By Harry Mottram: The Axbridge Action Group’s annual meeting was held on July 4th, 2024, in the Cider Barn at the Lamb Inn to hear news and views from a number of the town’s community organisations.

Chaired by Pete Harding, the meeting of around 15 people listened to reports on the Good Neighbourhood scheme, the Heritage Trail, and the Streets of Axbridge project amongst others. First up was the Axbridge to Cross Safe Path Campaign – also known as the Coffin Lane Campaign (main photo) due to its historic links to the past when deceased residents of the workhouse were laid to rest in Compton Bishop or other villages meaning the funeral procession would leave Axbridge along Cross Lane. Now a very busy main road the thoroughfare has no pavements, is narrow and twisting with little space for pedestrians or cyclists. The plan is replace the current footpath on the south side of the hedge with a hardcore path wide enough for two walkers to pass said Delia. There have been issues over cattle in the same field as the path the meeting heard. The meeting discussed briefly the possible inclusion of the path as a cycle path but this was dismissed and the attendees heard the new MP Tessa Munt is supportive. To volunteer to help the campaign email

The Axbridge Good Neighbourhood scheme was next with Pete Harding explaining there were seven coordinators, helping around three people a week mainly with transport for medical appointments at hospital. More drivers are required as currenlty there are only a small number filling the demand of up to three requests for transport a week. Email for more information – Harry Mottram volunteered as he no longer commutes to work so his car needs the run outs he said. You can do as little or as many Sue explained.

Former Mayor of Axbridge Barbara Wells spoke about the The Heritage Trail. Funds were needed she said for more leaflets as the trail had proved very popular. The group was also raising cash for the framing of a wall hanging that illustraits the trail and which will be located when it is complete in the church. The framed piece needs a high quality perspex cover – not glass – which will cost in the region of £1,000. The Jack Todd fund had agreed a donation to help the costs of framing but more is needed. A coffee morning has been held for the nine women who worked on the tapestry – creating new friendships. The trail has a website:

The Streets of Axbridge Project was explained by Tom Littlewood who said it featured ongoing plans to encourage walking and cycling in the town and to make the streets safer and people friendly. Again there was a need for funds to continue the work of the group and there was a brief discussion on whether or not there was any money available from the developers of the new estate off Houlgate Way. Cllr Pauline Ham explained the Section 106 money was linked to the estate. The project has a website with more information at

There was a discussion on the possibility of the former goods yard alongside the bypass as use for a car park although it is unlikely to be granted to have access off the A371 by Somerset Highways. Cllr Pauline Ham said the car park would need safe access and disabled access which the one on the Furlong had – and so the goods yard was a ‘non-starter.’ She added that the Furlong car park could theoretically be expanded from 30 spaces to a maximum of 55.

Harry Mottram spoke about the Annual Axbridge Progressive Supper which this year will be held on Saturday 30th November. A committee organises the fundraising event with around £1,500 raised for local charities last year. The finances of the group come under the umbrella group of the Axbridge Action Group. See

The meeting confirmed Peter Harding, Barbara Wells and Grahame Paine would continue as the elected officers of the Axbridge Action Group for another year.

Any other business was about the possibility of the Methodist Church becoming an arts centre. Pete Harding hoped it could be leased on a peppercorn rent by the church authorities and had contacted the owners. However Pauline Ham said the Town Council needed to be involved as they can work with the Methodist Church Group – and encouraged more people to come forward to become councillors to make a difference to the lives of the residents. To find out how to be councillor visit The next town council meeting is in the town hall on Monday 8th July at 7pm.

Grahame Paine explained the Axbridge Action Group now had a funtioning website at

The main image is of the campaign group for Coffin Lane.

Axbridge News is edited by Harry Mottram and is published for the interest of himself and fellow residents.

Harry is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc