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Tag Archives: Weston-super-Mare

Weston Conservation Area consultation

‘Celebrating Weston’s past to help shape its future’



North Somerset Council is undertaking a major study looking at the historic assets of the town as part of the Heritage Action Zone programme. A key focus is on establishing a strong basis for future enhancement through the production of conservation area appraisals and management plans.

Residents and business owners are invited to have your say.
Please book to attend our workshop where we will introduce the conservation area appraisal process, explore together what makes Weston special and how this should inform future change in the town.

The consultation workshop is on Tuesday 17 July at Weston Museum, from 5-7pm. Please register here.




Talks for 2017

The Weston-Super-Mare Archaeological and Natural History Society (WAHNS) plan to host some new talks this spring for members and non-members. Recommended to check with the group before attending.

Tuesday 11th April 2017: “The Archaeology of Cross Rail, Western Section”
Vix Hughes, Project Officer, Oxford Archaeology.

Tuesday 9th May 2017: “Rock End and the lost cottages of Cheddar”
Susan Shaw, Somerset Vernacular Buildings Research Group.

Meetings will be held at Victoria Methodist Church Hall, Station Road, Weston-Super-Mare, BS23 1XU
Doors open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start. Parking behind church after 7pm.
Refreshments are free and will be served during the meetings.
Members £1, visitors £2.50.

Series of talks arranged by Weston-super-Mare Civic Society

The Civic Society have arranged a series of four talks during January and February 2017, entitled ‘A History of Weston-super-Mare – Local Culture in Weston-super-mare, Weston-super-Mare’. The fully illustrated lectures will be given by John Crockford-Hawley in the theatre bar.

Rather than take the easy historical route from one year to the next John’s four presentations will be thematic in approach. Starting 4,000 years ago on windswept Worlebury we shall discover how the West Tun’s lethargic evolution was transformed by impressive Victorian determination. Growth brought both prosperity and despair – it still does.

Week 1: Villa to Village – 17 January Week 2; The Three ‘B’s – 24 January

Week 3; Conflicting Demands – 7 February Week 4; Confidence & Doubt – 14 February
For more details of times and costs see the Civic Society website.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff near Cardiff on 13th September 1916. His parents, Harald and Sofie Dahl, were Norwegians and his father was a shipbroker. In 1918 his sister Else was born and the family moved to Radyr, a village just outside Cardiff. In 1920 Roald's 7 year old sister Astri died of appendicitis, a few weeks later his father died at the age of 57 and later the same year Roald's youngest sister Asta was born. In 1921 the family moved back to Llandaff.

From 1923-25 Roald attended Llandaff Cathedral School. In 1925 he went as a boarder to St Peter's School in Shrubbery Road, Weston-super-Mare. He was very homesick at first but remained at the school until 1929 when he was 13. He then attended Repton Public School until he was 18. St Peter's School closed and was demolished in the 1970s and a housing estate was built on the site. The only physical reminder of its existence is one of the roads, which is named St Peters Avenue. Roald Dahl's autobiography, Boy, includes several chapters about his time at St Peter's School.

St Peters Avenue, Weston-super-Mare
St Peters Avenue, Weston-super-Mare

In 1934 Roald began working for Shell Oil in Tanganyika but at the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the RAF in Nairobi, Kenya and learnt to fly a Tiger Moth plane. He was severely injured in a plane crash in Libya in 1940 and as a result of his injuries he was no longer able to fly and returned to Britain in 1941.

In 1942 he was posted to Washington DC as an Assistant Air Attaché in the British Embassy. He remained in the USA for 4 years and it was during this time that he began to write and had his first book, The Gremlins, published. In 1946 his first short story collection, Over to You, was published and he returned to the UK. He moved to Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire with his mother and sister Asta.

In 1953 he married the American actress Patricia Neal and they had 4 daughters and a son together, although their daughter Olivia died of measles encephalitis aged 7 in 1962. In 1954 they bought Little Whitefield Cottage in Great Missenden. They later renamed it Gipsy House. This was the place where Roald Dahl lived for the rest of his life. He wrote many of his stories sitting in an armchair in a writing hut, which he had built in the garden of his house.

Gipsy House, Great Missenden

In 1961 Roald Dahl's first famous children's book, James and the Giant Peach, was published in the USA. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in the USA in 1964. Both were published in the UK in 1967 and so was The Magic Finger. Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, which was released in 1967. Many more of his stories and books of poetry for children, along with several short story collections for adults, were published in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1981 Roald separated from his wife Patricia and in 1983 he married Felicity Crosland. Esio Trot was the last book to be published in his lifetime. He died on 23rd November 1990 aged 74 and was buried in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church in Great Missenden. His last book, The Minpins, was published posthumously in 1991.

Roald Dahl's Grave, Great Missenden
Roald Dahl’s Grave, Great Missenden

Many of Roald Dahl's short stories and children's books have been made into films or television programmes. He is still one of the world's best-selling authors.

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden

In 2005 the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre was opened in Great Missenden. Events have been held all over the UK during 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth.