ONE of my earliest memories of Watchet was the gasworks and its imposing gas holders - now gone.

Just up the road was the British Road Services transport depot, later to become Streets Transport - all gone.

Tiley's bakehouse at the top of Gladstone Terrace, John Norman's and Percy Lewis' bakeries at the bottom of town, between them they kept us in bread - all gone.

There was Cyril Davy at the top of town and Bill Strong at the bottom of town, who used to keep us in milk and eggs - sadly, gone.

Watchet council school and St Decuman's Church School - both gone.

Further down the road was our community centre, later to become a petrol station. There was also a petrol station at the bottom of West Street - all gone.

B Date and CJ Stone, both Watchet builders - now gone.

In Anchor Street we had the Anchor Inn, the fishmongers and the Labour Exchange - all gone.

In the same street was the Exmoor Bag Factory and Williams' coal yard - both gone.

There was also Mill Street Farm, Cyril Nichlas used to walk his cows from one end of Watchet to the other - all gone.

Arthur Sully used to keep his harbour-working horses in Sully's Field at the top of the town, so as well as having cows walking through the town we had horses as well - they have all gone.

You could have your daily papers delivered by Ron Newman or Donald Tapp's newsagents - both gone.

On the Esplanade, we had a fire station and an ambulance station - both gone.

Whitelegs Fun Fair used to turn up annually to enable the people of Watchet to have a bit of a jolly - sadly, no more.

Wansborough Paper Company, a training ground for hundreds of skilled people and many a home has been purchased on the strength of WPC - but regrettably gone.

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Protective Papers Ltd, a good source for Christmas paper, Sellotape and wallpaper, at its peak employing about 100 people in the printing trade - but sadly it's no more.

Van Heusen Shirt Factory, lots of skilled seamstresses here. It later became the Go Sport nightclub - but both have gone.

Helwell Beach, the place to be, but unfortunately the sand and the diving boards have both gone.

Who can remember the cycling events on the Memorial Ground? It's gone.

Mud sports in the harbour, football, tug of war and others, a unique event to Watchet - gone.

Our recreation ground - where a circus would occasionally perform - gone.

A golf course at the top of Cleeve Hill and a putting green in town - both gone.

Jets screaming overhead, honing their bombing skills in Lilstock Bay - gone.

The rattle of gunfire at Doniford, the RAF practicing their shooting at an overhead target - gone.

Allotments, there were hundreds of them all over town - all gone.

A dentist, three backs, Quay West Radio and a cinema - all gone.

The port of Watchet, ships loading and unloading, the portside bustling with railway trucks, cranes, lorries and shunters - all gone.

In the harbour, Ben Norman could take you around the bay onboard the Lyn or occasionally you could catch a White Funnel Fleet boat and go to Cardiff of other places in the Bristol Channel - both gone.

A town buzzing with soldiers, sailors and locals - gone.

How things have changed.


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