Granfer Henry Reads the News; Every Day Lives in Weymouth; 1884.

What I find fascinating about mooching through old newspapers is not only the sensational crimes and usual misdemeanours that fill the columns of the local papers, but also those mundane snippets that give us every day glimpses of our Victorian ancestors lives. In some sense, they really weren’t that much different from us. Take The…

Men of the Sea; Greenhill Weymouth 1869

Not surprisingly, Weymouth and Portland folk have always looked to the sea for their favour and fortunes. However, old Father Neptune is a fickle master, sometimes he gives us untold riches…but he also has the ability to take those we love. Such was the sad case in September of 1869. You and I might think of Greenhill as…

19th c New Years Eve in ‘Dorset Lunatic Asylum.’

This New Year’s Eve musing takes on a slightly different tone. Maybe not quite so light a subject as I would normally cover, but it’s a subject that I feel strongly about and that I think often gets brushed under the carpet. (The words used, though not nowadays politically correct, are ones that were used during…

What Were Your Weymouth Ancestors Up To December of 1888?

Christmas is nearly upon us, its that time of year when we think about absent family and friends and especially those no longer here to celebrate with us. Our long departed ancestors knew how to celebrate Christmas too, albeit sometimes in a very different way, though their life often mirrored ours of today, with the same…

A Sorry Tale of Love and Betrayal; Weymouth 1880.

During my  perusals of various sites and old local newspapers I often come across some intriguing stories. Such was the case a few weeks ago when I was mooching through the old Police Gazettes, a periodical which gives a fascinating and highly detailed insight into our Victorian ancestors lives and their mishaps or misdemeanours. Should…

Love is in the Air…Weymouth & Portland’s Victorian Valentines

Well, as Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, I eagerly await to see what glittering jewels and delicious delights my beloved will present to me early that morn…(don’t even go there!) It might surprise you to know that celebrating St Valentine’s Day is nothing new, it has been observed for centuries, apparently made popular by Geoffrey Chaucer…

Ringing in the New Year Victorian Style; Weymouth and Portland.

Well…that’s yet another year year done and dusted. My old Mum always used to say the older you get, the faster they go, and true to her oh so wise (but often infuriating) words, the older I’m getting, the faster they’re bloody well going. In fact they’ve now almost hit warp speed! New Year’s Eve is…

A Happier Weymouth Christmas of 1862…

Well…this is my second attempt at writing a blog post this year about life in Victorian Weymouth in the build up to the Christmas period. My first attempt at writing one that gave the reader a warm fuzzy glow, the feel-good factor, full of Christmastide cheer, had somehow ended up instead laden with the doom and…

December 1888; Weymouth Drunks, Domestics and Deaths

Picture this, it’s the year 1888, it’s December, on the cusp of Christmas and the good folk of Weymouth are going about their everyday business as usual. For some though, it was not to be a good ending to their year. Pretty much like todays inhabitant’s of our seaside town, those of the Victorian era…

Weymouth Maritime Mishaps and Mayhem of 1857

Being on the coast and  both valuable ports for trade, Weymouth and Portland have had their fair share of shipping disasters. Take the year 1857 and a peek into local papers reveals a concoction of calamities for those working the local waters. Even nowadays crowds love to stop and watch Weymouth’s town bascule bridge be raised to let…