Reprinted from Newsletter 95, dated 2000 April–May

Chairman’s notes

John Brunsdon

As I write, the question of pedestrian priority in the High Street remains undecided, but less likely due to lack of support. Our society remains supportive, and it is interesting that Street town traders are showing interest in a scheme of their own. Glastonbury is notorious for resisting change, but then again it has had a lot of change foisted on it over the years and managed to survive.

The kissing gate at the top of Dod Lane into Bushy Coombe is now in place. Paul Bannell did the wrought-iron, George Steer the on-site construction and Richard Bowditch made the plaque. Our society has funded this as a millennium project, and it should be enjoyed by many en route to the Tor.

We have supported a planning application for a Arthurian visitor interpretation centre at the top of the High Street, in the former Co-op supermarket building. Provided this is well done, it could revitalize the top end of the High Street with a better spread of visitors.

Concerns over blocked footpaths off Sedgemoor Way are being addressed to the rights-of-way officers. Once the developments are completed, the paths will reopen. Please get out and clear your section of country footpaths. A footpath maintenance coordinator is needed — volunteer, please?

An intricate black-and-white rendering of an old stone building surrounded by bushes and other plants.
St Margaret’s Leper Hospital in Taunton, engraved by Utting from a drawing by A.A. Clarke for the Revd Thomas Hugo’s 1874 “History of S. Margaret’s Hospital”.

The Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust has a new project: restoring the old St Margaret’s Leper Hospital at Taunton. This later rebuild of the mediaeval building was extensively damaged by fire after its thatched roof caught light. Note Abbot Bere’s rebus reinstated on the front. The principal funders are English Heritage and Wyvern Trust; Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane and other trusts will be approached. Public open days are in April and during the course of the works. West Somerset Rural Housing Association is to fund the conversion to residential use.