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Showing posts from April, 2022

Spitfire 'WHO'S AFEAR'D?'

WHO’S AFEAR’D is not just the motto on the Dorset Coat of Arms but also the name of a Spitfire which crashed near Meopham, Kent on 23 rd June 1942. This fighter aircraft had been funded by local contributions from Blandford & Sturminster Newton district people and paid for in a manner which today would be called crowd funding. Many years later, Graeme Sinden was excavating for a swimming pool in his back garden near Camer Park, Meopham when he came across aircraft wreckage. Experts were called in and the plane was identified as Spitfire WHO’S AFEAR’D. (P8531) It had been built at an aircraft factory in Castle Bromwich in the Midlands. In September 1940, Shroton had raised twenty six pounds for the Blandford & District Spitfire Fighting Fund. The next month, Child Okeford held a concert in the packed village hall and sent in seven pounds. A Winterborne Whitechurch Dance in November 1940 raised eight pounds, two shillings & sixpence (£8.12) while a Winterborne Stickland So

Blandford Throwback Facts XIV

        In 1863 , Blandford railway station opened on 21 st September when a line that previously ended in Blandford St Mary was brought into the town. Led by the owner of the Crown Hotel, Robert Eyers the Blandford Town Band won the National Brass Band Championship held at the Crystal Palace. There were four Hunt brothers in the Band. On returning to Blandford, they were met by the Rifle Volunteers and marched around the town amidst cheering crowds. After the railway station was opened, seven new inns were built in the town. Reverend William Barnes lectured on Dorset dialect to the Blandford Literacy & Scientific Institution. In 1864 , music hall star in the USA and Britain, Samuel Cowell died in his East Street lodgings and was buried in Blandford Cemetery. He had twice performed before Queen Victoria at Windsor and also before the US President yet died a bankrupt. A charity concert was organised to raise money to pay for his gravestone.  A horse drawn coach from the Crown Hotel

Easter Past & a Local Rail Crash

If you were looking to get away at Easter in 1929, there were plenty of cheap railway excursion tickets on offer from Blandford Station. For six shillings (30p) you could buy a cheap day return to Lyme Regis or Seaton while for just two shillings (10p) you could spend a day in Bournemouth or go to the Steeplechase Meeting at Wincanton. On Easter Monday, you could travel to Yeovil and watch the home team take on Bath City in football’s Southern League at the Huish Park. (Yeovil won 3-1) Following Saturday, the Southern Railway Company was running a football special to London to watch Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic play Crystal Palace at Selhurst in a Third Division (South) match. Claiming, ‘ it’s quicker by rail’ , and leaving Bournemouth Central at 10.00am, the return fare to Selhurst was six shillings & sixpence (32p). The football special was advertised to have both corridors and a restaurant car. For those wanting to spend more time in the capital, there was a late retu