Captain Grumpy & the Happy Hooker

Staring down the throat of a storm battling waves the size of houses and raging winds to match would force many to at least question the wisdom of fishing for a living, but not Ian and Annie Gilbert – perhaps that’s why their fifteen-year career as commercial fishers is as long as their marriage, almost to the day.

A monumental task in Swanage

Moves to resurrect a ‘lost’ memorial to Prince Albert could see an important part of Swanage heritage on public view once again in time for the bicentenary next year of both Queen Victoria and her beloved Consort. The Purbeck stone obelisk was built at the top of Court Hill on the High Street in December Read More…

Honour bound?

‘Perhaps the people of Dorset have no greater reserves of grit, spirit and honour than those of any other county, but if you wanted one man who embodied those qualities and more then you need look no further than Mike Lees.’ In any other circumstances a writer describing a character from his latest book would Read More…

James Taylor Quartet 15:02:2019

The Sherling Studio, Lighthouse, Poole There’s something about an intimate venue and a sell-out audience, particularly when it’s for an act that would usually pack a place twice its size or more. No matter that a sizeable majority of the house are seasoned jazzers that have seen it all before – at least once – Read More…

The Vinyl Say 025: St Germain

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…

The Vinyl Say 024: Jr Walker & the All Stars

Jr Walker & the All Stars – Gotta Hold On To This Feeling b/w Clinging to the Thought That She’s Coming Back (Soul, 1969) 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 Read More…

Conquer loneliness to fight scams

‘Until we conquer loneliness we will never stop the financial scamming of vulnerable older people by criminals.’ That’s the stark message from the country’s leading expert on scamming Professor Keith Brown, Director of the National Centre for Professional Practice (NCPP) at Bournemouth University.  And as Dorset Community Foundation’s ‘Hidden Dorset II’ report reveals one in Read More…

Forged in Dorset

Little has changed about the blacksmith’s work since the second millennium BCE when ancient Hittites first discovered that iron ore could be forged and tempered to make tools. ‘That’s what I love about this,’ says two-times British champion blacksmith Simon Grant-Jones over a flagon of tea in the kitchen of his Sutton Poyntz home. ‘When Read More…

Building for tomorrow

‘I’m very fortunate,’ says Phlip Proctor, ‘to be able to work in style and comfort with the hope of making people’s lives better – I have a wonderful job.’ The forty years of hard work that have gone into creating that good fortune are proof positive that Shaftesbury-based architect Philip Proctor means what he says Read More…

Fred Karno, man of Poole

In his heyday he was one of the biggest names in showbusiness, perhaps the biggest, responsible for discovering Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel. His companies toured all over the world, British troops in the trenches of World War 1 sang about him and Hollywood comedy mogul Hal Roach proclaimed him a ‘genius… who originated slapstick Read More…