1824; Weymouth, the Great Storm

This being the morning before zero hour…I thought that this might well be a good time to write about the Great Storm of 1824 that hit the country. Those living on the South coast were worst hit. This is a tale of a storm that was so severe and so destructive that it has gone…

1906; The Portland boy buccaneers.

Slightly out of the Victorian era I know, but only just. This story caught my eye as it summed up the excitement and invincibility of childhood, feelings of the exciting escapades of the Famous Five, even though the lads involved were more teenagers, and the story had it’s slightly dark side. In the April of…

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…

Weymouth 1873; Rub a dub dub, 3 men (not) in a tub….

Well, o.k. maybe the title is a bit lighthearted for such a tragedy, but when I read that it allegedly concerned 3 butchers assistants that the misfortune had befallen, a visual image immediately flashed in my mind of the popular nursery rhyme. Just put that down to my extremely warped sense of humour which seems…

1870; Pilfering pilots in Portland Roads

Being on the coast, and having both Weymouth Harbour and Portland Roads on our doorstep, a lot of the local men had always earned their living from the sea, and fiercely guarded their rights to do so. Not least the men who worked the local waters as pilots. These were were the men who from…

1865; Portland…keeping it in the family.

I know that Portland is not technically an island, (the Chesil causeway connects it to Weymouth), but it’s treated as such in many respects, not least that the folks on the island (I.m sure that being a proud race, they won’t mind me saying) have a long history of being fairly insular! nd When a…

1866; Portland quarry men and boys…theyz toils ‘n toils.

Portland is world famous for it’s quarries. This Isle is littered with immense craters in the ground, and large roughly hewn blocks of stone tumble in seemingly haphazard piles across the almost lunar landscape. There’s absolutely no doubt that those men and boys who slogged away day in day out in the quarries at Portland earnt…

1828; Chesil beach gives up her riches.

Now, if you’ve ever been stood on Chesil beach and watched nature’s fury as she crashes in on this huge pebbled bank, you’ll know why treasure hunters love to visit after a storm. West Bay was referred to  as ‘Deadman’s Bay’ by our own world renown local author, Thomas Hardy, and for very good reason….

St George’s churchyard at Portland. Murder in 1803

Now I.m not one of these people who normally likes to wander from church to church, but was stopped in my tracks (well, the car was stopped in it’s tracks really)  when we parked opposite St George’s church on the top of Portland. The sun was just beginning to set in the sky, going down…