TonyLouiseSml

Something’s brewing…

Having gone to school in a brewery town it’s the smell that got me – a lovely warm, nostalgic aroma, slightly nutty with hints of malt and yeast suggesting gentle hospitability. On a cold, wet Friday with the rain snaking down the windowpanes, there are few more pleasing olfactory sensations to be found than standing Read More…

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Never too old to walk it off

If Sunday league football is the ugly sister of the beautiful game, then walking football is surely its flirty spinster niece – with bags of energy in short bursts, you write it off at your peril. The sport was devised in 2011 specifically for the over 50s and although the rules have yet to be Read More…

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Together like love and marriage

‘Whatever you do hang on to the reins!’ Carriage driver Phil Worley wasn’t daft enough to let me anywhere near the horses, he was simply relating the first rule of driving – a lesson that stood him in great stead at the Onion Jack Festival in 2015. To celebrate the tradition of the Onion Johnnies Read More…

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The university of wood

Part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and designated as ancient woodland Hooke Park can trace its history back to the Middle Ages. Today it is owned and maintained by the Architectural Association – the UK’s oldest architectural school – and is a thriving hotbed of creative thinking, cutting edge design, imaginative engineering Read More…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…