Garland Jeffreys

The Bure Club – All a bit of a Bure…

Long before arena tours and stadium gigs, a humble former Army hut once put Mudeford firmly on Britain’s musical map. For a few years in the mid-1960s the Bure Club, on the site of what is now The Sandpiper pub, was one of the area’s hottest live music venues and played host to rock ’n’ roll Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

Bridge over troubled waters

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first operational use of the Bailey Bridge, the remarkable bridging system described by General Eisenhower as one of the three most important pieces of equipment, along with radar and the heavy bomber, in the liberation of Europe during World War 2. The portable, pre-fabricated bridge was developed in Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

Tech it to the limit

It is more than 50 years since Harold Wilson said that the country’s future would need to be forged in the ‘white heat’ of technology, but for all our digital innovation in the virtual world, the flame of which Wilson spoke now flickers in danger of extinction. Recent years have seen concerted efforts to re-invent Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

Tales of Flitterwick Harbour

Such is Poole Harbour’s great natural beauty, it is perhaps surprising that it has not featured more prominently as a location for film and television – some scenes for the 1965 war film, The Heroes of Telemark, were shot on Poole Quay and the opening of the first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus features Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

Theatre of Marine Dreams

With a suitably dramatic perch by the Gun Cliff pumping station above the rock armour that protects the promenade at Lyme Regis, the 123-year-old Marine Theatre – aptly known as the ‘little theatre by the sea’ – is no mystery to the 20,000 or more visitors that have seen shows there this year, but according Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

Keeper of the castle exposed?

As enduring myths go, that of Lady Mary Bankes – and her valiant defence of Corfe Castle during the Civil War – has proved remarkably resilient. Every bit as dramatic as the ruins of her former home, the popular story is one of aristocratic bravery, proof positive that stiff upper lips were never the sole Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

The Wicca man

Widely regarded as the father of modern witchcraft and the founder of Wicca, now one of the world’s fastest growing religions, with his shock of wiry white hair, barbiche beard, exotic tattoos, tanned complexion and ardent naturism, Gerald Gardner was an easy fit for the role. But to the young Ian Stevenson, he was simply Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

S Cowell – Music Hall’s first star

He was the highest-paid singing star of his day with songs known the world over; he performed for Queen Victoria and is credited with creating a new era in popular entertainment, yet when Sam Cowell died in Blandford Forum at the age of 45, he was broken and penniless. The first star of Music Hall, Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

The charities’ charity: Dorset Community Foundation

Not many teenagers dream of becoming an armourer – at least not in the historic sense of actually making weapons and armour – but then Jacob Bond never wanted to be like other teens. Although academically bright, a year ago he gave up sixth form at Poole Grammar School and turned his back on computer Read More…

Garland Jeffreys

From the bench to the streets

Unemployed workers complaining bitterly about foreigners ‘pouring’ into the country… Not from today’s news, but the Southern Times of 11 September 1926 and a report about Harold Stevens, a well-respected Weymouth magistrate on completing a week living as a tramp in order to study vagrancy. The story resurfaced after a photograph of Harold Stevens sleeping on the Read More…