IT has been 56 years since the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) officially moved to Taunton.

Chart production teams had already relocated in 1941 during World War II.

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday, April 16), a spokesperson from the UK Hydrographic Office said: "On this day in 1968, the UKHO officially moved to Taunton, following its chart production teams who had already relocated in 1941 during World War II.

"Our staff moved to the purpose-built Dalrymple building, named after founding hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple."

In 2019, wartime workers Audrey Williams and Nancy Berry visited their old workplace on Creechbarrow Road to share their memories.

They were shown an archive display and given a tour before donating a series of photos and memorabilia from their time with the organisation.

Audrey, Nancy and their colleagues played a key role in the war effort, notably the D-Day landings in 1944.

Using information gathered through top secret hydrographic surveys, draughtsmen and women at Creechbarrow worked tirelessly to produce charts depended on by more than 132,000 Allied service personnel who crossed the English Channel.

Their work included producing special charts used by 5,000 amphibious vessels to land on Normandy beaches, as well as mine charts to support operation planning against U-boat attacks.

Over the course of the war, UKHO employees produced more than 30 million items like these to support operations all over the world.

Commenting on the visit at the time, acting UKHO chief executive Rear Admiral Tim Lowe said: "We are delighted that Audrey and Nancy have come to visit us here at our new office.

"The work they carried out at Creechbarrow was depended on by many around the world and is an important part of our history at the UKHO.

"I’d like to thank them for coming to visit us and hope they enjoyed their time meeting staff and getting an update on how we now operate."

UKHO specialises in providing marine geospatial information to help others make the best use of our oceans in safer, more secure and more sustainable ways.

This includes enabling commercial ships to navigate safely, helping small island states to create sustainable economic growth and supporting defence and national security.