Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dorchester is glowing this half-term!

I was on ambassador duty on Saturday welcoming and helping people in Dorchester, representing the Dorchester BID.  The town was very busy and there were lots of visitors.

Some had come to watch Dorchester football team playing Bristol Rovers in an FA cup match. 

I spoke to many people who were re-visiting the town as they had enjoyed  it so much on previous occasions. Some were here for a school re-union, and I was asked directions several times to the Tutankhamun Exhibition and the Dinosaur Museum! 

Many of the shops and businesses have spent time decorating their windows with a Halloween theme! How beautiful some of them look!

Dorchester had a real glow about it on Saturday, even though the skies were grey, the cheerful atmosphere and the warmth could still be felt.

 Unfortunately Dorchester didn't win the football match, but I spoke to many of the away team's fans who were very complimentary about the town.

Friday, 17 October 2014

A bit too wet for ghosts.

I have seen the signs for the Dorchester Ghost walk advertised but have never done it, as I had always considered it a tourist attraction rather than an activity for a resident. However when I work as an ambassador for the town I often get asked to recommend different types of activities for our diverse range of visitors.
Last evening I had arranged to meet a group of friends from Weymouth who had booked the tour which runs weekly on a Thursday Evening at 8pm. I thought that by experiencing the walk I would be able to speak more knowledgeably about it.

I arrived in good time in torrential rain, and thought that perhaps the walk would be cancelled. We met Chris, our guide, and our group of 20 or so gathered in the Kings Arms Hotel where the walk began.

Chris collected our £6 fee in his hat, he was a jovial character and assessed the age range of the group,  to ensure his jokes were suitable!

I apologise for the lack of photographs in this post, but getting an electronic device out in the heavy rain was difficult. The rain however did not affect Chris's enthusiasum for his ghostly tales!

We sheltered in various covered places in the town, whilst Chris recounted tales 
which were a blend of historical facts and fiction.

I did not complete the walk, I left the group at the Roman Town House. My friends however, carried on to the prison. Dorchester Prison is now closed and is a potential site for redevelopment in the town.

Chris took the rest of the group into the disused prison. The security guards then appeared with torches and escorted them off the premises! My friends were all very amused!

I have learnt where the most haunted house in Dorchester is, but I can't tell you as you might want to do the walk yourself? Can I recommend though that you pick a drier evening!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Passion in Dorchester

I went to see the premiere performance of 'Passion' yesterday evening which was presented by the AsOne Theatre Company and was held at the Corn Exchange. I was keen to see the show as I met Jane McKell the artistic director many years ago when I was in a show with her in Weymouth.

The play was based on true stories of soldiers and their families and cleverly combined World War 1 memories with more recent conflicts.

I enjoyed the music that was performed in the play, which was gently woven in to the dialogue.

The play is now on tour and the dates of the future performances are listed on the AsOne Theatre Company web site.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Duke's progress

Living close to a developing area I am able to see the progress of Dorchester's Brewery Square area. Twice this week I have been approached by groups of students from local schools who are studying the area for geography projects. Both groups were interested in finding out about what effect the development is having on the town.
During the past few weeks, work has started on the former Pullman Court, which is a large building next to the development. This has been purchased by Dukes Auctioneers. 

The building has been empty for several years and is now going to be transformed into modern new auction rooms and an art gallery. 
Having seen the transformation of the Brewhouse & Kitchen this year, it is exciting to see another business flourish.

The Duke family history is extensive and the original auctioneering business was formed for agricultural and livestock sales.
The business link with Henry Duke and Son is now only the name and there is no family connection to the current business. 

The current salesroom is opposite Carluccio's and Vivo Lounge. The new auction house is due to open in 2015.