In 1874, Londoner, John Lewis Marsh acquired the Kings’ Arms public house and then founded the adjacent Blandford Brewery. The Somerset & Dorset Railway announced it would introduce a new third class of travel in addition to its existing first and second class.
In 1878, Reverend Charles Henry Fynes-Clinton bought the Black Bear public house in Salisbury Street and converted it into the British Workmen Coffee Rooms. The building also housed the Temperance Hotel. Fynes-Clinton was largely responsible also for getting Blandford Church extended in 1895. He was Blandford’s rector from 1877-1913.
In 1880, Blandford station was using a horse for wagon shunting duties.
In 1881, a fire broke out in Shapwick making 80 residents homeless. It started on a shed‘s thatch roof at lunchtime with a strong wind blowing. Blandford Workhouse was very much a family business. John Turner was the workhouse master, his wife, Mary was the matron and his daughter, Hannah was the school mistress.
In 1882, Hall & Woodhouse, founded in Ansty in 1777, took over Hector’s Brewery at Blandford St Mary. It was later destroyed by fire and a new brewery was built in 1900.
In 1883, a small cottage hospital was opened and funded by Miss Portman near the junction of Whitecliff Mill Street and Salisbury Street. It would later transfer to its current location.
In 1885, local newspaper, the Blandford Weekly News was first published. Its four pages cost one old penny but it ceased publication seven years later. Unlike the competing Blandford Express, it supported the Liberal political cause.
(Illustration: Blandford Weekly News)