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Summary:

Bennett's agricultural store and workshop, then Bearwater.

A splendid full history of the development of Bearwater has been written (in 2012) by Alan Staddon, which is made available here on-line by his kind permission.

Photo Gallery:

 

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charnham st 118 bennets and mobil c1970 charnham st 118 bennets and mobil c1970
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- Bennet's, Feb 1985 [Ivor Speed collection]

- Aerial view of the area south of Charnham Street, on which Bearwater was built in 1984-85. [Sep 1983]

Timeline:

Bennett's Workshop and store, 1934-1985:

29 May 1934: Major Sir Gerald Burrard 8th Baronet sold Ian Alfred Bennett (who lived at Denford Manor, and farmed locally) a parcel of land situated opposite The Sun Inn for the purpose of constructing a workshop to maintain tractors and agricultural equipment. Ian Bennett had a great interest in agricultural machinery. 

1939 Blacket's Dir: I A Bennett, Tractor & stores works, 39 Charnham Street.
1940 Blacket's Dir; 39 Charnham Street):I A Bennett, Tractor & stores works.

Late 1970s: The agricultural machinery business wound down with the death of Ian Bennett. His son Roy assumed ownership but concentrated on his pet shop at 120 High Street (between NatWest Bank and the railway bridge, later redeveloped as “The Cuttings”).

The tractor sheds remained until 1985 when they were bought by Beechcroft Developments Ltd.

Bearwater, 1985-present:

1984 Bearwater developement started.

Bearwater, a development for the over-55s, was developed in 1984-86 off Charnham Street.

The land had been bought from
- Mr Robinson, of Bristol, who owned Mill Hatch in Bridge Street, part of the marsh and the river Dun, and
- Mr Roy Bennett of 120 High Street, who owner land between Robinsons to the south, Charnham Street to the north.

See also:

- Bearwater - A History, by Alan Staddon, Dec 2012 [by kind permission of Alan Staddon]

- "Wealthy fisherman nets local acreage" [Sale of Robinson's water meadow to David Susman], NWN May 1985