Tuesday, 27 May 2014

2 weeks of art

 On Friday evening I was pleased to have tickets to attend the Quick Draw event being held at Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester. The event marked the start of Dorset Arts Weeks, which has over 1,000 artists involved.
At this event a number of artists had 1 and a half hours to complete a project, which was then sold in an auction. I was made to feel extremely welcome by the hosts and was treated to an evening of creativity in the most beautiful of surroundings!

 During the weekend I spent some time enjoying the music and fun that was to be enjoyed in the Borough Gardens. The Dorchester festival despite the rain on Saturday was an opportunity to spend time enjoying performing arts, such as music, dance and theatre.

The Art Weeks events are continuing until 8th June 2014 and venues all over Dorset are open to the public. 

 This couple said they had not played together for months! You most certainly would not have believed them, they were great!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Charlton Byam Wollaston

When the weather is good I often walk via the Borough Gardens in Dorchester and sometimes along West Walks which is often cooler on a hot day, as it is shaded by big trees. 

  The last time I walked along there I noticed an inscription above a large garden doorway.

 The gateway is a memorial to Charlton Byam Wollaston.

  I have discovered that he was a Justice of the Peace and was a very much respected man.

 As the gate way leads into this property I imagine that this was his home, and I can find records of him living at Cliff house, so I imagine this must be it, although  I couldn't see a name on the property.

 He was born the second Charlton Byam Wollaston as his baby brother died before his 1st birthday.  His Mother was Phillis who was the daughter of Samuel Byam who came from Antigua in the West Indies.  Charlton's Father was a Royal doctor, he died in 1764, and his mother re-married James Frampton in the same year. This means she would have been pregnant with Charlton and mother to a young baby Charlton's older sister. Phillis had two more children with her second husband James Frampton.

My interest took me to St Nicholas Church in Moreton, where both Charlton and his mother are buried.

St Nicholas Church Moreton

 Having found both Charlton's and his mother's memorial stones here, I have discovered that both were very warm hearted people. You can see from what is written on Phillis's that she was a much loved  and respected woman. She did not allow her wealthy background to lead her away from a  commitment to her morals and family values.

 Charlton did not marry and did not have any children, but it seemed he was well educated and  devoted much his life to public justice.

                    'the friendly feeling which all who knew him must have noticed' (The Gentleman's magazine 13:1840, 12)

 What inspirational people to have lived in our lovely town of Dorchester and extremely humbling. I  will try to replicate their kind manners when working as an ambassador for Dorchester BID!

It is recorded that during Charlton's funeral all the shops and businesses in the town closed to pay respect to him while the funeral procession took him to his burial place in the village of Moreton.

His nephew William Shirley must have thought a great deal of his uncle to leave such a grand memorial to his relative.  It is a splendid gateway! Have a look next time you walk along West Walks!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Goldfinches return

At the end of January I wrote about 'the unremarkable tree' and how it was going to be cut down to make way for the new landscaping plans at the new Brewhouse & Kitchen pub.  I was delighted this week to see that the goldfinches had returned to my garden and have been happily munching on the niger seed that I put out for them. They always seem to be in pairs at the feeder, and make quite a lot of noise for such small birds!

It seems that they have adapted to their new environment and are happy to return to see us again in Dorchester. I wonder where they have been all winter?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

A local brew

My first  blog post at the end of January 2014 was about the Station Pub in Dorchester. Could I have ever imagined that in less that 4 months it could have been transformed into the stylish Brewhouse & Kitchen that will be opening to the public tomorrow.

Living very close to this building I and many other residents have watched and heard the work to re-invent this old pub. A large extension has been added to the original building, extensive re-landscaping, stylish brickwork and attractive lighting have all been completed by an army of contractors.

As I can see the pub garden from my bedroom window I have been wondering what it was like inside, so I was pleased to be invited to preview lunch today, and that my God-daughter and partner could join my husband and myself.

We were warmly welcomed, and were able to meet and talk to the staff. It is clear that the pub wants to integrate with the local people, and to provide a homely and charming atmosphere.
I feel very lucky to have a microbrewery on my doorstep. I enjoy buying and eating local seasonal food and drink. I have this year enjoyed the Langham sparkling wines that are made near Dorchester.
I am sure this will become a place that I can enjoy with many of my friends and family, another wonderful addition to this auspicious town.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A new Panasonic

On the 8th March the Dorset Echo reported that the Panasonic store in Trinity Street in Dorchester was closing, due to a streamlining exercise and challenging trading conditions.  The report stated one member of staff was taking voluntury redundancy, one was being made redundant and another had a promotion and was being moved to their store in Exeter.
When I walked past the shop this morning, this notice was on the window!

Perhaps the challenging trading conditions are not so challenging after all?

Monday, 5 May 2014

Bank holiday a bit of DIY perhaps?

I was interested to see that Dodgsons was open today.  It is very noticeble that more independent shops are now open in Dorchester on a bank holiday.  This wonderful shop in South Street is always extremely well stocked and has a copious amount of staff. It sells household items and would be best described as a 'do it yourself' shop.  This is a place where you can buy one of something! One screw, one nail, one small piece of wood. You don't need to buy a whole packet! If you don't quite know what you need, one of the very helpful staff members will spend time advising you.
The prices may be more than some of the chain DIY stores, but the experience is 100 times better!