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…

1867; Danger Lurks in Portland Quarries.

The quarries on Portland are world renown. They are of  a strange type of brutal beauty, the glare from the white stone is blinding in the bright sunshine, the heat reflects mercilessly from the  calcified remains that makes up the huge slabs that tumble and totter precariously all around. Ultimately, their beauty belies the ever present…

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…

1862; Portland prison, The Pleasantness of Penal Servitude.

These facts are taken from an article penned by an unnamed author in the Cheltenham Chronicle of 23rd December 1862 and yes, that is genuinely what he titles his article…. The Pleasantness of Penal Servitude! They relate to the prison that was built on Portland to contain the convict labour force for building the Portland breakwater…

1877; Weymouths shipping trade

Weymouth has had a long history of trading with the Channel islands, and even further afield. As a small child I can recall walking along the raised platform on the harbourside with my Mum firmly holding my hand, huge creature like cranes towered above me, they’d lumber along the  rails set in the concrete from…

1888; Weymouth Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock.

The striking Jubilee Clock is an iconic image of Weymouth, it adorns thousands of postcards and holiday brochures and what local hasn’t stood under there at some stage of their life to meet someone? The year 1887 was  a milestone in the reign of Queen Victoria. It marked the 50th year of her ruling over the kingdom….

1869; Battery, Assault and Burial on Weymouth Beach!

In 1869 a little incident occurred on Weymouth sands, it really shouldn’t have been a problem, but it was, and one that ended up in the national papers much to the local council’s horror! William Wynn, a well-educated gent from London had been residing in Weymouth with his family for a much welcomed holiday. The…

1868, Weymouth mayor in court!

We are going through a bad recession at the moment (as if I had to tell you that!) and when things get tough financial wise, somethings have to go. Such is the present day council’s dilemma…what to cut, what to keep. Well, it appears to have been the  old harbour area and piers that seems to be…