Monday, 31 March 2014

A taste of things to come

A new rector has been installed at St Mary's Church in Dorchester.

A rector has responsiblity for a parish.

There are some very old and historical churches in the town, St Mary's is one of the churches included in the Dorchester Benefice along with St Georges in Fordington, St Peter's in the town centre and also includes St Andrews Church which is in the village of West Stafford.

The Churches welcome everyone, whatever their beliefs.

Dorchester is in the diocese of Salisbury.

I was interested to read that the Rev Cannon Thomas Woodhouse was formerly a chef. He will love living in our town now we have so many fine restaurants. 

You can see St Mary's Church from Carluccios. I was having breakfast there on Sunday, the roof of the church can be seen through the window! 

I hope the new rector and his family will enjoy our lovely town. 

Link explaining the parish of Dorchester


Friday, 28 March 2014

How convenient.

Another shop has opened this week in Dorchester.  Last week Fairfield Convenience Store opened in Maumbury Road. 
This week a newsagent/off-licence has opened in Copper street, which is the road that leads to Dorchester South Station. It is called Moorland Express and has a free cash machine outside. 

 The shop will be open early in the morning, and will eventually be trading until 10pm. 
It will a useful shop for people who are catching an early morning train, and for the residents of Brewery Square. 

Since my first blog post about the micro brewery, the work at the The Brewhouse & Kitchen  has progressed considerably. There is an army of workers transforming the site, which I am told is due to open in May. 

It is going to look very smart by then. and will be quite a comparison to the scruffy corner opposite (pictured above), which could do with a bit of a spruce up! 

Phase 2 of Brewery Square building project is about to start, now that the new contractor has been appointed. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Lingerie and selfies

It is quite astounding to see how much money has been generated this week for charity. Last night I watched some of the sports releif  programme on the BBC. 

It was very humbling to see so many people prepared to give so much time and effort to help others. 

This week many females have been posting pictures of themselves on social media taken without themselves with makeup on.  The 'selfie' picture is now responsible for several charities raising a large amount of money very quickly.  I have posted my own 'selfie' picture on my Facebook page and donated £3 to Cancer Research, as have many of my friends and relatives. 

Today I was out hunting for a special sort of underwear for my daughter to wear under her very beautiful prom dress. 

The school that she attends holds their Spring Ball at the end of April. 

We visited  Mirari Lingerie, which is a small shop in the Antelope walk in Dorchester. We found exactly what we were looking for and the staff were extremely helpful. 

This shop, despite it's small premises has a wonderful range of Lingerie, swimwear and some mens underwear also. 

I learned that they also sell underwear for ladies that have had breast surgery. I would imagine shopping for this type of garment must be particularly difficult, it is good to know that there is a  good local shop, with sensitive staff in Dorchester. 

I have previously written about the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust

If you want to donate to Cancer Research or the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust,  you can do it without putting a picture of yourself on the internet, but this small gesture helps to remind many of us how many people are affected by cancer, and how sometimes a simple act can result in a massive contribution.

Link to Cancer Research web page

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Open all hours

Today I met Tasha. A really warm friendly lady who is opening Fairfield Convenience Store in Dorchester.  I have seen builders working on the site which was formally a gas appliance showroom.

Tasha told me that they do not have their signage ready yet, but the shop is open.  It is located on the corner of Maumbury Road at the junction next to the traffic lights.

It is a very busy junction at certain times of the day, and the shop is on the route that many people use to walk to the town centre, and to The Thomas Hardye school.

 The shop I am sure will be popular. Especially with school children and students, providing they have some pocket money.

There is no pedestrian crossing on Maumbury Road, which I feel is a concern. It looks quiet in my photo, but gets quite congested at times.  The junction has 4 exits and joins the main road in and out of Dorchester. I walked this way this morning to the Doctors surgery in Queens Avenue. It is not very pedestrian friendly, but it is hard to see how it could be improved. The main road at this junction is also a railway bridge, so it can not be widened easily. There is a footbridge across the other railway bridge in Maumbury Road.
There is a children's nursery in the vicinity, called Chipmunks, which is in Herringston Road. I wish Tasha every success with her new store, and I will find it most convenient, however, would urge all motorists to be aware of young children and other pedestrians, trying to cross the road.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Lawrence of Arabia

A few miles East of Dorchester is the village of Moreton.

The Frampton Arms is next to the  train station and is named after the Frampton family who built Moreton House, and for 6 centuries have been the landlords of most of the village.

On Sunday I enjoyed about a 4 mile walk in and around Moreton and Clouds Hill house. Clouds Hill is owned by the National Trust and was the home of Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia.)

I have been learning a bit more about him. He studied history at Oxford and  travelled to Levant, which was the former name of the countries that we now refer to as Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Lawrence was very interested in the history of this area and joined an expedition as an archeologist.
He enjoyed living with the Arabs and learning about their lifestyle, customs and language.

I imagine he would have continued living this life if it had not been for war breaking out on 1914.

He was recruited by the British Army. His knowledge of the area and the Arab people gave him the advantage of being able to communicate with them.

He worked strategically under the command of General Allenby, who was the British commander. His close links with the Arab people led to the assistance that they gave the army in the conflict against the Turks.

Lawrence continued to support the Arab people by accompanying them to sign the Treaty of Versailles, when they expected to be given independence, as a reward for helping the British. This did not happen and the area was split into zones, which are still in conflict today.

This outcome perhaps resulted in Lawrence feeling disillusioned. He wrote an autobiography titled 'The Severn Pillars of Wisdom' but some of it was never published as it was lost in his briefcase when  he was changing trains at Reading Station. (So easily done and a reminder today for us to back up work that is stored on various electronic devices.)

It is no wonder that Lawrence sought the refuge of the peaceful and tranquil setting of his house at Clouds Hill in Moreton. He was obviously suffering from stress. He changed his name to conceal his identity, left the army and joined the the Royal Tank Corps based at Bovington. He was later transferred to the RAF and purchased the cottage that he had been renting, from his distant relatives the Frampton family. Lawrence became friends with Thomas and Florence Hardy who lived at Max Gate in Dorchester.

He was killed at the age of 46 in a motorcycle accident.

I found 2 different memorial stones that marked the place of the accident that killed him. The original road is not quite the same now. I think the one pictured above is probably near the actual site of the crash. It is not now visible from the road. There is a more recent one under an oak tree  which was only planted in 1988 by his friend, and is within a stopping area next to the road. 

 It was an untimely end to a man who had been responsible for diplomacy in the middle east.
 He was travelling at speed on his motorbike and swerved to avoid two young lads, who appeared suddenly. There are several conspiracy theories about his death being made to look like an accident, but nothing was proven. 

 I could relate to that today as part of my circular walk took me next to the roadside to get back to my car. There were lots of motorbikes taking the same route, and they were certainly not sticking to the speed limit, or riding particularly safely. 

I visited his grave which is in Moreton churchyard. His funeral was attended by many dignitaries including Winston Churchill. Extra trains had to  run to bring people to the village. 

 When I returned home my daughter was revising for her History GCSE. She was learning about the conflict in the Middle East and the wars that have happened more recently.  I wonder where her studies will lead? 

There is a memorial to Lawrence in St Martins church in Wareham, another village close to Dorchester. This is Dorset's oldest church.

The carved effigy was planned for St Paul's Cathedral, but caused controversy as Lawrence was depicted in Arab clothing. Neither Westminster Abbey or Salisbury Cathedral accepted it for the same reason.

How sad for the clothing that he chose to wear, being responsible for this decision, but the result of which is a rather fine memorial now exists in small church in a village in Dorset.  

The church is presently locked, as there has been some damage during the recent wet weather and it is being repaired. It is due to be open again for Easter 2014.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Where I found Banksy

How elegant the Borough Gardens in Dorchester can look at times! When I walked through there yesterday it was warm enough for a picnic! So lovely to see people enjoying their lunch breaks in the warm sunshine. Soon the bandstand will be alive with music again as it is used most weekends during the summer. 

 I was on my way to meet someone at a coffee shop in High West Street. It is called Number 35.  I know I will always get a great cup of coffee there, and will be made to feel welcome. There is something very special about the eclectic mix of seating, I particularly love all the piano stools! I chose to sit in a rather comfy wooden armchair and was able to sit and flick through a book about Banksy. I could have chosen a cookery one, there were lots that interested me! 

It is lovely when you see that a cafe owner has provided a large bowl of drinking water for dogs. I don't have a dog but if I did, I would remember that cafe, simply for that reason. I really enjoyed my cappuccino! 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Joseph Damer the past and the future

A new school has been announced for Poundbury in Dorchester. It is to replace Damers 1st school in Damers Road. This is great news for the children of Dorchester, and for parents who may be considering buying property in Poundbury.

I visited Milton Abbas on Sunday morning, for a walk in the warm sunshine. The road to Milton Abbas had water bubbling up though the cracks, and the flood signs were still in place. The path to the Abbey was obviously muddy, but thankfully I was wearing the right shoes!

I have visited the Abbey before, for an ordination service. My daughter was only about 8 or 9 years old when she was singing regularly in a church choir. The choir was asked to sing at the service and I remember taking her there, and being quite unprepared for the length of the proceedings!

Whilst it was a very important occasion for the clergy, I had not quite prepared myself or my daughter for a long and very chilly evening!

This Sunday morning the Abbey was empty. It was obviously suffering from damp issues. The heating was on,  I imagine to combat this, so on this visit it was warm inside.

I noticed the sculptured tomb pictured above. It was the burial place of Joseph and Caroline Damer. Joseph Damer or Lord Milton 1st Earl of Dorchester as he later became, was responsible for having the whole of Milton Abbas village relocated!

In 1773 the village used to be called Middleton, but Joseph had it all demolished and rebuilt in it's present location. He did not want the villagers living  too close to his new big grand house.

He enlisted 'Capability' Brown to help him. His house is now Milton Abbey School a co-educational boarding and day school for students aged from 13-18.

Change happens for many reasons. Damers 1st school will be re-located, just as Middleton was many years previously.

 My daughter still sings in a choir, she is in fact studying for a music degree. She remembers having very cold feet at Milton Abbey but it obviously did not  put her off!

Link to news article about the new school at Poundbury (from Dorset Echo)

Link to Damers First School

Link to the history of Milton Abbey School

Link to the choir that my daughter is now a member of.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Something fishy

Goulds is a long established department store in Dorchester. I was in the mens clothing department with my husband on Saturday and we noticed a range of shirts hanging awkwardly.

They were hanging with the hook bit of the coat hanger up through the sleeve, which was all scrunched up. An assistant saw us looking at them and told us that they were meant to look like a fish?
Well it certainly got our attention! It did, once we had been told, perhaps resemble a fish!

The brand name is 'A Fish Named Fred'.

The shirts were bright and fun, and I have to say that this marketing idea is really clever. What can you do to get your brand noticed? It has to be different!

 I liked them.

 Perhaps I will buy one.

Would I have noticed the range of shirts if they had been hanging up the right way? Who knows. but I know the brand now, so it worked!

We walked back in the sunshine and stopped for a coffee and sat on the terrace of Carluccios for the first time this year.  It's so nice to be be having a bit of settled weather at long last.

Link to A Fish Named Fred clothing

Link to Carluccios

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Pie week & Fortuneswell Cancer Trust

Walking past the busy Dorchester market today were some people dressed in yellow tabards collecting for a charity. I recognised one of them as my family GP when I was a child. I spoke to Dr Evans and discovered he was promoting awareness of the 'Fortuneswell Cancer Trust'. I took a leaflet and promised to return with some cash to put in his collection box. The aim of this charity is to improve the services to cancer patients in Dorset. The Fortuneswell ward was opened in 2012 at the County hospital in November 2012, for the care and treatment of cancer patients.
I called into The Fridge, to buy something for lunch and discovered it is British Pie Week! Well that made the decision easy as to what to buy for lunch! I also bought some cherry tomatoes which had just arrived from the Isle of Wight and looked splendid on the display outside the shop!
I returned with some cash to donate to the cancer trust, and informed Dr Evans that it was British Pie week! He must of thought I was quite mad!

 Link to the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sweet dreams

Saturdays are always busy in Dorchester, there are often many charity events to support. I have a friend who runs a business in Weymouth called 'Precision Engraving'. Claire my friend was involved in an event to celebrate Dorset Woman's Day at the 'Dorford Centre' at Dorchester Baptist Church on Bridport Road.
The event was being run by WAND Dorset (Womens action network Dorset). I arrived in the afternoon and realized that I had missed some really interesting workshops, but I was lucky enough to hear a great a cappella group called 'Ladies of the Lawn'. I particularly enjoyed their rendition of 'Sweet Dreams' which was originally sung by Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics. I follow Annie on Twitter as I admire her as a musician and for her committed charity work including raising awareness of HIV and AIDS and how it affects women and children in Africa.

Link to Precision Engraving

Link to WAND Dorset