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Showing posts from July, 2022

Cherries Cash Call

Forty years ago AFC Bournemouth, in 1982, had just celebrated promotion to a higher division. However it was not to the Premiership but to what was then called the Football League’s Third Division. So unlike today’s Premiership, the club could not look forward to the receipt of shed loads of money. While the club opened the season with a three goal victory over Walsall, the attendance at the Dean Court stadium was just 5,330. The Cherries were losing £2,000 per week and needed gates of 7,000 to break even. Club Director Derek Lever had launched an appeal to raise £50,000 over the coming season. The appeal would involve a series of money raising events to include a race night, a sportsman dinner, a sponsored walk and a medieval banquet. Mr Lever said that while the Cherries were not in danger of going to the wall he emphasised that the appeal target must be met just for general running expenses and to provide manager David Webb with some finance to strengthen the side during the season.

Benjamin Harris - Dorset Rifleman

Benjamin Randell Harris was a rifleman who served in the British Army between 1803 and 1814. Born in Portsmouth, his family moved to Stalbridge in North Dorset when he was still a child. His father, Robert was a shepherd and Benjamin as a youngster would help tend the sheep across the Blandford Downs.   Later, Benjamin would train as a cobbler. In 1803, Benjamin was selected by ballot to join the British Army for which he was paid a bounty of eleven pounds. Forty five years later, a book would be published recounting his army experiences. Like most ordinary soldiers of the time, he was illiterate so he related his memories to Captain Henry Curling who produced the book – A Dorset Rifleman . It is one of the few accounts of the life of a common soldier of the time. During his service, he was randomly selected to be part of a firing squad to execute a deserter – an experience understandingly, he found particularly disturbing. Benjamin Harris served in Ireland, Denmark and in the Span

Farquarson's Doggie Tale!

Henry Richard Farquarson was the outspoken and at times controversial Member of Parliament for West Dorset from 1885 until 1895. He was passionate about giant Newfoundland dogs and he lived at Eastbury House, Tarrant Gunville and was a major landowner. Farquarson had built up, over twenty five years, a pack of one hundred & twenty five giant Newfoundland dogs.  They were his pride and joy and among them was a Crufts prize winner. His dogs had been brought to Dorset from Newfoundland in Canada.  There had always been strong links between Poole and Newfoundland and the coastal town had become known as the best place to buy this breed of dog. In the early 1800s, Newfoundland dogs were often used to pull carts and were a common sight in the streets of Poole. Fear of rabies led to this practice being banned. Farquarson would regularly travel to Poole to collect his acquisitions. The Newfoundland is a huge animal and there is a story that one saved the life of Napoleon Bonaparte by preve

Blandford Throwback Facts XVII

  In 1899 , Blandford railway station sold 120 five shilling (25p) special excursion tickets to visit the Birmingham Onion Fair. In 1900 , there were 20 public houses, 10 butchers, 8 grocers and 5 greengrocers in the town. Local born athlete and railwayman, Charles Bennett, known as the ‘ Shapwick Express ’ celebrated winning his gold medal in the Paris Olympics by visiting the Folies Bergere night club. When the River Stour burst its banks, shops in West Street were flooded and guests in the Crown Hotel had to make their exits by way of a ladder from the hotel’s first floor. Two old fire-fighting machines belonging to the town’s Volunteer Fire Brigade were put up for sale but there were no takers. Hector’s Brewery on the banks of the River Stour, and acquired by Hall & Woodhouse in 1882 was destroyed by fire. In 1901 , following the news of the death of Queen Victoria, a day of mourning was declared in Blandford and all business was suspended. ‘ VR’ and ‘ RIP ’ were displaye