Category: Museum

Watchet 1940s Weekend 2021


The clocks go back to the 1940s for a whole weekend of nostalgia!

The bunting has been ironed, props have been brought out of storage, dresses bought for 2019 have been adjusted for the expanded waists of 2021! The pubs and restaurants are buying in their war time rations, liver and onions, corned beef and Izal loo paper. The Home Front Committee are in full panic!

The 10th, 11th and 12th September will see Watchet invaded by large groups of re-enactors. As part of the West Somerset Railway ’40s Weekend, Watchet once again goes all out to re-create a 1940s town. Shops and businesses will have bomb taped windows, shop windows will be dressed, cafes and pubs will serve 40s fare.


The very first event of the weekend will be a Tea Dance at the Royal British Legion 3.30pm until 5.30pm. This free event will get the party started and is an ideal opportunity to practise those moves, oil those joints and pick up a dance partner!

Friday night in Watchet Visitor Centre and Boat Museum there will be live music from May Blossom and Cathy. Book your tickets for this event at


The arrival of the re-enactors from all over the country will see Watchet’s population explode! Saturday has a full program of entertainment on the Esplanade, West Somerset Brass, Watchet Community Choir, stalls, 40s singing groups and individuals. Vintage cars and military personnel moving around the town. Tea shops filled with cake and pubs with liver and onions!!!

Saturday Night there will be another chance to hear live music in the Visitor Centre and Boat Museum, Betty Blue Bird and Tabi will entertain us with their 1940s repertoire.


The  Esplanade will be buzzing with Jazz music and the Liberty Sisters in the afternoon. Watchet Town Band, Watchet Community Choir, May Blossom and Betty Blue Bird will also feature on the program.

NEW FOR 2021

Watch out for Laurel and Hardy who will be visiting at some point over the weekend.

Check out the Towns newest Museum, the Radio Museum in Anchor Street.

Watchet 1940s Leaflet Link
Watchet 1940s Weekend 2021

Watchet Entertainment Link
2021-watchet programme

The Watchet 1940s Home Front Group have negotiated free parking for the weekend at the Paper Mill Site on Brendon Road, Watchet, TA23 0AY. Park all day for free, a short walk into town, less hassle than trying to park in a town car park!

What are you looking forward to?


Very soon we will all be able to go on holiday. Wales, Scotland and England all have different opening up dates, but the important one for us here in West Somerset is the 12th April. This is the earliest date that you will be able to take a break in self catering accommodation. So if you’re planning to get away at your earliest convenience best make sure you’ve booked with someone who will honour your booking if for any reason it all changes for the glorious 12th!

Speaking with a friend who works at one of the local holiday parks I was informed that caravan sales have been steady all through lock down with people buying using virtual tours to make their decisions. I was also told that holiday bookings were going really well with some weeks completely booked up already.

So it looks like it could be quite a busy season. I’m sure that it will start slowly  (I wouldn’t want to book for the 12th and find I might not be able to get away) but the momentum is already building.


The West Somerset Railway is re-opening on Saturday 22nd May. Great news for all those in need of a train fix. I was however upset to discover that although the WSR is reopening, the limited service will not get as far as Watchet! The first trains will run from Bishops Lydeard to Williton and return. The plan is that as Government restrictions are lifted the train service will extend to Watchet and Blue Anchor on Saturdays. It is hoped that by July the whole line will be available. The line needs to be fully open for September so that the 1940’s weekend can go ahead. YEAH!


The Watchet Boat Museum and Market House Museum will be open from the 17th May.


The new East Quay development is due to open during the summer. With 12 workshops, a papermill, geology lab. art gallery, café and with plenty to do for the family, the East Quay will be the place to visit this summer.  YEAH!

Watchet Marina has new owners and they are promising great things. Looking forward to saying goodbye to the mud and ‘Hello’ to the Sailors!!   YEAH!

Your visit!  See you in the Visitor Centre…………..YEAH?

Here comes 2021….

It all starts the year before………

In January we publish the Welcome to Watchet leaflet. The biggest part of the leaflet is the Calendar, the diary of events, the Whats on in Watchet! We spend the end of the winter collating all the local information about dates and whats happening and when. The leaflet then goes off for production and at the end of February a lovely glossy leaflet arrives for distribution. This is handed out all over West Somerset, taken to leaflet events, delivered to businesses and Visitor Centres countywide.

Our delivery arrives………..

In February 2020 I received 15,000 leaflets for distribution. We had no idea what was to follow very quickly after that delivery.

And mayhem begins…………..

Sorry we have to cancel Watchet Summer Time!

Sorry the Street Fairs will have to be cancelled!

Sorry we have to cancel Watchet Carnival!

Sorry we have to cancel Watchet 40s Weekend!

Sorry we are cancelling the Market until further notice!

Sorry we’re closing the pubs…………………….Nooooooooo!

Due to Covid-19 Watchet has had to cancel all of its amazing events and activities over the past 6 months.


Known locally as ‘Party Central’, Watchet has reverted to a quiet harbour town. The tourists have visited and most have enjoyed the peacefulness that this town has to offer, the safety of a town that has fortunately missed much of the horrors of the pandemic. But for those of us who are used to a town full of action and fun, for those of us who love the normal weekends of activity and mayhem it feels like we are a town in waiting, a town waiting to emerge from the chrysalis of Covid 19. Watch out 2021 the residents and regular visitors of Watchet are itching to take central stage once more. Watchet the coiled spring of West Somerset feels ready to be released, ready to emerge once more into the amazing, lively, fun filled place it can be!

There are rumors of new things to be added to an already full calendar.  Of Fringe Festivals, of Reenactment weekends, of Drama and YES things will need to be different, but with so much time to forward plan we are all hoping that events organisers can start to make arrangements, can start to make announcements. The dates of the Watchet Festival have been announced this week and we wait for all the other groups to start adding their voice.

Over to you………….

If anyone has anything to add to the 2021 calendar please contact me I’m itching to get started. Here’s to a bigger and better line up, more events more fun and far lest Covid -19.

PS. If anyone has any ideas what I can do with 15,000 Whats NOT on in Watchet leaflets 2020 let me know!!!!