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Blandford Throwback Facts XXV


In 1946, Blandford toy maker, Wend-al began making aluminium toys in its Shaftesbury Lane factory. The company prospered until the arrival of cheaper plastic toys came onto the market.

In 1948, Cecil Lambert travelled from Blandford to London to have a tattoo removed from his arm. Mrs Lambert had good reason for not liking the tattoo for it was a picture of the girl he had bigamously married during the war.

The perimeter around Blandford Camp was used to form the country’s first post-war road racing track. Attendances of 10,000 spectators were attracted. Sadly, this racing track became notorious for its serious accidents.

In 1949, Bere Regis & District Bus Company, unkindly nicknamed ‘Bere Regis & Risket’ operated 49 scheduled services across Dorset. The company would continue to operate until 1995. A London gang blew open the door of Blandford Post Office’s strong room early on a Sunday morning and stole items valued at twelve thousand pounds. Several crow bars used in the robbery were later found in the garden of Blandford cinema owner, Percy Carter who lived nearby.

In 1950, the steam railway locomotive ‘Blandford’ was built in the Brighton railway works. A member of the ‘West Country’ class, during its working life it travelled 719,818 miles. ‘Blandford’ was the 1,000th locomotive to be built in Brighton. Later, it was renamed ‘Blandford Forum.’Motor cycle rider, Geoff Duke broke the Blandford Camp race track record at 91 mph.

In 1951, Blandford had a population of 3,667. 

In 1952, a man suffering from memory loss was given a newspaper to read in Blandford Hospital. Suddenly, he shouted ‘that’s me’ and pointed to the disappearance of 48 year-old Harold Jarvis. Police checked and found he was right. More than 4,000 soldiers were placed in quarantine after a suspected case of smallpox was discovered in Blandford Camp.

In 1953, a soldier facing court marshal at Blandford camp refused to wear any clothes in his cell. Military policemen forced him to wear clothes before his commanding officer but he immediately stripped off upon returning to his cell. Blandford railway station was renamed Blandford Forum. Miss Ellen Gertrude Castleman-Smith was made Mayor for the fourth occasion having previously held the post in 1931, 1932, 1934 & 1935.

(Illustration: Blandford Forum locomotive name plate)


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