Somerset port city could be docked

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A planning application to Somerset West and Taunton Council has been submitted for a series of signs honoring Watchet’s varied heritage.

If successful, this would mean that a total of 22 information boards will be “attached to [the] marina fence, depicting the town’s papermaking and maritime history.”

According to the proposal: “The panels will cover topics such as the industrial history of the old port, the transition to the Marina at the Millennium”, as well as “extraordinary stories of the people who have enlivened the city’s heritage, from Yankee Jack to the Hobblers.”

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The entry was submitted by the Onion Collective, a Watchet-based arts initiative that tackles social, cultural and environmental injustice in [their] Watchet’s hometown.”

The panels would be installed at East Quay – where the Onion Collective is based – and combine informative text with archival imagery, creating a cohesive piece of nostalgia designed to “provide information to visitors outside of museum opening hours. and explore less well-known history”.



The East Quay site where the signs would be installed

A similar previous exhibition was in place in 2017, where 12 panels showcasing the papermaking heritage of the former port city were extremely well received by locals and visitors alike. If this proposal is accepted, the 10 original boards will be redone, and accompanied by 10 other new ones, but displayed permanently.

Funding for the project comes as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund, as Watchet’s East Quay is once again home to an artisan paper mill, Two Rivers Paper, which “is dedicated to maintaining the English tradition of making the finest handmade watercolor paper the hand”. “

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