Tony Hancock, the Lad and Dorset

‘Tony Hancock ended his life in such tragic circumstances that it seems to be forgotten he was once a young man filled with a young man’s hopes and dreams and aspirations and with his whole life before him,’ says Lyn Phillips who, writing as LM Evans, has published Tony Hancock: The Bournemouth Connection. ‘I wanted Read More…

Faking it: Nina Camplin’s trompe l’oeil

Rarely has fake been so fashionable – from fake news to fake tans, faux is determinedly à la mode. All of which causes some amusement for Poole-based trompe l’œil artist Nina Camplin, who has made the art of faking it into something positively authentic since moving to Dorset at the turn of the century. ‘Within Read More…

Handaxe of the pre-humans

This flint handaxe is one of the earliest known tools ever made by our evolutionary forebears – and it turned up on Swanage Beach, found there recently by a passer-by close to the Mowlem Theatre. It was handed in anonymously to Swanage Museum, where it is now on display. Local enthusiasts suspected it could be Read More…

Dunshay: a private view

  Far enough off the beaten track to be considered one of Purbeck’s relatively few truly private places, not many people stumble on Dunshay Manor – you need a reason to be there. And there’s no better reason than being able to call it home, as writer, traveller and art historian Ilay Cooper has done Read More…

On a whim and a prayer – whatever happened to the Tilly Whim Inn?

A pet camel, a piano that played itself, a mirror launched out of a window, a brightly coloured London cab offering free rides to customers, life was anything but dull at the Tilly Whim Inn, Swanage. It started life in 1870 as La Belle Vue, a clifftop restaurant designed by architect George Crickmay on Sentry Read More…

Tyneham: Its one-woman workforce

Her work has been seen by tens of thousands of people, yet few of them realise it … and having left her mark on two of Dorset’s most singular attractions and worked tirelessly to enhance visitors’ enjoyment of both, that’s just the way Lynda Price likes it. She’s an artist, graphic designer, project manager, writer, Read More…

Dorset’s oldest choir boy

Since he joined the choir of St Mary’s Church in Swanage, Eric Gosney has lived under 17 British Prime Minsters and four monarchs – remarkably also the same number of organists that have served the church. Now, 83 years later, he’s one of Britain’s longest serving choristers, if not the longest. ‘Well my father said Read More…

Gilson Lavis

Best known as the superbly versatile drummer with Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Gilson Lavis is launching a second career as an artist.  His characterful portraits of fellow musicians go on show this month in a new exhibition, Portraits: Gilson Lavis in Black and White, at the Hatch Gallery in Christchurch.  Over the past Read More…