A coastal town in Somerset, Minehead lies 20 miles north-west of the county town of Taunton, and is situated on the edge of Exmoor National Park. The south coast of Wales is just a short hop across the Bristol Channel and can clearly be seen from Minehead. One of several ancient local traditions involves the Hobby Horse, which takes to the streets for four days on the eve of 1 May each year, with accompanying musicians and rival horses. The town is the starting point of the South West Coastal Path National Trail. Another popular attraction is the West Somerset Railway, which has its terminus on the seafront in Minehead. Dunster is a village with a population of 900 and is around 2 miles from Minehead. It lies within Exmoor National Park and includes among many attractions: a castle, a seventeenth century Yarn Market, a fifteenth-century packhorse bridge and a working watermill.
Simon Haines was born and raised in Somerset. After almost two decades years away from the county studying and teaching Archaeology, History, and English as a Foreign Language at universities elsewhere in the UK and in Central Europe he has recently returned to live and work in rural Somerset. The vintage images included in this volume have been sourced from his extensive archive of over ten thousand historic glass plate negatives and images of the West of England, and former German territories in present-day Poland.