Parish Life

Parish Villages. The present Civil Parish of Winscombe and Sandford is a combination of the ancient ecclesiastical Parish of Winscombe and areas surrounding the former hamlets of Barton, Oakridge, Sandford, Sidcot and Woodborough. The parish has a population of about 4000 and covers approximately six square miles of countryside on the western edge of Somerset's Mendip Hills.

Education. Both Winscombe and Sandford have a primary school. Churchill School, a state comprehensive just outside the Parish, is under three miles away. Sidcot, just across the A38 from Winscombe, has an independent school for children aged 3/18 years. There are several pre-school group.

Worship. The Church of St. James the Great, dedicated in 1236, is the Parish Church of Winscombe. A Meeting House of The Society of Friends is just to the north of Oakridge Lane. There are records of Quakers meeting in that area since about 1669. Winscombe’s Lynch Chapel, A United Reform Church, is on land bought in 1827. Sandford has the Church of All Saints (1881) and a Methodist Church (1890). Roman Catholics may worship at ‘Our Lady Queen of Apostles’ in Cheddar.

Leisure. Details of parish clubs and societies can be found elsewhere

Health. While hospital treatment necessitates travelling, perhaps to Weston-super-Mare or Bristol. The parish has a medical surgery, with four doctors and three nurses, two dental surgeries, optometrists and a pharmacy. In addition there are chiropodists, physiotherapists, osteopaths and several practitioners of alternative medicines. For support there is a Contact Scheme which takes people in need to local hospitals safely and in comfort. For sick animals there is a veterinary surgery.

Safety. This is a comfortably, safe area. Our policewoman is often seen in the parish, being happy to pass the time-of-day with villagers and, when needed, visit to provide advice and comfort.Neighbourhood Watch schemes abound and burglaries are relatively few. Winscombe has a fire station staffed by retained fire officers and firemen.

Shopping. The parish has three banks but, sadly, only one Post Office. Bath, Bridgwater, Bristol, Taunton, Wells and Weston-s-Mare are within easy travelling distance, though public transport is by no means comprehensive. So, while it is possible to shop in large, and perhaps impersonal, super-stores, there is the attraction of supporting local traders, buying from people you know and, in doing so, spending less time putting even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Who said ‘Use them or lose them'?

railway walk

Woodborough Road, Winscombe.

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On a parish ‘shopping spree’ your purchases could include: meat; confectioneries; tax advice; bread; groceries; shoes; lingerie; pot plants; jewellery; painting materials; fine china and glass; fish; journals; wines; books; flowers; cakes; a new hairstyle; holidays; pharmaceuticals; stamps; videos; petrol; beauty treatment; even a single screw; beer; new and used cars; double-glazing; take-aways (chips with just about anything, Indian meals and pizzas); and, though probably not on every spree, a house.

Sandford Stores, Sandford

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