Life In Keynsham
Spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M H-I-S-T-O-R-Y
Keynsham Through The Ages
Adapted and updated from the Cane Shum archives
Keynsham is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 as 'Cainesham', with a value of about 24 grand (old money). In 1685, the Battle of Sedgemoor all but kicked-off here when some Royalist scouts got into a punch-up with Monmouth's rebellious mob, who were camping in the Lock Keeper pub because it was raining. Several days and a lot of marching later, the Duke's kingly plans were scuppered on the bleak moors at Westonzoyland when one of his men accidentally forgot to turn off his phone, thus alerting the King's Army who promptly kicked the rebel's asses, big time. The infamous Judge Jefferies sent most of the survivors to Wales as punishment.
Brunel brought the Great Western Railway to the town in the 1850's. He even found time to build a bridge over the River Chew and to start a hairdressing college in Bristol. In 1968, following exceptional summer rain, a Great Flood™ washed away a few bridges and messed up the park for a bit. The Queen of England came here in 1977 as part of the 25th Jubilee celebrations. She stopped off at Chick-o-Land for a burger and fries and was heard to openly comment about the hideous Gas Board buildings, which were new at the time.
Keynsham has two rival comprehensive schools - Broadlands and Wellsway - and a By-Pass, the view from which is usually all that most non-Keynsham folks ever see of the town. The Bonzo Dog Band released an album called 'Keynsham', on which they sang about the 'Thermometer Zoo' and other strange, possibly-drug-induced happenings. The town also has its own army which lives near the Co-op in a complex where all the caravans park.
The Streets Of Keynsham
Because cars would be useless without them
Bath Hill was recently voted 'Keynsham's Best Hill' by a panel of lunatics, and who are we to disagree? It took its name from the old municipal tin bath that used to be housed in a small, pointy-roofed building where the mini-roundabout is now situated. The bath was used to supply drinking water to the flocks of sheep that could often be seen hauling barrels of beer and rum from Penzance to the nearby Lamb & Lark Hotel. The neighbouring city of Bath was named after the hill, and, by way of thanks, Bath hired its name back to the local council on a 99-year rolling lease, at an undisclosed cost.
Temple Street is one of the town's oldest and straightest roads on account of it being built by the Romans, as a route to the Temple which was situated where Temple Surgery now stands. Keynsham's two rival councils both live in Temple Street, as does the award-winning Trout Tavern and some shops. A recent archaeological dig unearthed the remains of a small building, thought to be the birthplace of Edward The Confessor.
Station Road was named after the International Space Station and carries pilgrims to the Asda Temple at Longwell Green. During the Great Flood™ of 1968, large sections of Station Road were washed out to sea by the waters of the River Severn. A Bill Bailey Bridge was used to carry trains and trams over the River Avon and on into Dorset, while workmen moved the River Avon in order to create the Picnic Area.
Most of the other streets in Keynsham don't merit mentioning here, except for Back Lane, which used to be called Front Lane until some hapless town planner with a broken compass built the High Street in the wrong place. Since then, all roads in Keynsham lead directly to Rome, via the A38.
Keynsham's Lost Shops
Also adapted and updated from the Cane Shum archives
Down the road on Bath Hill you could find 'Old' Ogborn's - a dimly lit mecca of books and pens, with it's own Narnia-like back room, replete with Beano annuals and books about trees and stuff. The Ogborn dynasty even managed a successful take-over of the infamous 'Birthday Shop', which, according to legend, was the easiest shoplift in the south west. The eventual winner of the infamous Newsagent Wars of the 70's and 80's ended up being Church's, which is the shop where they let you read the magazines for free.
In the 1980's, Leslie Crowther used to do his shopping in the town's High Street, mainly because in those days the price was indeed right. Oh, and Pete Budd from The Wurzels used to run a fishing tackle shop here too. Yes, the modern town might be over-run with non-shops, but once upon a time Keynsham was a place you could do your Christmas shopping without leaving town. Glory days indeed.
|Written by Albert Mills. Copyright © 2009-2022 Albert Mills. All rights reserved. See also www.albertmills.co.uk/caneshum|