Beck + Sparks + Shame 28:05:2018

Solent Hall, Bournemouth International Centre Who knows how such things are decided but that Beck should play his only UK headline show of the year in an otherwise atmosphere-free former swimming pool in a conference centre overlooking the golden sands of Bournemouth on a sultry May bank holiday is one of those rare but glorious Read More…

Britain’s oldest charity – ‘We’re allowed a few quirks!’

Just over St Catherine’s Hill, beyond the River Itchen traffic flashes by bound for who knows where on the noisome, noisy M3, but less than a mile away it’s barely audible. Indeed, all that motorised mayhem seems a very long way from the gently ordered serenity of the Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Read More…

Copper-bottomed craftsman

It is hard and mucky work but what emerges from the heat and the dirt could and, indeed does, grace the finest tables in the land. For the gently spoken alchemist who emerges from his well-ordered workshop tucked away at the back of an industrial estate in Sturminster Marshall is Nick Stevenson, Her Majesty’s tinsmith. Read More…

The heart of Mudeford

All things must change but change doesn’t always happen overnight. Just ask the members of the former Mudeford Men’s Club as it celebrates its ninetieth year – despite welcoming women since the 1950s it’s only three years since the ‘men-only’ rule in its second bar was abolished and The Mudeford Club adopted as its more Read More…

Sir Walter Raleigh in Dorset

A court favourite of Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh’s many great deeds as polymath, politician and some time privateer undoubtedly justify his place in history; yet 400 years after his execution on a trumped up treason charge he is probably best known for things he didn’t do. The story of how he chivalrously laid his Read More…

The Vinyl Say 017: Emitt Rhodes

In every collection there are records that get played all the time, many of them for years, decades even. Then there are those that, while no less treasured, somehow fall by the wayside to lie in wait, ripe for rediscovery. This series chronicles some of those nuggets as they resurface from my own back pages. So, put Read More…