This is a view of the Bathampton Tea Gardens which occupied the old buildings of Bathampton Mill, and the picture is taken from Bathampton Bridge. On the O.S. Somerset sheet XIV Revision of 1930 with additions in 1938. The buildings were bought by my Uncle and Aunt, Stan and Gwen Burge, in 1933, using money given to them by Stan's brother Alec who had a winning ticket on the Calcutta sweepstake. In spite of the annual winter flooding when the water reached almost to the first floor, they developed the premises into an attractive destination for trippers arriving by boat, bus or car. I worked there during the summer months serving ice creams, taking orders for teas, washing and clearing up. They also welcomed people for B&B. The attraction was good food (Aunty Gwen's scones were legendary, as was Uncle Stan's bread and butter), wonderful gardens and excellent swimming in the River Avon between the bank and the weir. When they retired in the 1960s, Keith Johnson turned it into a nightclub called The Keel Club. It's now a restaurant. Thankfully work by the Environment Agency has meant that the river no longer floods.
A memory shared byon Aug 21st, 2008.
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