb. Both the Cosy Cinema and Arcadia Theatre owned by Mr Totty, who also rented the public conveniences.
1927       30th March. Both Blue Gum and Sugar Gum trees are accepted by the Council for the park.
1927       Sigh ‘To the tennis courts’ affixed to lamppost in Alexandra Road.
1928       April, Ladies toilets in Blenheim road built by Burts.
1928       13th April, letter from the Association of British Creditors in Russia asks MUDC to discourage public or private purchase of Soviet Oil.
1928       6th July, photos are taken by Alfred Vowles of Blenheim Gardens for the Royal Horticultural Society.
1928       20th Sept. Tree flying boats visit Minehead.
1928       Callens Road renamed Staunton Road.
1929       County school for boys, Ponsford Road opened with Mr.C.T.F.Gibbs as Headmaster (later to become co-educational and renamed Minehead Grammar School.
1929       14th Jan. Mr Firminger pressing council for a full public library.
1929       22nd April, Mr Selwood may sell ice cream but must not commit a nuisance by ringing his bell.
1929       Alfred Vowles suggests night classes for commercial subjects.
1930       8th July, Alfred Vowles offers council a photo of the R101 passing over the town for 7/6 (7s.6d).
1930       Lifeboat the ‘Arthur Lionel’ arrives on station.
1930       7th March, Alan Cobham wants to build an airport here so his request is passed on to Mr Luttrell.
1930       Methodist chapel built in Lower Meadow Road, Alcombe.
1930       20th Oct. Minehead’s first ‘talkie’ film entitled “Disraeli” exhibited in The Queens Hall.
1931       5th June, Men’s dress reform society asks MUDC if it will permit men to bathe in ‘slips or trunks’ – letter passed to the Castle.
1932       First ever rally for motor drawn caravans held on The parks Estate.
1932       20th May, Council purchase the lower ‘zigzags’ from the Luttrell estate.
1932       12th June, Bandstand for Blenheim gardens approved.
1933       New Police Station planned in Townsend Road to replace current one opposite the Carlton (now  the hospital )
1934       Hayfield road built in Alcombe
1934       The Crown Post Office in Parkhouse road opened to replace the building in Wellington Square.(this building is now a drop-in centre for people with learning difficulties.
1934       2nd July, The Regal Cinema and Ballroom opened by actor Clifford Mollinson and the film ‘Evergreen’ shown. It seated 1500 and cost £50,000 to equip and build on the old tanyard site woned by Mr.Evans and Wyndgate, Martlett Road. Operated by Minehead Entertainment Ltd. Who also operated The Queens Hall.
1935       Jubilee Gardens on the seafront opened.
1935       Richard Kingsley Taylor opens his photographic business in The Avenue.
1935       2nd Aug. The Home Office suggest to MUDC that undressing should be allowed on the beach, as elsewhere. Historically, by 1885 ladies were saved the embarrassment of the ‘indecently public exposure of men and boys….dressing and undressing on the breakwater which entirely prohibits ladies from the enjoyment of bathing on the sands, but by 1935 Minehead raised a great furore in the national press as the rules, made by the Williton Board in 1890 regarding that no person over the age of ten years should bathe except from a bathing machine, tent or effectual screen. Minehead was called the ‘Home of Mrs.Grundy’ and an appeal was made to the Home Office seeking the quashing of that Bye-law. The Motion, when raised at MUDC, was lost.
1935       John Rawle, from Greenaleigh Farm, opened Rawles Parkhouse Dairy in Hollow Street. (should this be Holloway?). It moved to Tythings court and 15 The Parade. It closed in 1977 after Horlicks Dairey bought both sites – Unigate later bought Horlicks.
1936       The Swimming pool opened in Warren Road, built to Olympic standards and donated to the town by Mr Luttrell. It should have been self sustaining or topped up from the rates paid to the Council.
1936       F.W.Woolworths opens  in the Avenue, closed in 2009. Now Iceland.
1936       Millbridge Mission opened in Parkhouse Road
1936       The International stores opens in Wellington Square.
1936       14th Sept. Jewel of Office, donated anonymously by two people, to be worn by MUDC chairman.
1936       Police station and Court opened in Townsend road.
1938       30th Sept. WAR PRECAUTIONS – Market House to have blinds for rear windows, roof lights painted, and the entrance arches to be boarded up (to prevent light escaping) so that business can be carried on in an emergency. There is to be minimum light in conveniences , or no light at all.
1938       Filling up gas proof rooms in Quirke Street. (don’t know what that means)
1938       Picks, shovels and flares, for outside work at night, purchased.
1938       Fire appliance headlights screened.
1938       Fire siren sounded, with the view to being used as an air raid siren.
1938       Six volunteer clerks assisted MUDC in all the above work
1938       Quay Lane Drill Hall burns down.
1939       First motor lifeboat , the ‘Kate Greatorex’  bought.
1939       Nutscale reservoir opened.
1939       Regent Street Polytechnic boys moved from London to Minehead to escape fears of bombing. First billeted in The Avenue hotel (now the Winsor nursing home).
1939/40  Burgundy Chapel excavated by the West Somerset Archaeological Society under the leadership of photographer Alfred Vowles.
1940       Minehead Pier taken down as it was in the line of fire from the guns placed on the Harbour (which were never used).
1940       Toc H in Tythings Court destroyed by fire.
1940       24th Nov. Minehead fire engine crashes on its was to help out in Bristol’s first ‘blitz’, killing one fireman.
1941       18th Dec. Jack Slade and Thomas Escott (lifeboatmen) killed when a mine exploded in Blue Anchor Bay. Their names are on the Roll of Honour in Westminster Abbey of civilians who lost their lives by enemy action whilst answering the call of duty.
1940       Over 12000 Ration Book holders are registered. This was due to the influx of evacuees, 5000 over the normal population.
1942       29th Oct. An American plane, a B24D liberator bomber, with 11 crew on board, crashes on Porlock Marshes, killing all but one of the crew.
1942       22nd August, the skittle alley at the rear of Haywards bars in the Parade, is destroyed by fire. (now Clintons cards and Superdrug).
1946       14th Dec. some families may not be housed by Christmas as the metal windows ordered in May for the council houses being built for MUDC have not arrived.
1947       Very cold winter
1947       MUDC told by the War Office that the sea defences should have been removed by now.
1947       The harbour officially closed (don’t know why- maybe it needed to be repaired after the guns that were mounted on it, were tested ?).
1951       2nd June, the harbour is reopened and handed over to MUDC by Mr Luttrell for £2.
1951       The ketch ‘Emma Louise’ leaves Minehead.
1951       Lifeboat B.H.M.H. (named after the initials of the donors) arrives. Built in Colchester by Rowledge Ironworks with two 18hp petrol engines. It could do 7.5knots for 10miles.
1954       Clarks shoe factory starts in Friday Street – in-between Barclays bank and Lloyds arcade stores.
1958       The secondary modern school moves from Watery Lane to its new building in Alcombe. The junior school moves into Watery lane school, while the infants become a separate school, taking over the whole of the Middle street site.
1962       Minehead public library opened in Bancks street.
1962/3  Butlins holiday camp built on the marshes at the end of Warren road.
1963       Minehead in the grip of The Great Freeze with 22 degrees of frost on North Hill.
1964       6th July, goods handling ceases at Minehead station.
1965       The Plume of Feathers (the heart of Minehead) Wellington Square, demolished (built in 1686)
1968       School reorganization reaches Minehead as the secondary modern becomes an expanded upper school, taking 13+ children from three middle schools in Williton, Dulverton and Minehead (the old Grammar school building) and the Junior and Infants schools become two first schools – Watery Lane and Townsend road (thee old R.C. St.Teresa’s School)
1969       Tarr & Foy formed in Park street when J.Gliddon & Sons  bought Foys.
1971       4th Jan. Minehead railway station closed.
1971       Macs Removals starts business.
1971       3 card brag banned from local pubs.
1971       Restoration of St.Peters on the Quay.
1971       The Dorrien restaurant closed (owned by Mr Duffle and Ken Lee) and Boots the Chemist moved across the Parade to replace it. (It is now Bastins as Boots moved down the road and replaced the International later).
1972       12th May, Adverts leave the front page of the Free Press.
1972       15th May, Minehead middle school opens.
1973       Lifeboat replaced by two inshore boats.
1974       Macs removals takes over Prescotts removals of Porlock
1975       The Quakers take over Blackmores  photographers in Bancks street. The building was previously a Parish Hall built in 1906.
1976       Part of railway line re-opened by the West Somerset railway.
1976       Henry Woods shop etc. closed. Henry Wood’s  Name and Removal staff, lorries and buildings taken over by Macs Removals.
1978       Nov. Jeremy Thorpe appears before Minehead magistrates.
1978       18th July, Croydon Hall badly damaged by fire.
c.1979    Swimming pool sold to Butlins by the business men who took over the running of it from the council. Closed
1979       March, W.H.Smith move  from Blenheim road to Henry Woods old shop premises on the corner of Summerland Road.
1979       17th Aug. The Gaity Theatre on the Strand demolished. Replaced by the Carosel amusement arcade.
1980       The Bus Station in the Avenue closed.
1982       Clarks shoe factory closed.
1982       Workers from Clarks set up a shoe cooperative, called The Unicorn, in part of the building in Alexandra road, owned by Macs Removals, until about    1989 when they purchased a property in North Road (formally Mrs Webbers stables).
1990       The last remaining gas holder demolished at Quay West.
1991       The swimming pool demolished as Butlins sold the land for housing.
1991      Work commenced to build a new swimming pool, Money raised by public subscription & grants raised by SPAG (Swimming Pool Action Group) Land donated by council who pledged to pay for the upkeep.(council minutes 26 April 1988) On the proposal of donating sufficient land, the committee overwhelmingly voted in favour, likewise on the question of the amenity being 'authority run', and agreed to hold land, a 2acre site (for pools construction) under 3yr minimum lease. New SPAG in 2016 facebook page
1992       16th Jan. The Crown Post Office building in Parkhouse road closes and the postal services moved to Tony Holmans shop in the Avenue
1992       June. Somerfield supermarket opens in Stephenson Way. Now Tesco’s.
1992       July.The new swimming pool, named the Aquasplash, opens in Vulcan Way.
1992       August, Elstons cash and carry closes. Part of it is now the factory shop.
1992       Automatic half barrier level crossing installed where Seaward way crosses the West Somerset railway track.
1992       Minehead football club bankrupt upon the death of its chairman, Nolan Elston.
1993       Boots the chemist move from next to the Market house to the vacant site on the opposite side of the Parade, previously the international stores, then Gateway, then Somerfield.
1994       The convent in Minehead closed - but the school is still there, known as Minehead First School, run by Somerset county council.
1994       19th Feb. Fire in St Andrews Lane (Graham Sizers stock room).
1994       4th April. Macs Removals & storage business sold to Weston & Edwards. Andys secondhand shop continued in the building in Alexandra Road.
1994       June. Most of St.Louis’s Convent demolished.
1994       August. Aquasplash taken over by Butlins.
1997       Jan.The Unicorn shoe coop who had bought their own building in North Road (formally Mrs Webbers stables) went into voluntary liquidation.
1997       Feb, Evidence of iron smelting, dating back at least 2000 yrs., was found on Exmoor.
1997       Minehead sea defence scheme commenced.
1997       March. The first freight train for more than 30yrs arrived with the start of 90,000 tonnes of rock armouring for Minehead new sea defence works.
1997       March.  21st anniversary of the West Somerset railway.
1997       April. Minehead hospital operating theatre closed.
1997       April. The National Trust bans hunting on its land.
1997       September. Minehead fell silent for one minute as it joined the rest of Britain in mourning the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
1997       Sept. Butlins publishes plans for £43million revamp of Somerwest world, including a covered skyline pavilion.
1997       November. £5million Minehead Pier project dumped by the Millennium Commission.
1997       November. Forestry commission bans hunting on its land.
1997       December. Britains smallest commercial radio staion , Quay West Radio, wins a 7yr licence to serve the 20,000 adults who will be able to pick up the service in West Somerset.
1997       Aquasplash taken over by the West Somerset Council.
1999       19th Dec. The building owned by Macs Removals in Alexandra Road sold for development, Andys second-hand furniture shop closed.
2003       The Carlton Plume of Feathers in Blenheim Road demolished and a block of retirement flats built.
2008       The Aquasplash closed and demolished in 2009
2010       Morrisons new supermarket built next to McDonalds.
2011       Area where the Aquasplash was now used for parking after Morrisons built on the previous parking area.
2011       New hospital built in Vulcan road, with a casualty department and expensive abstract art !
2011       The old hospital in the town center closed - what will the building be used for now I wonder ?

2015      A Lidl supermarket starting to be built on the old Aquasplash site should be open in 2016

A Chronological history of Minehead was originally published by West Somerset Rural Life Museum, Allerford, where an updated copy can be purchased for £2.