In 1966, Blandford station closed for passenger traffic and freight the next year.
In 1968, Blandford Grammar School became a comprehensive school and moved from its Damory Street site.
In 1969, the first Dorset Steam Fair took place in fields close to Stourpaine.
In 1971, Blandford’s Palace cinema closed. Located in East Street, its last film was ‘Dad’s Army’ a spin-off from the popular television series. It was expected to reopen after refurbishment but never did.
In 1972, some 600 Blandford residents visited their doctors complaining of pain, itching and scratching in the lower leg. The culprit was a small blood-sucking black fly which became known as the ‘Blandford Fly’. The slow moving water around Blandford Bridge was an ideal breeding ground for the fly.
In October, the Royal Corps of Signals was granted the Freedom of the Borough of Blandford.
In 1976, Princess Anne was knocked unconscious when she fell from her horse when competing in the Portman Horse Trials in Durweston. She was taken to Poole Hospital.
In 1977, a schoolboy was attacked and bitten by a pike when he was helping a friend land the fish. It jumped up bit him and then jumped back into the water. He was taken to Blandford Hospital with two nasty gashes in his leg.
Blandford’s weekly sheep market ceased being held on Sheep Market Hill.
In 1978, Damory railway bridges were blown up as they had become a traffic hazard and were getting into a dangerous condition. Lots were drawn to determine who was to press the button.
In 1979, surging waters from the River Stour brought havoc to the town with the town centre flooded to a depth of three feet.
In 1980, Blandford’s Michael Harding walked 3,266 miles across the United States.
In 1982, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher visited Blandford.
In 1983, Blandford Museum opened. The Museum Trust published the book, ‘One Hundred Blandford Worthies: including Blandford St Mary, Bryanston, Langton & Pimperne’ by Victor J Adams.
(Illustration: Demolition of Damory Street Railway Arches)
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