Skip to main content

Blandford Throwback Facts XIII

In 1855, Wimborne born Robert Eyers, a fine musician with many contacts in the musical world, took over the Crown Hotel. He would later also run the Greyhound Inn and in 1883 would become Blandford’s Mayor.

        Blandford Cemetery opened. A dispute arose between the Mayor and the town’s inhabitants and the Bishop of Salisbury concerning the cemetery consecration. The Bishop insisted a communion table be placed in the cemetery to which the town objected.

          Author, Charles Kingsley who was also Curate at Pimperne wrote ‘Westward Ho’.

In 1858, Blandford Bank suspended payments with liabilities of £48,792 and assets of only £18,167.

The Corn Exchange was built costing £645.

In 1859, local newspaper, the Blandford Express was first published by editor, James Bartlett. It continued to appear until 1895.

Tickets for the celebratory Corn Exchange opening luncheon cost three shilling & sixpence (17p) while the evening Ball & Supper cost seven shillings and sixpence (37p).

      A well-appointed horse drawn omnibus left the Crown Hotel daily for Shaftesbury. On the way it stopped at Semley railway station for a train connection to London.

            At Blandford Petty Sessions John White was charged with poaching. The magistrates were so  amused by the old fellow’s defence they decided to dismiss the case. After previous protestations of his innocence, he replied, ‘Thankee gentleman, thee shall never catch I poaching again.’ A roar of laughter broke out across the courtroom.

          A cricket club was formed. Members met on Tuesday and Friday evenings for practice in a  meadow lent by Mr Locke.

            In 1860, Dorset Central Railway opened.

            In 1862, protests were made because of ‘improper shows and exhibitions in the Market Place.’

            (Illustration: Spetisbury Station)

 







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

True Lovers Knot - a Tragic Tale

True Lovers Knot public house describes itself as a traditional  inn set in a picturesque Dorset valley in Tarrant Keynston. Yet, this historical hostelry is said to have gained its name from a particularly tragic tale and still to be haunted by a distressed former publican. This publican’s son met and fell in love with the daughter of the local squire. Because the young lad was not from the gentry they decided to keep their relationship secret from her father. Unfortunately, a stable hand saw the two young lovers together and told her father. Set firmly against this friendship the squire made plans to send his daughter away from the district. Not able to face up to life without her boyfriend, the young girl decided to commit suicide and hanged herself from a tree in the village. So upset was the publican’s son of hearing of his girlfriend’s death he too hanged himself from the same tree. The Tarrant Keynston publican had, himself lost his wife at child birth and now losing his son b

Chimney Sweep Tragedy

Crown Hotel, Blandford is reckoned to be one of Dorset’s oldest hostelries. Yet its most tragic day, during a long history, must surely be when a young chimney sweep lost his life. The chimney sweep, who was just a child, suffocated and was burnt to death in a Crown Hotel chimney which had been alight a little while before. ‘His cries were dreadful and no-one could give assistance. Part of the chimney was taken down before he was got out.’ (Salisbury & Winchester Gazette 27th March 1780) The lad had gone up one chimney and attempting to go down another had become stuck. At the time children were used to climb up chimneys to clean out soot deposits. With hands and knees, they would shimmy up narrow dark flue spaces packed thick with soot and debris. After the 1731 Great Fire of Blandford it was realised that it was important to sweep chimneys regularly while many rebuilt houses had narrower ones. Smaller chimneys and complicated flues were a potential death trap for children. The sw

Tarrant Rushton's Nuclear Secret

Tarrant Rushton was a large RAF base used for glider operations during World War II. It was then taken over by Flight Refuelling for the conversion of aircraft for the development of aircraft in-flight refuelling. However, between 1958 & 1965, the Tarrant Rushton airfield had a much more secretive and less publicised role. This was in support of the nation’s nuclear bomber deterrent, as Tarrant Rushton airfield became a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) dispersal unit.   During 1958, contractors Costain reinforced the main runway and carried out other work to ensure the giant bomber aircraft could be accommodated. At times just a few miles from Blandford, there would have been up to four RAF Vickers Valiant bombers at Tarrant Rushton ready to become airborne in minutes charged with nuclear weapons. The bombers were from 148 Squadron at RAF Marham in Norfolk. As there was no suitable accommodation at the airfield, an old US Air Force Hospital building at Martin was used. At the time, the