Welcome to the history of Winsham Parish Council....

...and through the eyes of the Parish Council, view the life of our small community since 1894.

The full story can only be discovered by reading the Minutes of the hundreds of meetings that have taken place over the years. This can still be done if one visits the County Archive at Taunton. The Winsham Web Museum has done this, through its dedicated researcher Mr Nick George.

The work undertaken to produce this history of  one of the oldest Parish Councils in Britain has taken hundreds of hours, and spread over several years . It is expected that this gallery will be extended eventually to accommodate a number of interesting areas of research suggested by this initiative.

Hand-written Minute Books were used until 1975 .Nick George has sympathetically summarised the main events at each meeting recorded in these hand written books, reducing them skillfully to interesting and easily readable passages, avoiding repetition as far as possible. In doing this he has captured a sense of the cycles and rhythms of village life, and the increase in the tempo of life as the century advanced.

We have digitally copied the  typed minutes which follow on from 1975. 

Minutes from 2005  can be found on the Winsham Parish Web site at

The presentation of this work for the Web Museum has involved many people including  Stella Abbey, Janet Smart, Oshen Duncan and Tiger, her partner, and Frank Vaughan, the Parish Clerk. 

The Web Museum Management Committee extends its thanks to all concerned.

Five Generations of effort.....
After reading through over one hundred years of Winsham Parish Council Minutes, one is left with a great sense of continuity. Chairpersons, Clerks, Members come and go. Some grow old performing their voluntary duties and then they pass on with barely an acknowledgement of the service they have provided to their community. Over the years the Winsham Parish Council has renewed itself in a seamless ribbon of quiet activity which is barely noticed by the community it serves. The lack of attention that it draws to itself, it can be argued, being  testimony to its very success.

The work it carries out can be divided broadly into two categories. The first is concerned with the regular almost daily tasks and problems which in one form or another are reflected in over a hundred years of Minutes. These include management of the cemetery, the state of the roads, traffic problems ,the condition of the wars' memorial  and so on. These tasks are on-going and  for many there are no permanent solutions. 

The second category are the events that have a longer lasting effect on the life of the community. These are fewer, and have a special interest .Solving of Winsham's long running water and sewerage problems and Street lighting are just two such issues.

Planning approvals lie somewhere between these two categories, depending on the longer term implications 

This History attempts to reproduce faithfully the reports of thousands of hours of deliberation about these matters, carried out by a diverse group of people over five generations. These reports provide a fascinating insight to the way of life at the time.

 The purpose of the Timelines is to provide a view of what was happening concurrently in the world (mainly the western world) outside the environs of South Somerset. No doubt everybody in the village was aware of the major events, especially as a 'Wireless' and later ,Television, became widely owned, but for the most part they had little impact on daily village life and the efforts of the Parish Council. Even the terrible events of the two World Wars, and the loss of life among the young men, were rarely referred to in the Council's deliberations-their main concern was getting on with the job of running the village and parish. 

Suggestions as to other events that could be added to these timelines are welcomed. Click HERE to suggest your own important event.

RPI Index
In an attempt to give visitors an idea of  the purchasing power in to-day's terms of the sums of money referred to in the Summaries and ,after 1975,the copies of Minutes, an index figure is given at the start of each five year grouping. Multiply the sum of money by the index figure and this will give you an approx idea of the value of the figure in 2006  values. For more information about this very empirical attempt to establish comparisons and the difficulties involved, visit

Click HERE to return to Index