BRIDGWATER NEWS: Buoy oh buoy! New-look Bridgwater Buoy looks fully recovered from years of neglect

BRIDGWATER NEWS: Buoy oh buoy! New-look Bridgwater Buoy looks fully recovered from years of neglect

A HISTORIC buoy at Bridgwater Docks has been officially unveiled following a much-needed restoration project and lick of paint.

The Bridgwater Buoy was refurbished in 2017 with the support of local people, organisations and companies led by Patricia Robinson.

The bricks on which the buoy sits originated from the old Bridgwater Workhouse in Northgate which was originally built in 1837 and was finally demolished in 2016 as part of the development to build a new and much-needed primary school.BRIDGWATER NEWS: Buoy oh buoy! New-look Bridgwater Buoy looks fully recovered from years of neglect Photo 2

Only recently three plaques were unveiled at the Northgate site to tell the story of the workhouse system and the Y-shaped prison-like structure that dominated the skyline for more than 100 years and commonly known as the Big House where you would be threatened with being sent if life got too hard, money got too scarce or your fortunes took a nose dive.

PHOTO - TOP: Project leader Pat Robinson with the Mayor and Mayoress of Bridgwater, Cllr Graham Granter and his wife Kay.

PHOTO - RIGHT: The new-look Bridgwater Buoy.

The Bridgwater Buoy itself was originally located in Bridgwater Bay on the River Parrett over 60 years ago. The buoy helped cargo vessels to navigate the river on their journeys carrying trade to and from Bridgwater town.

When the Bridgwater Docks were built in 1841, thousands of people lined the docksides and the day was declared a bank holiday. Here, goods were loaded into barges on the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal.

In 1907 commercial traffic ceased and the docks ceased operation and the Bridgwater Buoy became a long forgotten memory.

Around 60 years ago the Bridgwater Buoy and another historic navigation buoy were rescued from the deep silt where they had rested for many years.

The Bridgwater Buoy was placed at the side of The Docks over time becoming neglected and in need of careful restoration.

A campaign led by local woman Pat Robinson to restore this fascinating piece of Bridgwater's maritime heritage as a tourist attraction, educational feature and provide a focus for visitors began and two years ago the buoy was taken off to be given some much-needed TLC.

Among those at the ceremony to unveil the new-look Bridgwater Buoy on Monday (August 7, 2017) were Bridgwater Mayor, Cllr Graham Granter, and the Mayoress, Kay Granter, and Mrs Robinson along with members of Bridgwater Town Council and local supporters.

BRIDGWATER NEWS: Buoy oh buoy! New-look Bridgwater Buoy looks fully recovered from years of neglect Photo 1

PHOTO - ABOVE: The Bridgwater Buoy unveiling ceremony on Monday, August 7, 2017.

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