Skip to main content

Blandford Mouth Organ Band & Other Amazing Facts

 

        Not a lot of people know that:

  •  Blandford was famous for its mouth organ band popular for its performances across Dorset.
  • A soldier facing a court martial at Blandford Camp in December 1953 refused to wear his army clothes in a cell. So military policemen forcibly dressed him to appear before his commanding officer. Upon returning to his cell he stripped off again.
  • In 1952, a man suffering from a loss of memory was given a newspaper to read in Blandford Hospital. Suddenly, he shouted, ‘that’s me’ and pointed to a report on the disappearance of  48 year-old, Harold Jarvis. Police checked and found he was right!
  • Most Reverend Dr Nevill, Bishop of Dunedin and Primate of New Zealand was married in Blandford in September 1906. His lordship was in his 70th year and his new and second wife, Rosalind Margaret Fynes-Clinton was aged only 30 years.
  • Blandfordia is a suburb on the southern side of the Australian capital, Canberra. 
  • A schoolboy was admitted into Blandford Hospital in Septrember 1977 after being attacked and bitten by a pike. He was helping a friend land the fish when it leapt and buried its jaws into his kneecap. Then, the pike jumped back into the river.
  • John Downton (21) from Blandford St Mary was sentenced in 1851 at Dorchester Assizes to be transported to Australia for 10 years for stealing a raincoat.
  • A Blandford man travelled to London in February 1948 to find a tattooist who could erase the picture of a girl on his arm. His wife had good reason for disliking the tattoo because it was a picture of the girl he had bigamously married during the war. She had told a probation officer, ‘If he had covered it up, I wouldn’t have so much reason to nag him!’
  • Blandfordia Nobilis is a flowering plant which can be found in New South Wales, Australia. It is also known as Christmas Bells because of the time of year when it comes into flower.

(Illustration: Blandford’s famous Mouth-Organ Band)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

True Lovers Knot - a Tragic Tale

True Lovers Knot public house describes itself as a traditional  inn set in a picturesque Dorset valley in Tarrant Keynston. Yet, this historical hostelry is said to have gained its name from a particularly tragic tale and still to be haunted by a distressed former publican. This publican’s son met and fell in love with the daughter of the local squire. Because the young lad was not from the gentry they decided to keep their relationship secret from her father. Unfortunately, a stable hand saw the two young lovers together and told her father. Set firmly against this friendship the squire made plans to send his daughter away from the district. Not able to face up to life without her boyfriend, the young girl decided to commit suicide and hanged herself from a tree in the village. So upset was the publican’s son of hearing of his girlfriend’s death he too hanged himself from the same tree. The Tarrant Keynston publican had, himself lost his wife at child birth and now losing his son b

Chimney Sweep Tragedy

Crown Hotel, Blandford is reckoned to be one of Dorset’s oldest hostelries. Yet its most tragic day, during a long history, must surely be when a young chimney sweep lost his life. The chimney sweep, who was just a child, suffocated and was burnt to death in a Crown Hotel chimney which had been alight a little while before. ‘His cries were dreadful and no-one could give assistance. Part of the chimney was taken down before he was got out.’ (Salisbury & Winchester Gazette 27th March 1780) The lad had gone up one chimney and attempting to go down another had become stuck. At the time children were used to climb up chimneys to clean out soot deposits. With hands and knees, they would shimmy up narrow dark flue spaces packed thick with soot and debris. After the 1731 Great Fire of Blandford it was realised that it was important to sweep chimneys regularly while many rebuilt houses had narrower ones. Smaller chimneys and complicated flues were a potential death trap for children. The sw

Tarrant Rushton's Nuclear Secret

Tarrant Rushton was a large RAF base used for glider operations during World War II. It was then taken over by Flight Refuelling for the conversion of aircraft for the development of aircraft in-flight refuelling. However, between 1958 & 1965, the Tarrant Rushton airfield had a much more secretive and less publicised role. This was in support of the nation’s nuclear bomber deterrent, as Tarrant Rushton airfield became a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) dispersal unit.   During 1958, contractors Costain reinforced the main runway and carried out other work to ensure the giant bomber aircraft could be accommodated. At times just a few miles from Blandford, there would have been up to four RAF Vickers Valiant bombers at Tarrant Rushton ready to become airborne in minutes charged with nuclear weapons. The bombers were from 148 Squadron at RAF Marham in Norfolk. As there was no suitable accommodation at the airfield, an old US Air Force Hospital building at Martin was used. At the time, the