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Dorset Life in WIMBORNE 2013 contents
Curiosities of Wimborne: a photo essay A pictorial look at some of the town's curiosities.......5 Why I love Wimborne What makes the area a great place to live and work...13 Wimborne attractions and events Where to go and what to see in and around the town.21 An icon of Wimborne The beech avenue at Badbury Rings..................….26
with an interest in Dorset.
A model attraction There is a corner of Wimborne that is forever 1951....29
Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine is available
The Priest's House grows The Hilda Coles learning centre a year on................33
from supermarkets and all good newsagents in Wimborne and throughout Dorset.
Wimborne lives: Glyn Bagley Two decades of building in and around Wimborne....39 Wimborne's property scene How is Wimborne Minster's property market faring?..43
From the Dorset Life archive Roger Lane on photographing Canford School..........47
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Dorset Life in Wimborne is published by The Dorset Magazine Ltd, 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham BH20 4DY. Tel 01929 551264, www.dorsetlife.co.uk @dorsetlifemag www.dorsetlife.co.uk/social Publisher: Lisa Richards Editor: Joël Lacey Advertisement Sales Director: David Silk (01305 836440) Business Development Manager: Julie Cullen (01258 459090) Editorial design: Mark Fudge (www.fudgiedesign.co.uk) Cover image: Kingston Lacy by David Bailey Centre-spread image: Beech avenue at Badbury Rings by Bradley Ellement Advertisement design: Hierographics (www.hierographics.co.uk) Advertisement administration: Julie Staniland Printing: Pensord, Blackwell. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without permission.
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Curiosities of Wimborne Joël Lacey finds that there is a wealth of historical artefacts available to the keen-eyed pedestrian in Wimborne Right Much of the Minster dates from different periods, and this stair turret, on the west wall of the north transept, is thought to date from Saxon times. It would have led to different prayer rooms within an original Saxon nunnery, before the whole building was rebuilt (not for the last time) in Norman times. The stonework (the often Saxon random-coursed structure) contrasts with that of the more formal and square-edged Norman stonework of the tower beyond Below The original figure, thought to have been a member of a religious order, which rang the quarter-hour at the minster, was reborn as the now-familiar Grenadier Quarterjack for patriotic reasons during the Napoleonic era. This facsimile has the Quarterjack in all its 19th-century military glory. Bottom right In the 11th and 12th centuries, many hospitals for lepers were founded and then converted to other uses as the disease died down. The Chapel of St Margaret and St Anthony was one such hospital and was mentioned in 1245 in a papal bull from Pope Innocent IV. On 15 June 1276, in the patent rolls of Edward I, the hospital was granted the King’s protection and a ‘clause rogamus’ – a licence to beg – issued for three years to ‘the brethren of the of the House of St Margaret the Virgin and St Anthony, Wymbourneminster.’ On 30 April 1885, the chapel was re-opened after falling into decay.
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Curiosities of Wimborne
Above Through an arch flanked by the Town Hall is the 2002 Jubilee Garden, laid out as a Physicke Garden. It is possibly the only place in the world where one is likely to be caused to utter the words 'periwinkle' and 'liquorice' in the same sentence. Overlooking the garden is the gazebo, from where this picture was taken, which was refurbished by Derek Jarman's favourite teacher, Robin Noscoe. Left The 1849 incarnation of the Queen Elizabeth I Free Grammar School; the school, founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort (see page 9) was founded in 1497 and chartered as a school in 1563 Below Fire agents were responsible for selling insurance, which allowed for attendance of the fire brigade should the policy-holder’s property be on fire. Before fire brigades, fire-fighters would only attend the fires of those who were insured, and prominently displayed their insurance status by means of a fire-mark (like this one from the Cornmarket). Insurance documents held at the Priest’s House Museum list various policyholders from the mid-18th century. Fire marks became obsolete once house numbers were commonplace – and thus houses could be more readily identified from records – and more importantly, as the brigades moved out of the private sector to being a public emergency service.
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Curiosities of Wimborne
Above The arrows on the bridge over the River Allen are a local oddity. Roger Guttridge posits that they commemorate a person involved in its building, although whether it is Mr Fletcher, Bowman or indeed Uparrow is lost to modern records Right Miss Orman’s (or Ormond’s) Tree – named for one of the teachers at the National School – guards the car park betwixt Minster and Model Town Below Stained glass window memorialising John Beaufort and Margaret Beauchamp, parents of Margaret Beaufort (recently reimagined by Philippa Gregory in The Red Queen), the mother of Henry VII
Curiosities of Wimborne
Above Pevsner and Newman's guide, The Buildings of England: Dorset is quite taken with the organ in the south transept of Wimborne Minster, stating of the J W Walker and Sons instrument, which was installed in 1965: 'The sound comes only partly through the pipes. Above there is a display of gilded trumpets sticking out, and they convey the sound too â€“ a delightful idea.' Left Some things are small, some things are far away; these figures are smallâ€Ś the buildings are both small and far away. At the entrance to the Model Town (see page 29 for longer feature) is a collection of figures created by pupils at Canford School for the Model Town's golden jubilee Below Once the busiest station in Dorset, there is virtually nothing left now to show that Wimborne Station ever existed. The Dorset railway system had 170 miles of track and 55 stations at its peak. Up to 57 services a day stopped at Wimborne Station and a passenger could leave in any one of five directions from there. The station opened in June 1847 and the last train (an engine and car to clear the railway yard) ran in May 1977. If you walk to the end of Station Road, there is at least some remaining evidence of its existence: there is a commemerative plaque and opposite that, on the small remaining section of embankment, iron rodding that used to control the signalling lurks in the undergrowth.
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Above The Minster itself is one of many reasons why people love to live and work in Wimborne
There are many reasons why residents, workers and visitors love Wimborne Minster; we asked a cross-section of local people what it is which attracted them here and what keeps them here. Julia Boughton, lives and works in Wimborne Iâ€™ve lived in Wimborne all my life and it's a really lovely townâ€Ś although to be fair I've not really got anything to compare it with as I've never felt the need to live anywhere else. I was born five miles away, went to school here, grew up here and got married here. The shop [Square Records] has been going since 1974 and we know most of our customers really well as there is a lot of repeat business. We've been from vinyl to CD to download and there's been a real resurgence in vinyl again with the local young music buyers, who are really starting to engage again with vinyl.
Michelle Wright, resident We moved here six years ago and it's the best thing that we've ever done. There's such a wonderful community feeling here. It's been great for the children as it's so tranquil here.
Stepping towards a greener futureâ€¦
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My Wimborne Darren Lovell, lives and works locally I have lived here in Wimborne my whole life (thirty years) and what I love about the town is the fact that the people here are so friendly, and so helpful. If you ever need help with something, you'll always know someone who knows someone who has got the thing that you need to get anything done. It's a great place to live.
Peter Glancy & John Hare-Brown, Wimborne in Bloom PG: Ironically, one of the main reasons for my coming here thirty years ago was because there was a cricket field in the middle of townâ€Ś I just liked the idea of it being there, but times move on and it's been really nicely changed. I really think Wimborne has held its own, despite the recession. J H-B: we try our best to help to keep the town and its streets clean and tidy and I think that helps to reinforce the fact that Wimborne is a very welcoming place for visitors. As well as being a really friendly town, the access is also very good. There are car parks all around the town and, once you get into the centre, it's all on the flat, which isn't the case in many places. The car parks are also very good value compared to other towns in the area. After winning Best Small Town in the Britain in Bloom competition, the pressure is really on to try to maintain that standard, and when you go to other towns, you're always looking around to see what they are like. PG: The other day we had someone ask us if we'd go up to Winchester and spruce that up, after they'd been around Wimborne and seen what it was like here.
Patsy Glazier, resident You could just say that Wimborne is an excelllent place to go shopping: we've got our own fishmonger's, butchers', bread and greengrocer's shops, as well as lots of independent boutiques, but there is more to the town than that, everybody in all the shops, and in the town at large, is very friendly. Peter Watkins, resident We've lived here for 37 years. I moved here with work and it was a choice between living here or in Ferndown. I'm really glad I chose here. My children went to local schools here (St Michael's and QE) and there's a really nice atmosphere about the town. The people are pretty responsible too â€“ there's not many 'rowdies' in town â€“ and there's always something to do.
My Wimborne Sharon and Rich Boden, local residents We moved here from Manchester eight years ago to be close to family and it's a safe, nice place to be. We've now got ourselves an allotment at the cemetery (not on consecrated ground!) and we were even able to do an allotment course at Kingston Lacy, which was really useful.
Gill Branson, Wimborne shop owner Wimborne is an old-fashioned town, and I'd always wanted to run an old-fashioned shop. I've lived here since the mid-1980s and at one point there there were several sweet shops and then the town lost them all, so I decided to open one. The town has a lovely mix of high street and independent shops and, although the town is based around the Minster and the Square, there are lots of side streets with really interesting little shops on.
Maggie Brennan, lives locally I like it here in Wimborne because the people are friendly and because of all the historic buildings. Then there are all the wonderful independent shops and the fact that Wimborne is close to a number of big towns and has got easy access by road to a wide range of places. I absolutely love the Tivoli and there's always something going onâ€Ś and then there's our fabulous local environment.
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Fine dining in Wimborne... NUMBER 9 restaurant has held two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence since opening. The team take pride in producing the most delicious food, you can choose from the lunch or A la Carte menus and there is a lighter pre-theatre menu served from 6pm. All dishes, where possible, use local and fresh produce evolving with the seasons. Number 9 has also recently opened three boutique B&B rooms, sponsored by Farrow & Ball, above the restaurant.
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Visit Wimborne Minster a town for all reasons - a unique destination The historic market town of Wimborne Minster: an enticing blend of old and new
music, ﬂower and antique shops, as well as all those handy food, hardware and everyday stores.
Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Wimborne’s setting on the River Allen and the historic architecture of the Minster Church of St Cuthburga.
Enjoy a relaxing lunch, a tempting afternoon tea, or a delicious evening meal in one of a range of places to eat including cafés, pubs and restaurants.
Shop in Wimborne’s high-quality modern stores and charming independent boutiques. The colourful Town Square and attractive streets offer a diverse mix of clothing, furnishings, gifts, jewellery, crafts, books,
There are lots of places to visit in this unique town: the Tivoli Theatre, the famous Model Town, the Walford Mill craft centre, and the Priest's House Museum, to name just a few.
'We did it!' For the ﬁrst time in the 20-year history of Wimborne in Bloom, the town achieved the top spot by winning the RHS National Small Town Title with a Gold Medal Award in the 2012 Britain in Bloom Competition. Now, in the 21st year, we have to work even harder to maintain the very high standards achieved.
What's going on in Wimborne this year The Romans are Coming 22nd-23rd June Join members of Legio Secvndo Avgvsta, one of Europe’s most prominent Roman re-enactment groups on Willow Walk & The Square. Entry is FREE, with talks taking place at the Priest’s House Museum. Sting in the Tale August As part of this festival of stories in August, new escorted story telling walks around the town commence on the 25th July and continue on various days throughout August. Children's Fun Weekend 24th-25th August A weekend of children’s activities and workshops both on the Square and in Willow Walk. Entry is FREE. Festival of Choirs 28th September A new festival for Wimborne featuring performances by choirs in the town. Entry is FREE, although a collection will be made for a local charity.
Wimborne Food Week October A foodie week in Wimborne offering demonstrations and workshops, a food market, and lots of involvement from the shops and places to eat in the town. Literary Festival November A variety of venues in Wimborne will be hosting a broad range of authors and illustrators. Diwali Festival 2nd November Wimborne is proud to announce for its second year a Diwali Festival celebration. Come and try new foods and see the fantastic Diwali music and dance displays. Winter Wonderland Throughout December the town celebrates Christmas with a theme to delight all the family.
For more information on events taking place in Wimborne please visit the Tourist Information Centre or go to www.wimborneminster.net This advertisement is published by Wimborne BID Ltd, a Business Improvement District making Wimborne great!
Box OfďŹ ce 01202 885566
20 June 7.30pm American folk legend JUDY COLLINS + support Tickets ÂŁ22.00
6 July 7.30pm MONEY FOR NOTHING An appreciation of the music of Dire Straits Tickets ÂŁ15.00
21 June 7.30pm JULIA FORDHAM Singer songwriter Tickets ÂŁ18.50
12 July 7.30pm MASTERS OF THE HOUSE sing The Musicals Tickets ÂŁ17.00
22 June 7.30pm DENNIS LOCORRIERE so much more than Dr Hook Tickets ÂŁ20.00 25-29 June 7.30pm Matinee Sat 29 2.30pm Wimborne Musical Theatre ANYTHING GOES Tickets ÂŁ15 (ÂŁ13 concs, 25th & matinee only) 1 in 10 free 2 July 7.30pm Bristol Old Vic Theatre School MOONFLEET Tickets ÂŁ13.50 (under 16 & over 60 ÂŁ12.00)
13 July 7.00pm ANDRE RIEU'S 2013 MAASTRICHT CONCERT Via satellite Tickets ÂŁ15.00 (ÂŁ13.50 concs) 18-20 July 7.30pm (Mat 20 July 2.30pm) Churchill Productions present QUARTET A stage version of the popular ďŹ lm Tickets ÂŁ10.00 (Mat ÂŁ8.00)
5 July 7.30pm PETER HOWARTH - Unplugged with special guest Michael Armstrong Tickets ÂŁ15.00
26 July 7.30pm THE UPBEAT BEATLES The nearest you'll ever get to the real thing! Tickets ÂŁ17.50 27 July 7.30pm JUKEBOX & BOBBYSOX sounds of the 50's & 60's Tickets ÂŁ16.50
West Borough Wimborne
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Programme subject to change â€“ please conďŹ rm dates with the Box OfďŹ ce
Support YOUR local Theatre www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk
Number 9's new shop, opposite the Minster Green, offers the ďŹ nest produce including:
ÂŻAward Winning Long Crichel Organic bread ÂŻFrench Patisserie ÂŻLocal cheese and ham The CafĂŠ, on two ďŹ‚oors, offers breakfast, light lunches, Tapas evenings, and cream teas on vintage crockery - combine it with a glass of champagne for the ultimate weekend winddown! Situated opposite the historic Wimborne Minster on Cook Row it is not to be missed. Tel: 01202 887765 Facebook: Number 9 www.number9wimborne.co.uk
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Where to go and what to see Events and attractions in and around Wimborne Wildlife in the Garden Wimborne Model Town Having opened for its first season 61 years ago Wimborne may forever be stuck in the 1950s in as far as its Model Town is concerned, but the thinking behind the attraction is decidedly 21st century. Keen to celebrate its diamond jubilee last year with a new project, the trustees of the Wimborne Model Town charity set about commissioning a sensory garden. With the success of improved access features, the Model Town has found itself playing host to increasing numbers of less able and groups of severely disabled visitors so it was decided to re-landscape an underdeveloped section of the grounds to provide a sensory garden to complement the existing facilities. The project is being led by long term Model Town stalwart Alan Dean supported by a team of volunteers with design input from multiple Chelsea gold winner, Neil Lucas, of Knoll Gardens. The original plans for a 1:10 scale model of Wimborne Minster came to fruition in the early 1950s after a set of lifelike concrete model buildings were created for a detailed survey of the town. So there’s a butchers, an ironmongers, a bakery and a fishmongers, a Hornby model railway and not forgetting the interior of the Minster itself with organ music playing. You can even hear toilets flushing in the public convenience. Until 3 November, 10.00 Wimborne Model Town, 01202 881924, www.wimborne-modeltown.com
Knoll Gardens enjoys a well-earned reputation for its naturalistic gardening style and this summer a series of wildlife-themed events will make the most of the many environmental benefits accrued by that approach to planting. Wildlife in the Garden started with a dawn chorus gathering in May, but goes on to include garden tours, evening nature walks and night-time bat spotting in June with an invitation to stroll on the nearby common in search of the elusive nightjar before returning to Knoll Gardens at 9pm to observe the antics of the bats. The July and August events are suited to those who prefer their wildlife by day with butterfly, dragonfly/damselfly walks scheduled to take place on both days – a Clouded Yellow is pictured here. The events are organised by the Knoll Gardens Foundation (KGF) in partnership with wildlife charities including the RSPB, Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Dorset Bat Group and dragonfly and butterfly expert Keith Powrie. KGF is a charity that uses its research and education programmes to promote the sustainable gardening practices used in the garden to help create wildlife-friendly gardens. 15 June, 20 July, 2 August 11.00, 2.00 (June 9.00) Knoll Gardens, Wimborne, 01202 873931, knollgardensfoundation.org
Priest's House exhibitions Chien Wei Chang Silversmith Chien Wei Chang presents Don’t Look Back! I Told You So, a thought provoking collection of work that draws inspiration from the consequences of his decision to leave his native Taiwan in 2000 and start a new life in a foreign country. After several years working in the collectables market of UK contemporary crafts, he began to establish himself as a metal artist and last year won a bursary to take part in The Shape of Things, a national craft initiative to support culturally diverse artists to make and show significant new work. Pictured here is Chien Wei’s Bamboo & Cutting Tools. Until 21 July, 10.00 (Sun 11.00) Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, 01202 841400, www.walfordmillcrafts.co.uk
The Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne has two exhibitions for 2013. The Games We Used to Play showcases more of the childhood collection the museum has developed over the years, including historic toys and games. It also explores how we learn through play and how new materials and technology have transformed toys and games. Suits You Sir looks at the changing face of menswear. Up until the 1950s there were strict rules as to when, where and what to wear on any given occasion – even during hot weather a man was expected to wear his jacket in the presence of a lady and had to politely ask if he could remove it. The displays feature a gentleman’s embroidered velvet waistcoat (c1900) and a threepiece suit with flared trousers (1970s). Until 31 July, 10.00 (not Sun) Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne, 01202 882533, www.priest-house.co.uk
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PRIESTâ€™S HOUSE museum & garden
Annu pass n al availa ow ble
Discover our stunning Roman wall paintings, the fascinating childhood gallery and a unique Victorian Valentine card collection. Explore period rooms from a 17th century hall to the working Victorian kitchen. Wander through a beautiful and peaceful walled garden. Our gift shop and tearoom complete any visit. Open 29 March to 2 November Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4.30pm Visit our website for exhibitions and events
www.priest-house.co.uk 23-27 High Street, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1HR
Tel: 01202 882533
(-S40 -/+4- 40- +O 10am-5pm Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August St Giles Park, Wimborne St Giles, Dorset BH21 5ND Chilli Plants, Seeds and Sauces Expert Talks on Growing Chillies Cooking Demonstrations with Chillies Chilli Eating Competition Best Chilli Sauce & Plant Competitions Beers and Ciders Refreshments and Market Stalls Good Music, Great Food Fun for all the family!
OPEN until the end of September, weekends, public holidays & school Holidays, from 11am to 5pm.
Rowing Boats for Hire
Special bookings by arrangement
Discount tickets available online until noon, 29 July
The Annual Race Day is on Sunday, July 14th from 2-5pm Family Fun Day is on Sunday, August 25th from 2-5pm
For further information please visit our website on www.dream-boats.org.uk Vision Wimborne Charity No:1081678
Where to go and what to see Kingston Lacy
Wimborne Choral Society Wimborne Choral Society’s summer concert is a celebration of the great heritage of English church music. With pieces drawn from throughout the ages, the programme includes works by Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Samuel Sebastian Wesley, John Stainer, Charles Stanford and Edward Bairstow, as well as a concluding excerpt from the Society’s own conductor Christopher Dowie’s cantata, From Darkness to Light. Sam Hanson will accompany the choir on the organ. 22 June, 7.30 Wimborne Minster, 01202 603569, www.wimbornechoralsociety.org.uk
Judy Collins In a career spanning more than 50 years, Judy Collins has consistently brought her own distinctive style to some fine songs. Best known for her international hit version of Stephen Sondheim’s Send In the Clowns from the musical A Little Night Music, it was the songs of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival, that first brought her to public acclaim. She released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, in 1961 at the age of 22 and went on to interpret the songs of fellow artists, most notably the social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton, as well as help bring then new singer-songwriters to a wider audience including poet/ musician Leonard Cohen and writer-musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. 20 June, 7.30 Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, 01202 885566, www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk
Not only is the beautifully preserved late-17th-century Italianate palace at Kingston Lacy a must-see for anyone interested in architecture, but its art collection is one of the finest in the country and includes important works by Ruben, Van Dyke, Titian and Brueghel, as well as the largest private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the country. Outside the grounds are perfect for just wandering, or for the more dedicated horticulturist there are more than 35 varieties of Victorian fernery to admire, a rose garden, mixed herbaceous borders and vast formal lawns. The Japanese garden has been restored to Henrietta Bankes' creation of 1910. The park is open all year round, but the 35 acres of formal gardens are perhaps best appreciated when open for the National Gardens Scheme in July. 6, 7 July, 10.30 Kingston Lacy, 01202 883402, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy/
Quartet Churchill Productions return the popular film Quartet to the Wimborne stage in July. The film is based on the play of the same name, which is set in a retirement home for opera singers called Beecham House. Lifelong friends Wilf (played by Justin Ellery) and Reggie (Peter Watson), together with former colleague Cissy (Barbara Arnold) are residents. Every year on Verdi’s birthday the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. When Jean Horton (Jan Wyld), a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times, also Reggie's ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of the former quartet moves into the home to everyone’s surprise, the plans for this years concert start to unravel. Churchill’s last production was Calendar Girls and raised £5,000 divided between three local cancer charities. 18, 19 July, 7.30 (20 July, 2.30) Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, 01202 885566, www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime Oscar Wilde’s comedy of skewed upper-class morality is played out in the historic setting of Deans Court. The story concerns the deliriously happy Lord Arthur Savile, a pillar of Victorian society on the verge of marriage to the lovely Sybil Merton. A chilling encounter with a clairvoyant called Podgers reveals Sir Arthur is destined to commit murder. He decides that he must commit this bloody deed before he marries and searches for the most convenient relative to sacrifice. Chaos duly ensues. 28-30 June, 7.30 (Sun 5.00) Deans Court, Wimborne, 01202 886116 (Wimborne TIC), www.wimbornedrama.co.uk
Strictly Come Tea Dancing For all the glitz and glamour of prime time television dance shows, there’s something reliable and reassuring about a good, oldfashioned afternoon tea dance. The Soggy Biscuit Dance Band have issued an all-welcome invite to the good folk of Wimborne to come
Dominic Kirwan One of Ireland's most popular recording artists, Kirwan’s repertoire covers a range of styles from country to pop, traditional Irish music to seasonal favourites. A major star in the best traditions of variety entertainment, he has shared the stage with some of the greatest names in music including Tammy Wynette, Don Williams and The Drifters. He began Irish dancing in his hometown of Omagh at the age of four, going on to competed in all manner of singing and dancing competitions at home and abroad. He formed his first group in 1979 and went solo in 1984, entering a host of talent shows including Opportunity Knocks. His breakthrough came in 1988, with his first record deal and early hits such as Noreen Bawn. 3 August, 7.30 Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, 01202 885566, www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk and enjoy dance tempo music from the ballroom to get the feet tapping. They say no experience is necessary and are keen to point out that tea and cake refreshments are available. 3 July, 2.30 Allendale Centre, Wimborne, 01202 887247, www.theallendale.org 23
Where to go and what to see Julia Fordham
Going Full Circle
Singer songwriter Julia Fordham has returned to the UK from Los Angeles to embark on her first full tour in more than 20 years. Having sold millions of records around the world, she has reunited with pianist/arranger/producer Grant Mitchell with whom she worked on early hits such as Happy Ever After, Where Does the Time Go? and I Thought It Was You. Her set will also feature fans’ favourites including Towerblock, Lock and Key, Girlfriend and (Love Moves) In Mysterious Ways. 21 June, 7.30 Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, 01202 885566, www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk
Exploring the power of the circle using unexpected techniques in a variety of mediums, this new exhibition features the work of several artists. Weaver Margo Selby combines hand-woven structures with industrial machinery to create her trademark threedimensional fabric constructions. Her work will be shown alongside that of Jane Blease, who creates sustainable lighting and interior products crafted from wood and reclaimed vintage plastics. Also showing are the handmade jewellery of Bev Bartlett and Jin Eui Kim’s distinctive ceramics such as the one pictured here. 27 July – 9 September, 10.00 (Sun 11.00) Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, 01202 841400, www.walfordmillcrafts.co.uk
The Great Dorset Chilli Festival The third annual Great Dorset Chilli Festival promises plenty of summer heat even if the weather fails to oblige. New for this year is a chilli con carne cook-off, open to pre-registered teams to battle it out for the Dorset title and a place at the national finals. A family day out for chilli enthusiasts and food lovers of all persuasions, the Festival attracts some of the country’s most respected chilli companies showcasing their plants, seeds and condiments; chutneys, hot sauces, chilli chocolate, relishes, pickles and oils. Chilli experts are on hand to field questions and, of course, the star of the show is the mind-blowingly fiery Dorset Naga, all the way from Weymouth and once recognised as the hottest chilli in the world. Of course, not everyone’s a chilli fan so there’s plenty also on offer from artisan bakers and producers of fresh herbs, nuts and seeds, garlic, Spanish charcuterie, homemade ginger beer and Dorset ice cream. Not to mention a host of other entertainment that last year included a classic Chinese Lion Dance, pictured here. 3, 4 August, daily St Giles House, Wimborne St Giles, 08450 974974, www.greatdorsetchillifestival.co.uk
Dreamboats Like many other outdoor attractions, Dreamboats are hoping for some warm sunny days this summer. The seven boats on the Stour are all spruced up and ready to go, the riverbank has been tidied up and the planned houses are already well on their way. The planned new playground near Dreamboats, as well as improvements to the facilities for the boats, should make the experience even better for those wishing to view the world from a boat. Both the Annual Race Day, 2.00-5.00 on 14 July, and the Family Fun Day, 2.00-5.00 on Sunday 25 August, are free to enter and there will be food and drink available and entertainment for all. 11.00-5.00 until 29 September at weekends, on bank holidays and during the school holidays. Dreamboats, end of Station Road, Wimborne, BH21 1QU www.dream-boats.org.uk
Summer Exhibition Held in the Church House, Wimborne Art Club’s summer exhibition features work produced in a variety of styles by the members. Pictured here is Quiet Moment by Bernie Lusher, which won Most Popular Picture at last year’s show. The Wimborne Art Club has 55 members who meet twice a month in St Catherine’s Church Hall, Wimborne for demonstrations, illustrated talks, workshops and critiques. The club also has a portraiture group. 18 July, 10.00 Church House, Wimborne Minster, www.wimborneartclub.org 24
Liquorice Clarinet Quartet Having met as members of the Bournemouth and District Concert Band, the Liquorice Clarinet Quartet started playing together in 1998. The players – Janet Cooke, Nick Hunt, Sue Evans and Sarah Abbott – were brought together by a shared passion for their instrument and dedicated to demonstrating the beauty and versatility of the clarinet, the Quartet has played a variety of venues and functions including hotels, universities, churches, charity functions, music festivals and wedding parties. The free concert in Wimborne Minster will feature a selection from their wide repertoire, which includes pieces as diverse as Stranger on the Shore, The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Pachelbel’s Canon, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and what the players are describing as ‘a big surprise’! 29 July, 12.30 Wimborne Minster, 01202 577012, www.liquoriceclarinets.co.uk
For details of our Special Events visit our website
www.wimborne-modeltown.com See in amazing detail the hundreds of buildings and shop window displays which re-create the historic market town of Wimborne Minster as it was in the 1950s. All Day Entrance: £5.50 Adults, £5 Seniors, £4.50 Child Value for money Season Ticket available Open Daily 10am – 5pm, 3rd April – 1st November
Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1DY
Tel: (01202) 881924
Reg. Charity 298116
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Why not come and see what you have been missing? Garden centre opening Monday to Saturday 9.00 - 5.00, Sundays and Bank Holidays 10.00 - 5.00
Cranborne Manor Garden Centre Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 5PP
Tea Room open from 9.00 - last orders for tea taken at 4.30
01725 517248 www.cranborne.co.uk
Manor Garden open Wednesdays only March to September
Frozen in time Wimborneâ€™s Model Town may be a snapshot of the fifties, but it still
Taking the time and trouble to give oneself a worm's eye view makes the Model Town seem that much more realisticâ€Ś although not, perhaps, the size of the tree towering over the Minster!
has an eye to the future June 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Wimborne's Model Town starting its move to its 'new' location, for it was in June 1988 that the first sod was cut on the present site. A lot more sods were cut as a metre of topsoil had to be removed from the 2/3-acre site before the painstaking task of reassembling the 300 models could begin. It would be another three years before the attraction opened once again to the public. That time period precisely mirrored the time it had taken to build the original Model Town: from 1949 when a limited company was formed, until it opened for the first time on 1 August 1952. It started life in a walled garden just off the Cornmarket, which opens the door of the delicious possibility that the new Model Town might show a representation of the old Model Town in its 1950s position at 1/100th scale to the town itself (the Model Town is at 1/10th scale). There are, however, no current plans for that to be built, though. That is not to say that there is nothing new going on at the site. On the day of our visit, discussions were taking place about the component parts of a new sensory garden (featuring plants that one can taste and smell, grasses from Knoll Gardens, to touch and hear, stones to feel and, in the fullness of time, a cowbell). The Model Town has long had more to it than meets the eye, though. There is the sound of the public loo flushing, the ringing of the telephone in
the telephone box, and the Quarterjack in the model Minster rings just after that of the main Minster, so keen-eared visitors can get a cue to be in position to hear it. Phase II of the sensory garden will really start to take shape from October this year during the Model Town's annual closure. This is also a time when the rest of the Model Town gets a spruce up. Lost windows are replaced (the injunction to look with
Looking from the Square up High Street to the Minster
Frozen in Time The view in through the Minster's West Tower window, showing just some of the 14,600 tiles which make up its floor
What would later become the Co-op and its car park looked rather different in the 1950s
one'e eyes, not one's fingers clearly is not always adhered to) and, amazingly, all the curtains in all the houses are replaced. This is not fashion gone mad, but a reflection of the fact that this is an outdoor attraction open to the elements, and current glazing standards are not required of 60+ year-old buildings. The maintenance of the garden is no mean feat; in the first place, the buildings were never meant to be disassembled. When originally built, they were individually cast concrete walls with wires poking out, which were woven together, then covered in cement to tie the buildings together. When one of them gets damaged, it is virtually impossible to repair it, let alone invisibly, as the concrete type, despite testing, has not been able to be identified. This individual casting included the hand detailing of every brick and tile, of which there are countless thousands, which perhaps explains why the town was not updated as things changed. Ironically, perhaps, it is precisely the fact that the Model Town has not changed with the times, whch now makes it such an interesting historical, as well as aesthetically pleasing, attraction. It contains, for example, the only Woolworths store you will see on a High Street in the country. There are other long-forgotten names, like MacFisheries â€“ the Lever Brothers owned wet-fish shops which ran from 1929-1979, as well as family stores from the Wimborne area, some of which have now disappeared, others which are still in the town, albeit many of them have moved from their 1950 locations and finally those which have, like the butchers on East Street, remained the same type of business. Ironically, perhaps, it is the pubs and banks which have changed least in the intervening 63 years. As to the Model Town as an organisation, it has a couple of employees, but is largely staffed by volunteers â€“ around twenty of them doing front of
house and catering activities during the summer, with another half-dozen or so involved with the gardening side of the Model Town. There are around a quarter of a mile of roads within the Model Town, and the volunteers must do an awful lot of miles as they wander round picking up bits of litter, replacing the packing which wind and rain have forced out from the window frames and generally keeping the attraction looking at its 1950s best. Visitor numbers have held up pretty well over the years, with around 22-25,000 visitors a year depending on the weather. By 1974, it was calculated that more than a million visitors had passed through the gates. The continuing popularity of the Model Town is based on the twin attractions which cross the generations. For the very young, it is a chance to feel large in a world where they normally feel small; for the older visitor, it is a chance to look not simply from a different physical perspective, but from a different chronological one too. In an age when more and more facilities caring for the elderly are trying to incorporate elements of times gone by to evoke deeply seated memories, in an attempt to mitigate the effects of dementia, it is perhaps surprising more people do not avail themselves of the facilities at the Model Town to, as it were, literally take a trip down memory lane. These are tricky times for any charitable foundation, and there is no doubt that there will, at some stage, come a time when the home-made houses and buildings will really start to feel and show the effects of the passage of time, but the level of enthusiasm of the volunteers, and the forward-looking nature of those involved in the running of the Model Town nonetheless augurs well for the future. Wimborne Model Town and Gardens is open 27 March to 3 November 2013, from 10.00-5.00 every day. Visit www.wimborne-modeltown.com for details. â€˘ If you have some free time and would like to help out at the Model Town call 01202 881924 and ask to speak to the Manager or Duty Manager, or email email@example.com
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Come and stay in one of our traditional Dorset Shepherdâ€™s huts
Eat, Drink, Stay The award winning 16th and 17th century stylish Inn at the heart of the village of Cranborne Dorset.
Warm and cosy, quiet and peaceful, with king-sized beds & ensuite bathrooms NEW SEASONAL MENUS AVAILABLE Quality Fresh Food â€˘ Real Ales â€˘ Fine Wines â€˘ Lunch & Dinner â€˘ Bar Snacks Function room available great for weddings & parties - no hire charge if food ordered
Traditional Wessex freehouse, friendly, with fabulous view of Horton Folly Tower Wigbeth, Horton, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 7JH Open daily 10am-11pm
;LS! c^^^KY\ZPSSHZPUUJV\R Eat hearty, gastro pub food Drink real ales orÂ wine from Â our hand picked wine list.
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Stay in one of our eight gorgeous en-suite rooms. Mikey the pub dog also welcomes dogs! The Inn at Cranborne, Cranborne, Wimborne, BH21 5PP 01725 551249 â€˘ www.theinnatcranborne.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
extensive range of organic products. Whole foods. Food Supplements & Special Remedies. Gluten Free. Wheat Free. Dairy Free. Specialist Diets. Natural Body Care.
Telephone: 01202 888989 Please visit our website for more information on special offers, postal services and local deliveries www.spillthebeanswimborne.co.uk 6A & 7 West Street Wimborne Dorset BH21 1JN
Established over 35 years
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The familiar frontage of the Priest's House Museum now hides more than just a 100m-long garden behind its restored Georgian frontage
The Priest’s House grows A year on from the opening of the Hilda Coles Learning Centre, how has Wimborne’s museum adapted? How do you improve a local museum? The answer would appear to be in the many implications of the word 'learning'. It is certainly what drove the Priest's House museum team when they planned and then built their latest addition – the Hilda Coles Open Learning Centre – a year ago. Named for the woman who owned the former ironmonger's, on whose premises the Wimborne Historical Society opened the small museum in 1962 (and by whom, on her death in 1987, the building was gifted to be the permanent home of the museum), the Open Learning Centre is an incredibly flexible space which combines all sorts of benefits for the Priest's House museum, not the least of which is that word learning again. The Priest's House is no Johnny-come-lately to the idea of a museum's role to be one of helping others to learn; the museum has been awarded the Heritage Education Trust's Sandford Award for Excellence for the work it has done so far. It probably doesn't hurt that the main building of the museum is an object lesson in architectual heritage.
Its roots lie in the 1500s, when the stone and flint heart of the building was started. The original 1 1/2 storey building was increased to 2 1/2 storey in the 17th century, which is also when the timber-framed south wing was added. As the town – and its merchants' fortunes – ebbed and flowed, so the Priest's House's fortunes changed. Converted at one point into four residences, it reverted to single ownership under the King family in the mid-1700s. Between 1872 and 1960, this was an ironmonger's shop, started by Hilda Coles's grandfather, but stocked a range of products including sporting goods and guns. Now the main museum building is split into around a dozen galleries and other spaces, including the reference library, with its astonishing range of local publications, Mrs King's Parlour (where a former resident of the Priest's House and Mercer can be seen with a local tradesman), the Childhood Gallery, Costume Gallery, Victorian Kitchen, Villages Gallery, Archaeology Gallery, 17th-century Hall, Stationer's Shop and, of course, the Ironmonger's Shop. Behind this though, where once stood a collection 33
The Priest’s House grows
The upstairs storage space within the Learning Centre has made the task of assembling and storing collections much easier
The existing building, as viewed here from the Hilda Coles Learning Centre, will now have more room for galleries
of sheds, is a spanking new building with a tea room, a series of flexible meeting and social spaces and an upstairs storage area which might, from a curatorial point of view at least, be the building's biggest, if not most obvious, asset. The new centre houses the museum's collections – a unique resource that is used to deliver lifelong learning and community engagement programmes. As well as ensuring that the collections are cared for in the right environment, the centre allows members of the community to take part in caring for the collections, to receive training and to develop new skills.
The timber-framed building, constructed by Wimborne builders Matrod Frampton, itself is big. With a build cost of between £550,000-600,000, this is no small undertaking. Yet, bizarrely, the garden somehow seems bigger, not smaller, for its presence. Ever eager to take advanatage of any opportunity for local learning, the museum's team (Curator Emma Ayling and Deputy Curator James Webb) managed to pluck some historical interest from the building process itself. The archaeological exploration which preceeded the build was just one of a series of community archaeological programmes, which some funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (which, with donations from townspeople, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Valentine Charitable Trust, the Talbot Village Trust, Dorset CC and East Dorset District Council, paid for the build) helped to provide. The dig was conducted by around 100 volunteers, with help from members of the East Dorset Archaeological Society (EDAS), and lasted for three months. 500 children from local schools came onto site at specified points to see history coming out of the ground. The three-stage process (digging, cleaning and recording) was both an end in itself as well as a learning experience for hundreds of local people. There can perhaps be no simpler or more powerful way to experience (nor indeed a greater metaphor for) the hands-on involvement in local history than literally getting one's hands dirty digging it up. From an educational resource point of view, this is the bread and butter of the Priest's House work – especially its Learning Officer Anne Brown. For a long time the museum has been involved in helping with history in Key Stages 1 & 2, but now the emphasis is broadening to life-long learning. As the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 approaches, a good deal of work will go into a project looking at the massive social impact of the town's men going off to fight in the war. This is just part of the ongoing four-part job of the museum when establishing or completing its collections: 1) To establish an object's connection to East Dorset 2) To find out and tell the story behind an object 3) To find and plug gaps in the existing collections and 4) To fill out the local and social history of people and places in and around Wimborne. This is a task made possible by the generous donation of time of 150 volunteers – the organisation and management of whom is almost a full-time job in itself. Many are involved in front-of-house duties, but there are also volunteers involved behind-the-scenes, which brings us back to the X-factor offered by the Open Learning Centre. With its modern rolling-rack storage, excellent temperature control and spaces for collections, the opportunities for study and for the learning of the requisite curatorial skills means that The Priest's House Museum is much more than an old-fashioned cabinet of curiosities; it is a place where local history comes alive through the posessions and stories of those who have lived and worked in East Dorset. And hopefully there will be the answer to one vital question which remains unresolved: why is the building called the Priest's House? • For contact details and information on current and forthcoming special exhibitions, please see page 21.
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Firm foundations Glyn Bagley has been a fixture in the Wimborne area for 20 years It is perhaps ironic that Glyn Bagley should end up living and working in Wimborne, rather than on the coast. Before he set up Glyn Bagley Building Contractors in 1993, he was a carpenter who had taken a five-year apprenticeship in boat-building. As well as his carpentry skills, Glyn has that other essential requirement of being a builder â€“ a healthy sense of humour. Luckily, therefore, he doesn't take it the wrong way when (in the context of his having been too busy as a self-employed man for twenty years to have had the opportunity to be a member of many organisations) it is put to him that this is evidence that he's 'not much of a joiner'. As well as his (unimpeachable) wood-working skills, his apprenticeship also taught him the value of an extended period of on-the-job training in the company of a master craftsman. It is a lesson he has been only too happy to pass on, as his company has had one or more apprentices on board at any given moment for much of the twenty-year history of the company. The training of apprentices, done in conjunction
Lynne and Glyn Bagley in front of the extension that he built
with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is enlightened self-interest. As Glyn puts it: 'If you don't help to train up the workforce of the future, you can't complain when there's no-one with the right skills around for your company when you need them!' It is a company which, with Lynne, his wife of 33 years, he set up in 1993, going 'back on the tools' for a year after he had been contracts manager for another building company. He recalls: 'We were just coming out of recession, we'd moved to a bigger house in Colehill in 1991 and we had three under-fives in the house.' It was an incredible gamble to set up on his own, but he was sensible and started small, with just one employee. Glyn himself was doing the driving for the first year and also did some of the on the job work. Back at home, Lynne ultimately became the administrative engine of the company â€“ dealing with all the paperwork which one clearly gets the impression is not Glyn's favourite part of the job. One day, when the accountant was looking at the mass of paperwork on the table he told Lynne and Glyn: 'this isn't a dining table company anymore is it?' So a separate office (again sympathetically designed) was created in the garden and this proved to be a healthy separation between work and home life. It may only be a short walk from the house, but this physical separation, combined with Glyn's determination that the weekend is the weekend, not just another couple of working days, means that the business has always been
This veranda is characteristic of the kind of period property work in which Glyn Bagley specialises
Another example of the kind of work on which Glyn thrives
a part of his life, but by no means all of his life. The company has grown and shrunk as the economy and the housing market in particular (see page 43 for more on Wimborne's property market) has had its fits and starts, but Glyn Bagley Building Contractors is now a pretty settled unit with seven permanent employees on the books and eight to ten 'subbies' being used as and when a job requires it. There is clearly, therefore, plenty of work out there within the twenty-mile radius of Wimborne that constitutes the area in which Glyn works. He still prepares all the quotes himself and always builds in a contingency into those quotes to ensure that whilst there are always surprises whenever building or renovation work is done, they should not cause nasty surprises for the customer when the unexpected happens. He is also punctilious about quoting for a job, so that all the materials are specified and the customer has a genuine idea about the cost of a job. This honesty – which to some degree must place him at a disadvantage when competing against vague and probably lower quotations – has stood him in good stead with his customers, many of whom are reurning customers. 'As one lady put it,' Glyn recalls,' yours wasn't the cheapest quote, but we know you and we know that you will do a good job.' It is also this kind of reputation that has led to his company having been employed to do work on local locations as sensitive as Wimborne Minster and the Priest's House museum. It may be said that cobblers are the worst shod, but there is no evidence at Bagley HQ that any less attention at all has been paid to the work on his own house and offices, than would have been devoted to a client's build, and the very sympathetic extension which he built onto his period home has matured and blended into his existing home very nicely. It has aged, in some ways, better perhaps than Glyn himself; one of the negatives about the kind of work in which he is involved is the wear and tear on the body,
Glyn on site in 1993, the first year of Glyn Bagley Building Contractors
and his squash playing days are over, after years of building-related abuse took toll on his knees, which he has now had replaced. Although Glyn has two sons and a daughter, all of whom went through the local schools at Colehill and then in Wimborne, there is little sign of any of them wishing to follow in the family footsteps; one son is in Australia, another working in London, while their daughter lives a little closer to home. Lynne and Glyn, though, betray no sign of any emotion other than pride when talking of their children and one senses again that, for the Bagleys, there are far more important things in life than work. Glyn says: 'We don't know what the future holds in store for us,' but he's not that worried about that either, as he adds 'I'm not looking to retire any time soon anyway.' Glyn's equanimity over his children's choices is not to say, however, that he takes anything other than pride in what he does and in the activities of those in his employ. His is an expression of excitement and determination when he speaks of the new houses he built last year, or when gently offering advice to one of his team – prefixed with: 'of course you'll know not to…' when it comes to monitoring the continuing progress of one of his current projects. Boat-building is an exacting craft, one which demands high degrees of accuracy and workmanship, and these values continue to direct Glyn's thinking on work – his company is a member of the National Federation of Builders (which, amongst other things, requires references from clients, professionals and accountants before one can join it). It is, though, dealing with people that Glyn Bagley most enjoys. After all, houses are just buildings without people… and it is homes that Glyn has always been keen to build, to restore and to revitalise.
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Wimborne Minster’s property scene How is the property market in Wimborne faring and how does it compare to elsewhere? The continuing economic stagnation, the ongoing
London ofﬁce talks about – the Wandsworth-Wimborne index. In 2005 the ratio between equivalent properties was 1:1.3 (you could buy 1.3 Wimborne properties for the price of an equivalent Wandsworth one). That ratio is now over the 2.0 mark. We expect that this will encourage people to come to Wimborne. Following last year’s budget, the sale of properties over £2 million slowed as purchasers seemed reluctant to pay 7% stamp duty. A year on, and people are used to this high level of stamp duty and consequently the sale of properties over £2 million has picked up.' May Palmer, Managing Director of Wimborne-based Harry J Palmer Ltd, deﬁnes the main problem as being the acquisition of land suitable for development, saying: 'East Dorset has a low number of brownﬁeld sites (previously developed land), when compared to the neighbouring districts of Poole and Bournemouth; brownﬁeld sites offer unique redevelopment
The selling prospects of houses like this in East Borough, priced at £897,500, have not been affected by stamp duty changes on more expensive properties
squeeze on incomes and the difﬁculty in obtaining a mortgage, or harder yet, a remortgage, have clearly had an impact on the property market, but just how easy is it to buy, let, build or sell property in and around Wimborne? We asked experts from around the area to interpret the current property situation. 'There are such good local amenities, with wonderful countryside on your doorstep and the coast within easy reach,’ says Peter Lane of Savills, ‘not to mention the signiﬁcant draw of the wonderful schools (both independent and state schools) around Wimborne, that if properties are sensibly priced, they will sell.’ He added that ‘most of our properties are between £400,000 and £2 million and as long as the price is right at the outset, there is demand out there and what one wants from the vendor’s point of view is a little competition. We have an index that the Savills
The Wimborne property scene describes the demand for properties in the lettings market as 'buoyant'. He adds that: 'People are ﬁnding it harder to get a mortgage or to ﬁnd the deposit required and interest rate rises have increased mortgage costs. The long-term trend is moving away from buying property in favour of rental. 'The main issue in Wimborne at present is a shortage of quality properties to meet this demand, particularly for two- and three-bedroom properties. Therein lies an investment opportunity for buy-to-let investors. There is a lot of property available and it is a buyers' market so prices can be negotiated. The other good news for prospective investors is that the buy-to-let mortgage market is easing with more products becoming available from lenders, interest rates coming down and equity-to-loan ratios improving. Although the changed ﬁnancial conditions have beneﬁtted the rental market, they have also had a negative impact. The stricter mortgage conditions compared to two year ago have resulted in some landlords selling their properties, in particular amateur buy-to-let landlords who entered the market as a short-term investment on the back of cheap 100% mortgages which has taken capacity out of the market.’ Kari Ridout of Woodhouse Property Agents conﬁrms this trend: 'There's a shortage of family properties, especially three-bedroom properties, added to which, Wimborne is a very sought after area, which is why rentals have held ﬁrm and properties are going within 1-2 weeks of being listed.' Glyn Bagley Building Contractirs Ltd
Property owners are turning to renovation and extension, rather than moving
opportunities and present a far more favourable development option to local authorities than encroachment into the green belt, where development is severely restricted. The other shift in new-build development terms is that, with new regulations, planners are looking for an ever-greater density of development – more, smaller houses per plot – in order to permit more affordable homes to be built. We are consequently building much more affordable homes and individual home developments now than was once the case.’ Glyn Bagley of Glyn Bagley Building Contractors Ltd reports a trend of a different kind. ‘We’re quite busy at the moment and I think that this is because people with money are spending it on renovations and extensions. These will ultimately add value to their homes and make them more suitable to stay in, rather than having to move. It’s much more attractive now as clients with savings are getting little interest on their investments. Although we’re ﬁnding the renovation and extension market quite buoyant, the new-build sector is pretty stagnant. The reason for this is the availability of land and the fact that planning is taking quite a bit longer – although there seem to be a few relaxations in planning restrictions and policy, which will hopefully make planning easier. There is a high demand for starter homes, but there is insufﬁcient land available – unless you go into the green belt – to service these needs.' Barrie George, Managing Director of Dorset Lettings,
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Photographing Canford School
The main school building viewed from the south, with wisteria adorning the balustrade
Roger Lane on a corner of Dorset for which he has had a lifelong affection Since my early childhood I have been aware of Canford School and its landscape. My parents’ house overlooked the fields of Little Canford and the school buildings on the banks of the Stour were always clearly visible from my bedroom window. I was christened in Canford church, nestling within the school grounds, and for more than forty years my office window overlooked the River Stour, where the cries of the Canford School rowing coach and the splashing of their oars intermingled with the sounds of everyday business activity. One Sunday morning in winter I decided to walk across the fields in search of landscape images after a rare fall of light snow. For some weeks there had been repairs to one of the main roof sections of the school and it had been clothed in a green tarpaulin, but on
this occasion the light fall of snow had disguised the temporary roof cover and made it possible to photograph the school in the wintry landscape without intrusion. At this time I had been submitting a number of my photographs to Dorset Life and the ‘Canford School in Winter’ shot was reproduced in one of the winter issues. Since the publication of that first image, the school has invited me to photograph the magnificent parkland landscape and buildings throughout the seasons. These images have been used in commemorative books, magazines, brochures, cards and calendars. It has been both an interesting and a satisfying project. However, with my increasing familiarity with Canford’s landscape and every nook and cranny of the estate, it has become an ever-increasing challenge to obtain a different view. In this respect I can only rely 47
Top The shadows of an autumn morning in the avenue of trees beside Higher Park rugby field Above Afternoon cricket on Mountjoy with the splendid backdrop of the school and Montacute House Left Salisbury House enjoys a splendid setting alongside the mill pond and the River Stour Right The entrance archway is reflected in the still waters of the mill pond
on varying times of day, lighting and weather to provide a more striking or varied image than the scene depicted last year or even the year before. As with any form of landscape photography, there have been moments of frustration. With such an historic building there is always a constant need to maintain its condition. This has led to the occasional crane jib, scaffolding and red plastic safety netting to contend
with, not to mention the odd errant, brightly coloured towel being hung out to dry from a dormitory window! The stone fabric of the school has a warm and slightly golden finish which in early morning winter light is most attractive, emphasising its architectural features and allowing the school to stand proudly in its parkland setting. The school was completed in the 19th century by Sir John Barry, the architect of the Houses 49
Photographing Canford School
Above The magnificent façade of the school under a threatening autumn sky Right Autumn beside the Stour weir Bottom Canford School in winter, photographed across the meadows from Little Canford. This was the original landscape image that created the opportunity to photograph the school and its grounds.
of Parliament, and there are certain styles and features which are reminiscent of this London landmark. It was designed as a residence for Sir John Guest, whose family were major landowners in the area, their estate encompassing much of the heathland between Poole and Wimborne and stretching as far as the coastal chines. There was in fact a manor house here in more ancient times; Domesday records Canford as ‘Cheneford’ with a manor house and two mills owned by Edward of Salisbury in the reign of Edward the Confessor. Today, traces of the manor can be found only in the original kitchen named ‘John of Gaunt’s Kitchen’. I have found it a privilege to have been allowed to record the landscape of Canford. It has been a most impressive yet friendly environment to photograph. Having lived and worked within sight of Canford for so many years, it remains a landscape for which I have a strong affinity and an institution for which I have a high regard. 50
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