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Showing posts from November, 2023

Blandford Hospital

Blandford's first hospital opened in 1883 and was financed by Miss Portman, a member of Bryanston’s Portman family. It could be found adjacent to the Corner Coffee House near the junction of Salisbury Street and White Cliff Mill Street. The Coffee House was run by the Church and was a sort of welfare centre. One of its earliest patients was a man who had been involved in a wagon accident at Tarrant Hinton. According to the Blandford Express of 17 th March 1883, he was taken to ‘ the new Cottage Hospital.’ From 1885 to 1887 it became known as ‘ Nurse House’ but did not take in-patients. They were sent to hospitals in Bath, Dorchester, Weymouth or Bournemouth. In September 1887, Blandford Hospital Sunday took place when members of friendly societies and public bodies joined a procession to Blandford Church. The service collection and other donations were passed to local hospitals including the Nurse House. While the previous week the village of Pimperne had passed on the veget

Godwin's Durweston Brewery

Badger is not the only business to have brewed beer locally. A few miles to the north-west of Blandford could be found the Durweston Brewery owned by Henry Godwin. However, it is now more than a century since the Godwin Brewery produced its last pint. Henry Godwin had a workforce of sixteen and, for the times, he must have been quite an enlightened employer. There is a newspaper report of a brewery works outing in the 1860s to the Bath & West Show for all his staff. Among his employees was a brewer, maltster, stoker, brewery labourers and a carter who distributed beer to the Godwin public houses. Established in 1753, the Godwin Brewery remained in the family’s hands until it was sold to Hall & Woodhouse in 1898. Henry Godwin was unmarried and there was no younger family member to take on the business. At that time, the Durweston Brewery had an estate of twenty-six   pubs. When the business closed, Henry Colpitts Godwin ‘ brewer, maltster & aerated water manufacturer’

Lost Dorset Stations

  Featured is Coryates Halt which could be found on the Abbotsbury branch line. It opened in May 1906 but closed in December 1952. Other now almost forgotten Dorset railway stations include: Abbotsbury opened in November 1885: closed in December 1952. Broadstone opened in December 1872: closed for passengers in March 1966. Bridport East Street opened in March 1884: closed in September 1930. Bridport West Bay opened in March 1884: closed for passengers in September 1930. Blandford (Blandford Forum from September 1953) opened in November 1860: closed for passengers from March 1966. Charlton Marshall opened in July 1928: closed in September 1956. Creekmoor Halt opened in June 1933: closed in March 1966. Lyme Regis opened in August 1903: closed for passengers in November 1965. Portland opened in October 1865: closed for passengers in March 1952. Powerstock opened in November 1857: closed for passengers May 1975. Sandsfoot Castle (on Portland branch line) open

Brownsea's Danish Amazon

After Danish born Bertha Hartung Olsen had appeared before Swanage Magistrates, she became known as the ‘ Brownsea Island Amazon’ . It was alleged that the 26 year old, ‘ good looking blonde’ had thrown a girl into the sea ‘ like a sack of wool’ and had also lifted up the girl’s father by his trousers. The physical training expert had been recruited as a security guard by the Island’s owner, Mary Florence Bonham Christie. Mrs Bonham Christie had bought Brownsea Island in 1927 for £125,000 and immediately banned both fishing and hunting. She was a keen supporter of the RSPCA and wanted the Island to become a bird and animal sanctuary. To achieve this, she had evicted nearly 200 Island residents. As a result, she was given locally the nickname, the ‘Demon of Brownsea'. John Walter Batt, a Bournemouth tailor, had been digging for worms as bait on Brownsea Island foreshore for 30 years. He had just received a solicitor’s letter warning him that he had committed a trespass. It was