By Harry Mottram: This is an article from the 2022 Axbridge Pageant programme.

War gave way to peace and a mini boom, followed by an economic slump in the 1920s and 1930s.
Despite the depression Axbridge wasn’t the most impoverished town in England. Many changes took place which were to having a lasting effect.
The reservoir was built which meant workers from as far as Ireland came to the town frequenting the Old Angel Inn, and creating the clay pits to the south of vast reservoir.
Despite the railway, traffic was creating congestion the town as lorries, vans and cars forced their way through the Square and up the narrow High Street.
Axbridge Rural District Council was based here creating employment and administering the parishes of Banwell, Bleadon, Butcombe, Churchill, Congresbury, Hutton, Kewstoke, Locking, Puxton, Wick St. Lawrence, Winscombe and Wrington, and part of the parishes of Blagdon, Burrington and Loxton.
With a magistrates court, police station complete with cells and police houses for the officers the town continued to be an important local centre.
The local dairy farms at Townsend and on Cheddar Road benefited from the establishment of the Milk Marketing Board while there was a mushroom farm nearby and an egg packing business in the town.
Leisure activities became more popular as holidays were now the norm with day trips to Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea possible by train or charabanc. Women got the vote and education became compulsory from the age of 5-14 putting pressure on Axbridge’s school.
The tuberculosis sanatorium of St Michael’s also provided some employment while the Axbridge Union Workhouse became the Axbridge Poor Law Institution before becoming a hospital in the 1930s.
Many people owned cars, radios and even telephones. They could commute to offices in Bridgwater, factories in Highbridge, colleges in Bristol. A petrol station opened, and many people had the luxury of electricity or gas, an inside toilet and running water in the home.
The slopes behind the town were a centre of market gardening with strawberries being one of the most popular crops. Many older residents think of the time as a golden age for the town but in the late 1930s the dark clouds of war were gathering once again.

The next pageant takes place in 20230. See