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…

Remembering Graham Stansfield

Graham Stansfield 3 May 1940 to 13 April 2018 Dorset composer Graham Stansfield passed away peacefully in Poole Hospital on Friday 13 April following a long and valiant struggle with cancer, an illness he steadfastly refused to make concessions to. He worked consistently throughout lengthy and often debilitating periods of treatment. Indeed, just six days Read More…

Life in the fast lane

This is anything but messing about on the water; this is ‘the greatest adrenalin rush ever’ according to veteran offshore powerboat racer, owner and builder Ian Toll. The smile on his face tells its own story and, as the stories flow, so too does the twinkle in his eye. Ian is one of the leading Read More…

Mystical landscape of Dorset’s hinterland

Effectively the spine of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the South Dorset Ridgeway sits shoulder to shoulder with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The 17-mile stretch of the South West Coast Path National Trail from West Bexington to Osmington Mills is a sea wall separating the coast and the county’s rugged Read More…

Whatever happened to Tucktonia?

It was the original Little Britain and as the forerunner of Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures, arguably the country’s first theme park. To a generation that grew up in Dorset in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tucktonia was the doyen of days out – leisure-time nirvana on the banks of the Stour. Time Read More…

Drama helps crisis centre

A year on from the beginning of the end of Broadchurch and the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre continues to see the number of calls to its helpline and demand for its other specialist services rise. The third and final season of the popular ITV crime drama, which featured several locations in West Bay and Read More…

Gobbledegook making perfect sense

There’s a moment halfway through the second 360-degree panoramic listen to the world from the back garden of Gobbledegook Theatre’s headquarters in Christchurch when the realisation dawns that if ever a company was misnamed, it’s this one. For if, as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it, gobbledegook is ‘pretentious verbiage or jargon’, then by encouraging Read More…