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Showing posts from December, 2023

Dorset's 'S & D' stations

  Among Somerset & Dorset railway stations in Dorset was Broadstone, the county's most named station - at six times! Other stations were: Parkstone – opened June 1874: closed to freight September 1965. Poole – opened December 1872: closed to freight July 1966. Creekmore Halt – opened June 1933: closed March 1966. New Poole Junction (then Poole Junction, then Poole Junction & Broadstone, then Broadstone & New Poole Junction, then Broadstone Junction and finally Broadstone from July 1929.) – opened December 1872: closed to passengers March 1966/closed to freight September 1965. Corfe Mullen Halt – opened July 1928: closed September 1956. Sturminster Marshall ( Bailey Gate from November 1863) – opened November 1860: closed to passengers March 1966/closed to freight April 1965. Spetisbury – opened November 1860: closed September 1956. Charlton Marshall – opened July 1928: closed September 1956. Blandford St Mary (temporary station until September 1

Charlie Maidment - Jockey's Tale

  Charles Maidment was one of this country’s finest jockeys. Dorset born & bred, Charlie was born in Sixpenny Handley in 1845 and lived for several years in Blandford before he married. With 76 wins each, he shared the Jockey’s Championship with William Gray in 1870 and then with George Fordham the following year with 86 each. In 1871, he won the One Thousand Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger on Hannah . The following year he won the Derby on Cremorne and the St Leger on Wenlock . After his 1872 Derby win, he suffered a short illness. This it is reckoned to have been due to the aniline dye in his silk jockey’s jacket. Sadly, Charlie Maidment was not good at managing his money. Despite amassing a fortune from his winnings he squandered it and in 1875 was listed in the Cambridge Bankruptcy Court. Owners then tended to shun him until he rode Kisber to win the 1876 Derby at Epsom. He married Mary Vickery Percy and they had four daughters. However, she had health issues. The Bury &am

Blandford's Tom Rose - First Aussie Free Settler

When Thomas Rose and his family arrived in New South Wales, Australia, in January 1793 with their four children, they were the first free and independent British settlers in the new colony. They had arrived from England on the sailing vessel, Bellona . Thomas Rose was born in Blandford in 1754 and baptized later that year in Sturminster Newton. In 1779, he had married Jane Topp also in Sturminster Newton. According to the Sydney Gazette , she would later become the Australian colony’s first great grandmother. Australian Governor, Arthur Phillip had made repeated requests to London for intelligent and experienced farmers. Rose fitted this description and it was noted that he was ‘ the most respectable of these people and apparently the best calculated for a bona fide settler.’ Previously, Britain had sent out convicts, accompanied by soldiers. The First Fleet brought out 730 convicts in eleven vessels arriving in January 1788. The Rose family eventually put down their roots in th

Blandford Beer, Christmas Cheer!

‘Here comes old Father Christmas Bringing Christmas cheer The juicy beef and pudding The brown and foaming beer. Quoth he – “The beer is famous, Better I cannot find”; It’s warms the aching bosom, It cheers the laden mind. JOHN LEWIS MARSH , he brewed it, I like it more and more, Then go to his Town Brewery, To buy your Christmas Store.’   John Lewis Marsh, Christmas 1885. John Lewis Marsh’s beer was brewed in his Bryanston Street Brewery just behind the King’s Arms public house in Blandford. John had an eye for publicity promoting his brews sometimes adopting a Dorset dialect. ‘When I be tired, vaint or dry Then MARSH’S ALES’s the drink vor I Do gee me strength to work apace And makes me laugh all awver me face!’ Some of his claims were a little excessive and no doubt made ‘ tongue in cheek.’ He claimed his beers had health-giving benefits and even reckoned by regular consumption you could live for ever! Sadly as John Lewis is no longer with us, th