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The Old Fire Station - Past and Present


Watchet's Heritage - The Old Fire Station

Watchet's Historical Buildings
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Now the Harbour Community Bookshop (which was set up in memory of Tom Woollam, the son of Alan and Melanie Woollam, who died tragically from cystic fibrosis) was originally the Watchet Fire Station and a blacksmith's forge. In the nineteenth century and into the early years of the 20th century, Parson's Blacksmiths Shop was operating on this site and it was possible for young children to purchase an iron hoop for 'tuppence' from the obliging blacksmith. At other times, it has housed an ambulance station and for some time it served as the Harbour Master's office, shared with the Tourist Office and manned by an enthusiastic band of local residents. Sadly, and with much regret, this was dissolved with the formation of the new Visitor Centre.

During recent renovations evidence and photographs were discovered showing its history - the current windows having been the doorways to allow the small hand-drawn pumps to enter.

The book shop, established in 2009 to raise money to help fund research into finding a cure for this awful disease, has since then raised thousands of pounds from the sale of second-hand books helped by volunteers from the community (numbering as many as fifty individuals) who give their time freely to ensure the bookshop is always open during the summer. In addition to the donations to the Trust, the Bookshop also contributes amounts of money to many local organisations to help fund numerous projects and initiatives in the town.

The building has recently been secured as a community asset and so its future seems assured and will remain as a lasting tribute to the memory of Tom.

For further information about the town as a whole,
please visit the home page or click

This page is provided by Watchet Conservation Society with the help of Watchet Chamber of Trade
and with funding from Somerset West & Taunton Council's High Street Emergency Fund.
Text and history provided by Nick Cotton