Winsham people love a celebration, and if it involves dressing up, then so much the better! Winsham in 2016 is fortunate in having many lively organisations from which flows events that entertain. Very often they seem to be linked to entertainment of one form or another. In the case of St. Stephen's and the Jubilee Hall fund raising events are usually linked to maintenance or improvement of the buildings themselves. St. Stephen's dates back to the thirteenth century, and the Jubilee Hall from 1887. The people of Winsham are incredibly generous in their support of the many appeals for money, but also recognise that without their support they would lose many of the facilities that they value.
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On 2nd June, 1953, the Queen's coronation took place amidst national rejoicing. After an enjoyable service outside the previous year for the Diamond Jubilee, on Sunday, 2nd June, at 10:30, Winsham held another joint anniversary service of celebration which was called Crowns, Cupcakes and the Coronation. The weather was marvellous - for a change!
In recent years, the Sports & Social Club has been spreading its wings. Of course it has been the home of the Football Club and Short Mat Bowling in the village, and also Winsham Cricket Club until it expired early in the new millennium, for many years, but recently it has been attracting a membership of its own.
It offers a convivial place to have a drink, and it is also ideal for families with young children; being on the Upper Recreation Ground , it is safe spot to let them play outside when the weather permits.
It is becoming noted for its Parties, especially for the children. Among the most successful are the Christmas & Halloween events. Below are some pictures of those held in 2010 & 2011.
The School Fete held on Saturday,13th June 2009 was a great success, and very well attended. There was a wide range of entertainments and stalls and the weather was perfect -sunny, but not too hot.
Inside the school refreshments were available, and in the library there was a range of old pictures and log books dating back to 1863.
The Duck Race and Fete organised by St.Stephen's in aid of its Roof Fund was a great success and raised £1,600.
Several hundred people came to the meadow at Bere Farm, where they enjoyed a wide variety of amusements, the climax being the Duck Race. Nearly a thousand ducks took part, competing for the first prize of £100. Crowds thronged the route, and many hazards faced them as they raced along the swirling currents, but most finished. The winner was owned by Michael Sheasby.
The Barn Dance in aid of the Street Fair is a very popular event and, as usual, was held in the barn at Lime Kiln Farm, thanks to the generosity of Dot & Richard Moss. The Street Fair Committee organise the Bar and Barbeque, and music was provided by Doctor Nod's Toxic Feet. The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all. A mini-bus service was operated by Frank Stuttard between the village and the farm.
On Saturday 6th December, around Noon, Mr Frank Stuttard formally opened the new Bus Shelter, before a modest group of well wishers and supporters of the project. The Parish Council invited Frank to do 'the honours', because he lives in the village and was one of the team of Drivers who ran the 99 Bus service between Taunton and Ilminster. Colin Slade -Chairman of the Parish Council, was in attendance, as was Tony Carroll of SSDC.
After a brief address-it was raining-Mr Stuttard cut the ribbon, and declared the Bus Shelter open. The assembled crowd then entered the 99 Bus especially provided by Cooks Coaches for the ceremony. Instead of following the normal route, the bus headed straight for the Bell ,where a modest celebration took place!
The Bus Shelter was a successful Parish Council project with several objectives in mind. Primarily it was to provide some protection from the weather for passenger waiting for the bus. This was especially relevant to the number of children who use the bus services to go to school. A secondary objective was to encourage people to wait for the bus at the proper stop(rural transport interchange is the correct terminology, would you believe !) In this the Bus Shelter has ,for the most part failed. People still wait outside the shop, and the bus still stops there.
Hundreds of people turned out to wish the Hunt well
The Millennium Flower Festival was held in St.Stephen's and attracted many exhibitors. Its purpose was two-fold; to celebrate the Millennium Year and raise money for St Margaret's Hospice.
Millennium Eve was a big night in Winsham. Everybody must have been celebrating in one way or another. With some 350 households in the parish, it was impossible to hold one big celebration, so it developed into three big parties: The Sports and Social Club, The Bell and the Jubilee Hall, together with many family and friends celebrating in their own homes. However many turned out for the 'Beating of the Bounds' at midnight.
In 1998 a group of villagers went to see the Eden project, then in an early stage of construction. A coach was hired and about forty or so people went on avery interesting day out.
The 'VE' Celebrations took place over a sunny weekend in May. Fortunately, photographs of two of the most important events have been found for the Web Museum.
The Street Party given for the children replicated the many children's parties that took place throughout the country in 1945, to celebrate the ending of World War II. Treasured small stocks of food were cheerfully donated to these parties and the children experienced a feast the like of which they had never had before. A further ten years was to elapse before the complete demise of food rationing. Many of the older adults who helped organise the Winsham event had distant memories of their own participation as children in the original parties.
The other big event was the party at The Bell, where part of the entertainment was the portrayal of such memories as 'ITMA'-the extremely popular radio programme that was broadcast at 8.30pm on Thursday evenings.
The Jubilee Hall housed a remarkable collection of war-time memorabilia.