Newest Review: ... for instance. There is quite a wonderful heritage of old buildings and the oldest building now houses Cafe Nero. You walk around the st... more
Taunton in General
Member Name: Lakerfanster
Taunton in General
Date: 26/10/09, updated on 27/10/09 (395 review reads)
Advantages: Education, Sports facilities,
Disadvantages: Traffic lights
When I was coming up to 500 reviews I had a think about what review I would do to mark my 500 milestone of reviews. I then decided to review my home town of Taunton which I have lived in apart from six years of my life when I lived in Yeovil between the ages of 2 and 8. When had decided I was reviewing Taunton I wanted to do something a little different to the 5 reviews already on here for Taunton. Obviously there will be some things which will obviously be similar when talking about the town but anyway here is my review of Taunton.
Taunton is the County Town of Somerset which means it is the base of the Somerset County Council with the offices at County Hall, The Crescent. There are a total of 58 Councillors at the offices. Taunton is separated into six divisions which are as follows Taunton East; Taunton Fairwater; Taunton North; Taunton South; Taunton West and Taunton and Trull. Currently there are five Liberal Democrat Councillors and One Conservative Councillor in Taunton. The River Tone runs through the town.
Up until recently Taunton had a huge reputation for Cider production but There's not too much industry here since Taunton Cider moved but there is a Debenhams office here which is opposite County Hall and Taunton also has the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office which has 850 staff and is part of the Ministry of Defence. Taunton has links with it's twinned towns Lisieux In France, Koenigslutter in Germany and of course Taunton in Massachusetts across the Pond.
Taunton's County Ground has a rich Cricket tradition with success in the 1970's thanks to Ian Botham, Joel Garner and Viv Richards amongst others. Over the past few years they have had some of the best batting talent in the world line up for Somerset. Ricky Ponting, Graeme Smith and currently former Australian opener Justin Langer has made a great partnership with Marcus Trecothick for Somerset's batting line up.
Taunton Tigers are the Basketball team in the Town and are Coached by my former P.E Teacher Ronnie Heath. The Tigers play at Wellsprings Leisure Centre, which has a capacity of 500 seats and are currently in English Basketball League Men's Division 1 after rising in the last few years to be one of the strongest town teams in Semi Professional Basketball in England.
Taunton Town FC play in the Southern League Division One South & West and their home ground is Wordsworth Drive. They have been in the shadows of Yeovil Town since their beginning thanks to the modest means of the ownership. The Club really needs a bigger investor to reach it's potential. I would love to invest if I had the money as it could be as good as Yeovil Town with their rich FA Cup Giant killing history.
**Schools and Colleges**
There are plenty of good Schools in Taunton especially at Secondary Level with St Augustine's, Bishop Foxes, Ladymead and Castle. There's also the three Posh schools Taunton School, Queens and Kings which are very expensive boarding schools. The two colleges in Taunton have both acheived acclaim from around the Country. SCAT and Richard Huish both have excellent Sports schemes and there are plenty of courses on offer for just about any subject at the two colleges. Richard Huish is a sixth form.
**Health and Safety**
The Musgrove Park Hospital is a pretty good Hospital all round which although has received small criticism in some areas has been praised overall. The Town is pretty safe with a good police force and excellent emergency services which respond very quickly. I have only heard of a few examples of real trouble in the last few years so It is a pretty safe place to live compared to some places. I have sat in the Magistrates Court and heard a case when I was at school as part of an ESP lesson. Not Extra Sensory Perception as my Mum thought but Essential Skills Program.
As you would expect from the County Town, Taunton has a decent array of well known shops like HMV, New Look, Debenhams, Sports Direct, JJB, Thorntons and all the phone shops etc. There's also a decent out of town shopping area with Halfords, Currys, Comet, PC World, Staples, Office World etc. There are also a good few Local stores which sell local produce, You will find Morrisons, Tesco, Asda and two Sainsbury's stores as well as numerous Tesco Express stores around Taunton.
Every larger sized town must have it's fair share of Entertainment and there is plenty here for many people. There's the 8 screen Odeon cinema which is about 100m away from Hollywood Bowl. There's also the Brewhouse Theatre which has a wide range of plays and music performances on all year round. Taunton also has a decent range of Clubs like Perfect 5th, Shout, Dellers and Mambo as well as the Wetherspoons/Lloyds Perkin Warbeck and Coal Orchard and a few decent local pubs and pub chains around the place. There are a few nice restaurants with Zizzi's and Prezzo being the poshest and most expensive.
Every town needs their Parks and There are a number of large sized parks in Taunton starting with the huge Vivary Park which also has a Golf Course next door and a Bowling Green and Tennis Courts. You also have Hamilton Road Park and Cheddon Road Park which both boast large playing fields as well as Victoria Park. Football pitches, Basketball and Tennis courts are all here in these Parks. I generally find all the Parks to be maintained well by the Council and there's generally not much trouble.
**Gym's and Sports Centres**
I mentioned Sport and now onto Gyms and Sports Centres and There are four Leisure Centres in Taunton, Blackbrook Pavillion, Wyvern and Wellsprings Leisure Centre as well as Castle School Sports Centre which is next to the school. There's also the huge Gym chain Esporta as well as a number of smaller Gyms spread around the Town. There are also two decent Swimming Pools with Taunton Pool and St James' Pool.
As with every Largish town There are a few famous people who either were born in Taunton or have lived here. These are some of them. Lee Martin (Ex Manchester United player now with Ipswich). Jenny Agutter and Pattie Boyd who was married to George Harrison and Eric Clapton (Not at the same time). Deborah Meaden of Dragons Den fame and former England Rugby coach Andy Robinson.
There are plenty of buses for the surrounding towns and villages and there are regular coaches to London courtesy of Berry's and of course National Express who go just about anywhere. You will also find the Train Station which offers regular trains around the country. With easy access to the M5 Taunton is also handy if you are going somewhere like London or Birmingham. People often come through here when they are making their way somewhere.
Taunton has been my Home Town for most of my nearly 25 years and I like living here, It has plenty of things to do and it is generally a pleasant place to live. I would recommend coming to visit sometime if you are ever in the Area and there are a few of us Dooyooers here so why not look us up. It has good access to the Motorway and the only problem with the roads is the strange cobble like road in the picture in the centre and of course all the traffic lights everywhere. Apart from that it's a very nice place to live and has a good future if you want to bring up children thanks to the good schools and colleges.
Summary: Read review.