1895 Wheeling and dealing ……..

The governments advice for people to get on their bikes and look for work is not a new sentiment. Even during the Victorian period people moved freely around the country following the work, such was the story of one northern family. In the 1860’s Enoch and Mary Ann Birkin had been living in their local…

1891; Wyke Regis church receives its new bells

There is a sound you don’t hear very often these days, the ringing of church bells. I loved to hear them. At one time their merry peel would call villagers to worship on Sundays, ring out joyfully at wedding ceremonies, or the solemn death knell  rung to mourn a person passing. In the Victorian era…

1861; Tightrope walker at Belfield Park, Weymouth.

In the Victorian era, there was actually a little known park in Weymouth. It was part of the grand Belfield estate, a 13 acre site, mainly parkland that surrounded a magnificent house that was built approx 1780’s for the Buxton family. In the 1860’s part of this estate was opened for public use, complete with…

1863; Royal Wedding celebrations at Osmington village.

On the 10th March 1863, Prince Albert Edward, otherwise know as Bertie married the pretty young Danish Princess Alexandra. Bertie was the eldest son of Victoria and Albert and up till then had a certain reputation for enjoying the highlife and scandalous dalliances, much to his parents disgrace. The couple were married in St George’s…

1838; Shipwreck at Osmington, smugglers and coastguard men.

Life at sea has always been hazardous, natures fickle whims, and mans unpredictability has always caused dramas and deaths. For those whose livelihoods depended on the sea, and those who relied on the open water as their means of transport, they literally took their life in their hands every time they entered a boat. Nowadays…

1873; Weymouth, violence in the classroom.

For children, life at school can be pretty rough and tough. Even during the Victorian period, with their propensity for strict discipline, the class room wasn’t always the safest place to be. In December of 1879, at the Borough petty sessions a case was brought before the three  officials of the court, Mr W Talbot,…

1834; Weymouth’s Grand Park.

Isn’t it odd, you grow up somewhere, and the place names of streets, areas, and houses just trip off the tongue. You’ve always called them that, never known them as anything different. But have you ever stopped and wondered why they were so named in the first place? I was born in Weymouth more than…

1888; Chesil swallows up another wreck.

Chesil beach in Dorset is  world renown. It is part of the World Heritage Jurassic coastline. A more stunning place for scenery is hard to find…but it does have it’s dark side, as anyone who’s witnessed it in storms will realise. Many a ship has fallen foul of the weather and tides here, the sea…

1867; Devastating explosion at Weymouth saw mills.

One Tuesday morning in March of 1867, the men made their way to work at the business premises of 37-year-old William Sketchley. He ran a successful steam saw mill business in the Park district of Weymouth. William was not a native of the town, he had moved his family and business here from the London…

1886; Guy Fawkes night on Portland leads to riots!

The forbidding Verne citadel stands atop of Portland, built originally as part of Lord Palmerston’s coastal defences. Nowadays it hold prisoners serving their sentence for crimes to the community, but in the Victorian era it contained the might  of the military. The soldier’s billeted within those strong walls came and went, some companies had better…