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DorsetLife The Dorset Magazine





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LEFT the July issue will be in the shops until 25 July 2018

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Why I love Dorchester


Visitors, workers and residents say what brings them here......5



Right The August issue is on sale from 26 July 2018 to 29 August 2018

for 50 years


nival Wareham Carl walk Eggardon Hil dlife Summer wil den Dorset gar COTTAGE AT WORTH



Borough Gardens


A photo essay on Dorchester's much-loved centre..................6

Shire Hall reopens See inside following an impressive refurbishment..................11


Stour Provos Clive Hanna t walk y in Dewlish Inside Bindon Verwood He Abbey Mill avy Horse Cen tre


Dorchester lives: Barry Mould

This copy of Dorset Life in Dorchester is presented to you with the compliments of Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine: Dorset's longest-established county magazine.

The town's ever-amiable carpet king..............................................16

To get 20% off a year's UK subscription (£28 instead of £35) mention Dorset Life in Dorchester when calling 01929 551264 or complete and return the form below.

Twenty years of the cancer-support charity...........................25

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Dorchester Town Ladies Football Club The secret of the all-conquering team's success........................21

Giving Dorchester: Fortuneswell Trust Where to go and what to see in Dorchester..............29 Dorchester lives: Peter Noble, MBE Dorchester's pixel pioneer................................................................33


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Thomas Hardy's Max Gate home (see 18/19) is by Graham Fellows The cover shot of St Aldhelm in Fordington Church is by Rex Harris Dorset Life in Dorchester is published by The Dorset Magazine Ltd 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham BH20 4DY. Tel 01929 551264 @DorsetLifeMag To download a copy of this and other Dorset Life town-based and other special magazines, visit Publisher: Lisa Richards ( Editor: Joël Lacey ( Writer: Nick Churchill ( Advertisement Sales Director: David Silk (01305 836440, Business Development Manager: Julie Cullen (01258 459090, Editorial design: Mark Fudge ( Printing: Pensord, Blackwood ( All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without permission.




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Why I love...

Dorchester We're spending seven weeks in the UK (we're from the southern rainforest area in Victoria, Australia) and travelling along the South coast. We're staying in Wareham, but we thought we couldn't come to Dorset and not come to Dorchester. We were at Maiden Castle first thing this morning, have stopped here (Maumbury Rings, shown above) for a cup of tea and we're going to walk the Walks later on and check out the Keep Military Museum later. I (Bob) was born in Britain and my grandfather was stationed at Dorchester During World War 1. Virginia & Bob from Victoria, Australia I don't live in Dorchester, but I've worked here for 15 years, formerly in the library service and now in Tourist Information. Dorchester is just a really nice town, it has got plenty of easy parking and there are lots of lovely independent shops as well as the branch stores you'd expect. From a tourism perspective it's got everything. The newly reopened Shire Hall is great, there are loads of things to do with the kids; they especially love the Dinosaur Museum and we were really lucky to have had Dippy the Diplodocus at the Dorset County Museum earlier this year as well. This is also the home town of Thomas Hardy and we're lucky to have the two National Trust properties – Hardy's birthplace and Max Gate (which he designed and had built) within such easy reach. The town walks booklet is really popular and lets people see different parts of Dorcester on foot and at their leisure, including the glorious Borough Gardens. Then there's the markets: Wednesday, Sunday boot sale and Farmers' Markets. There's just so much to do and see. Jeanine Beale (pictured right, seated), Dorchester Tourist Information Centre

I moved to Dorchester for work and although I had to move with work – I'm a surgical hospital doctor – I did have some choice about where I went and I chose to come to Dorchester. One of the things that attracted me is that it's close to the coast, but I find Dorchester itself really peaceful and it has lovely clean air – I came here from London. I have been here about a year and would love to stay, but I shall be moved on again by the NHS soon. Karina Baxter


Right The commemorative fountain to Alderman Gregory Opposite The Borough Gardens Jubilee Clock, donated by Charles Hansford Below The Borough Gardens team are celebrating two centenaries in flowers this year: that of the RAF and of Women's suffrage. It seems appropriate that the RAF border is best seen from above and that the one celebrating Women's votes is in the shadows of bars, given how many women were gaoled for their protests.

Borough Gardens Was civic pride ever so aestheticaly pleasingly displayed?


orchester's Borough Gardens were designed by William Goldring in 1895 and intended as a gift to the people of Dorchester 'for the health and recreation of the inhabitants'. They were estalished by the then Mayor, Alderman GJG Gregory, whose achievement was celebrated with the commissioning in 1898 of the fountain in the Dell by Charles Hansford in memory of 'Alderman Gregory'. Seven years later, Hansford also donated the clock tower in the same year that the bandstand was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Areas for


recreation such as the tennis courts, a bowling green, paddling pool and children's playground were added throughout the next 50 years. A ten-year restoration programme was launched in in 1997, securing the park with a Grade II listing on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens. The restored gardens were ďŹ nally re-opened on May Day 2007. As well as restoring the gardens to their original character the playground was completely redesigned to provide modern and imaginative areas which are more sympathetic to the historic surroundings.


Above The Diamond Jubilee Bandstand The park is there for the health and the recreation of the inhabitants whether human (below) or insect (right) Opposite a genuinely tiny selection of the well-tended, attractive and diverse plantlife that can be found in a five-minute circumambulation around the Borough Gardens



Arriving Soon..... The All-New Focus





Shire Hall reopens Sasfi Hope-Ross

Scene of the Tolpuddle Martyrs' trial had undergone an extensive refurbishment


ven allowing for the stylish lighting, sophisticated staging and impressive digital augmentation of the thoroughly modern museum, a sense of distress hangs heavy in the air around the subterranean cells of Dorchester’s Shire Hall. That it gives way to a pall of no less unsettling foreboding on the climb up the impossibly narrow wooden spiral stairs to the dock is fitting preparation for arrival in that ominous spot in the centre of a surprisingly compact courtroom in which all eyes cannot help but be trained on the accused. This is interior design as a blunt instrument of 18th-century justice. ‘It struck me the very first time I stepped into this building, nearly three years ago, there’s a real atmosphere about those cold cells and how this courtroom is laid out.’ The day after it reopened to the public on 1 May, Anna Bright, Director of the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, is talking about her first impressions of a building the people of Dorchester have long held a great deal of feeling for. ‘I’ve been showing informal groups around for the last couple of years and where they see piles of rubble and flaking paint I’ve been seeing displays, interpretation, exhibitions, lighting and

now finally everyone else can see that as well. I’m so pleased with what has been done here, I feel we have a museum Dorchester can be proud of.’ Designed by the architect Thomas Hardwick and opened in 1797, Shire Hall served as a centre for law and order in West Dorset for more than 200 years. Until the late 19th century it was quite typical for many of the functions of local government to be based around a court, as

Shire Hall on High West Street, Dorchester

Museum Director Anna Bright in the courtroom. All the colours used in decorating the museum are matched from flakes found in its renovation.







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John Gurd Media

Shire Hall reopens Left Stories of prisoners that have passed through Shire Hall adorn the Rogues Gallery wall. The current crop were mainly thieves, including *Elijah John, 69-year-old Daniel Baker from Stourton Caundle who got a month’s hard labour in 1891 for stealing a knife, but a wide variety of crimes were tried including an American GI who was trading illegally in stockings during World War 2.

was the case with Shire Hall where there were originally two courtrooms. In the 1880s the lesser one – now occupied by the café – was given over to the local authority leaving the other to serve as Dorset’s County Court until 1955 at which point the Trades Union Congress stepped in to buy the historic courtroom where the Tolpuddle Martyrs had been tried. ‘The building was Grade I listed in 1950 so it has remained virtually unaltered,’ explains Anna. ‘The TUC handed the courtroom back to the council in 1968 with a covenant attached that it should still be opened to the public, which is why there have been various tours over the years. That kept up a level of interest in the building, which combined with the positive effects of benign neglect, has been the perfect foundation for what we have now.’ West Dorset District Council moved out in January 2013 – its wood-panelled council chamber is now the Learning Space – and after various options were considered an application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund that yielded the £1.5 million grant that, match funded by the council, which still owns it, has enabled the imposing Georgian Portland Stone building to find a new lease of life. The museum, a registered charity run by the Shire Hall (Dorchester) Trust, has created six new permanent jobs and opportunities for 100 volunteers. ‘One of the first things I had to ask is what is

John Gurd Media

Below The block of eight cells beneath the courtroom. Renovation has been largely limited to some lighting and a new lath and plaster ceiling.


Sasfi Hope-Ross

Shire Hall reopens

Above The new Shire Hall logo in shadow on the foyer floor

Sasfi Hope-Ross

Below The Shire Hall courtroom viewed from the public benches. Painstaking research and analysis of flakes from layers of paint revealed the grey and off-white colour scheme was the second used in the courtroom and was in place during the 1834 trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and for most of the 19th century.

the point of the building,’ says Anna, who was appointed in January 2016 and has a background in museums having worked at the British Museum, Tate and National Portrait Gallery. ‘It’s possible to read the stories of what happened in this building elsewhere – the court records, trial transcripts, local disputes, council debates – but the information in those documents somehow comes to life in the physical building. That is our biggest asset. When you climb those steps to the dock you see the hierarchy of Georgian society very clearly and can feel it weighing down on you. In front of the dock is sits the judge. To the left are the grand jury benches even the coat hooks are more fancy than those for the petit jury opposite that will try the case. Above them is a gallery for the landowners and gentry. To the right of the dock the witness stand is almost within

touching distance. Immediately behind the dock is seating accessed through the main building for more privileged members of the public and behind that are benches for the general public whose only way in is from the foyer. The courtroom is at the heart – literally and metaphorically – of the museum. In 1834 at the end of their trial during which they were confined in a stuffy communal cell (preserved intact with its original table), the Tolpuddle Martyrs were handed their seven-year sentences of penal transportation. Four years later sixteenyear-old Elijah Upjohn, from Shaftesbury, was convicted of stealing boots and transported* and in 1856 Martha Brown was tried and convicted for the murder of her bullying husband. The last woman to be hanged in Dorset her execution at Dorchester Gaol was witnessed by the young Thomas Hardy who served as a magistrate at Shire Hall from 1884 to 1919, just months before women were first permitted to sit on juries. ‘We’re attempting to tell the stories that show how justice has worked through the ages,’ explains Anna. ‘For instance Martha Brown’s case might have been quite different if it was heard today now that coercive control is a criminal offence.’ Shire Hall’s Learning team has developed sessions for schools groups and the courtroom has been made available as a debating chamber for older students. More detailed history can be accessed on hand held devices and an interactive iPad app is available to teachers and parents to enhance the experience for younger visitors who can also try on hats, wigs and gowns, make up wanted posters and produce newspaper reports of trials. The Learning Space, courtroom and former Grand Jury room are also to be used as performance and exhibition spaces. The café is run by Kingston Maurward College. ‘The intention is very much about fitting in with Dorchester and expanding what it has to offer to the benefit of everyone,’ says Anna. ‘We’ve worked closely with the exhibitions team at the County Museum to make sure our displays complement each other and with Dorchester Arts on our talks and performance programme. There will be a joint ticket with the County Museum and The Keep Military Museum. ‘I think if we can help grow the heritage tourist brand it will be good for Dorchester as a whole.’ *Elijah John continued his life as a petty criminal after transportation before a late career change saw him become a hangman, most notably dispatching the bushranger Ned Kelly in Melbourne in 1880. Four years later the North Australian newspaper reported he had been ‘suspended’ from the post. He subsequently fell on hard times in fear of his life, was arrested for vagrancy and found dead in his tent in 1885.



Knighton House School is delighted to announce the introduction of a new and bespoke curriculum from September 2018 onwards, the KED (Knowledge Enlightenment Discovery) Curriculum. We have consulted widely with senior schools and listened to them carefully on their requirements at entry. We also have examined several new, modern syllabi that develop deeper skills of analysis and encourage better development of critical thinking and problem solving. Rather than opting for DQRϱWKHVKHOIFXUULFXOXPZHDUHLQWURGXFLQJDQHZEHVSRNH curriculum, beginning in September 2018. We have received overwhelming support for the plans from VHQLRU VFKRROV 7KH PRYH WR SUHWHVWLQJ SXSLOV DQG WKH JLUOV obtaining their desired places at the start of Year 7 has created DQ RSSRUWXQLW\ WR UHLPDJLQH RXU FXUULFXOXP DFURVV WKH ϧQDO two years away from the traditional Common Entrance exam taken at the end of Year 8. Many teachers at the best senior VFKRROV DQG RXU RZQ OHDGHUVKLS ϧQG &RPPRQ (QWUDQFH unduly restrictive teaching facts not skills and too often failing to inspire children in this critical moment in their education. Moving away from the somewhat rigid Common Entrance curriculum and testing regime will help us create a better balance between factual knowledge and the development of real, transferable skills. We believe this will lay still stronger foundations for successful future study, examination performance and later life. Our new KED curriculum will be intellectually sound in content and methodology and include more stretch and challenge for each pupil. The aim

is to increase pupil engagement while embedding positive OHDUQLQJGLVSRVLWLRQVLQWULQVLFPRWLYDWLRQDQGDOLIHORQJORYH of learning. We are very conscious of the need to seed and develop the skills necessary for a changing world. We will be developing pupil’s thinking skills and promoting problem solving and PHDQLQJIXOOHDUQLQJ²UDWKHUWKDQWKHVKRUWWHUPUHWHQWLRQRI certain sets of more or less arbitrary facts. We’ll continue to prepare pupils for academic and other scholarships with the same thoroughness as now. Indeed it is our belief that scholars ZLOOEHQHϧWIURPRXULQFUHDVHGIRFXVRQWUDQVIHUDEOHVNLOOVDQG the development of critical thinking. 7KH JRYHUQRUV VWDϱ DQG WKH +HDG DUH DOO FRPPLWWHG WR HQVXULQJ DOO WKH .QLJKWRQ JLUOV H[SHULHQFH D VWDWHRIWKHDUW HQOLJKWHQHG LQVSLULQJ DQG PRGHUQ FXUULFXOXP ϧW IRU WKH Twenty First Century. For teachers this is a unique opportunity to develop new teaching and learning ideas. For Knighton girls this change will ensure that every leaver goes on from .QLJKWRQLQWHOOHFWXDOO\FRQϧGHQWUHDG\DQGDEOHWRPHHWWKH challenges of senior school and the world beyond. .QLJKWRQ +RXVH 6FKRRO LV D SUHS VFKRRO IRU JLUOV DJHG  DQGDSUHSUHSIRUER\VDQGJLUOVDJHG3OHDVHFDOORUHPDLO to arrange an appointment a visit.


Dorchester Lives

Barry Mould Dorchester's ever-amiable carpet man


Right Barry advertising in 1988

Below Barry in the showroom at Dorchester Carpets

hat do you call a man with no computer, no printer, no fax, scanner, or even typewriter on his desk? The answer is Barry Mould and he can be found – as he has been for thirty-four years – at the helm of the family business, Dorchester Carpets. ‘I’ve no use for any of it, I really haven’t,’ declares Barry. ‘Everything works just as well now as it did when we started. I know where everything is and so does everyone who needs to. There’s a system.’ He pauses then points at the office card index box on the desk. ‘A system crash here is when I drop that box on the floor,’ he laughs. ‘Actually I do have a mobile phone but it’s a hundred years old and don’t even bother sending me a text on it, I wouldn’t know what do to do with it. My boys have had to put up with me like this for years it’s just the way I am and no point trying to change it now. ‘I expect when I go they’ll have a computer and what have you in here and that’s fair enough. But I remember years ago I had a bank manager and my accountant’s wife round here trying to get me on the computers. I heard them out, three or four hours they were here, and when they were finished the chap from the bank told me I should never get a computer – in fact he told me to pack this up and start work telling other people how to run their businesses.’ Barry has been fitting carpets for 56 years and since 1984 has worked for himself – some feat for a man who left school at 15 having spent a good portion of his academic career on crutches and being told he would never work. He suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic form of arthritis in which the spine and other joints become inflamed and over time fuse. He doesn’t live with so much pain now but has limited movement in his back, neck and shoulders. In later years it has also affected his heart. ‘When I was younger the pain was unbearable at times, had me in tears. I kept going though and got through it. The specialists have now told me that whatever I do I should not give up work, I should not stop lifting things, I should keep going. Just as well really, as I had no intention of packing it up.’ Barry claims that many things are a mystery to him, not least his choice of career and pastimes given the state of his spine and joints. Eventually though he explains. ‘I first had a job in a shop in Weymouth, but I wanted Saturdays off to play football, yes


Barry Mould football. One of the lads got me a job at Halletts the furniture shop. They also did upholstery and blinds, coffins as well, but I went into carpet fitting because they didn’t work Saturdays. Later on I worked for Genge & Co in Dorchester – that was a nice friendly department store where Argos is now.’ Other than football, when he wasn’t fitting carpets Barry pursued another sporting interest – snooker and billiards– that involved plenty of back bending and shoulder movement, and by the early 1980s had an enviable collection of trophies from local competitions. Setting up in business for himself in 1984 arguably did his competitors on the green baize some favours as suddenly Barry Mould was fully committed to flooring. ‘There was a recession on, or at least that what I kept hearing,’ he remembers of that time. ‘I went to all the banks and saw a series of men who shook their heads and kept talking about the recession. In the end, I got up in the middle of one interview and went to leave the room. The chap asked me where I was going and I told him I was off to look for the recession – I thought I must be missing something because everyone was going on about it and I know a lot of people lost jobs and businesses and really suffered, but I honestly hadn’t seen it. ‘In the end I borrowed money off a friend, repaid it and never looked back.’ To Barry’s clear pride, eldest son Stephen works with him fitting carpets, as do his sons Simon and Matthew who man the shop. His youngest Martin started out in the business but left to join the Police: ‘It works really well having the family here,' says Barry. Nearly three and a half decades in business have brought their share of ups and downs, but through it all Barry’s core beliefs, good humour and essential honesty have served him well. ‘I’ve never had time to get involved in Dorchester’s business circles or social scene. I give to charity and especially to my church – I think being a Christian has been of enormous help in business. I feel I can handle most things and I’ve never had any fear of hard work. Above all you though have to be honest, people respond to that. They also like my banter.’ With that the phone rings and Barry is soon helping another satisfied customer pay their bill: ‘Well it’s better in my bank account than yours,’ he chirps reaching for the card machine – that and the calculator are the only pieces of electronica he’ll give office space to. As the number goes through he offers the caller the choice of hearing him sing, whistle or hum. ‘I expect you’d rather I kept quiet though – oh, the number’s gone through and you’ve missed your chance now. Sorry about that.’ He talks about slowing down, about cutting back to a couple of days a week, but he still fills in if a fitter goes sick and they need to get a job done. The business is a way of life for Barry Mould

and it’s in good shape, fit for the future. So, is it all down to hard work? What is the secret of the success? ‘Well, I’ll tell you this,’ he half whispers, conspiratorially. ‘Behind every good man is a better woman and Lesley, my lovely wife of forty-nine years, is mine. She’s a partner in the business but not really involved. She’s a silent partner I suppose you might say… who’s not always so silent!’ 01305 251385

Above Barry makes the local press – winning the Colliton Club individual billiards championship in August 1975 Below Barry (right) with sons Matthew (left) and Simon at Dorchester Carpets



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Team photo before the 2018 Dorset Women’s Cup Final at County Ground, Hamworthy

Dorchester Town Ladies FC The future is bright for Dorchester's all-conquering women's team 16. A feat they repeated this year only to lose out to Poole Town Ladies who play three leagues above Dorchester. ‘Girls like playing for us because we stick together, we work hard for each other and make time to go out for socials off the pitch as well – that’s really important,’ says midfielder Beth Scott. This year former Manchester United and England player Phil Neville was appointed coach of the England Women’s team and although the sport now enjoys a higher profile than it has done for decades outside the very top of the game it remains strictly amateur. Taken seriously by those that play – they’re not just having a go – nobody is in it to get famous. Or rich. ‘In the United States even minor college women’s football tournaments are televised and draw big crowds – we get about twenty people for Harriet Scott


aving won the Dorset Women’s Football League in five of the last seven seasons, the female magpies of Dorchester Town Ladies Football Club are as drawn to glittering silverware as their avian namesakes. This season’s title is a fitting way to celebrate the club’s thirtieth anniversary and the final table makes impressive reading. Played 18, Won 18, Goals For 185, Goals against 8, Goal difference +177 Points 54 The statistics of an average of ten goals scored and 0.44 goals conceded each game really shows DTLFC asserting itself as the dominant force in Dorset women’s football, But it wasn’t always this way… ‘Up until a few years ago we were going into games only fielding eight or nine players and we were on the end of a few heavy defeats – ten-nil or worse,’ says club captain Becky Narramore, who has played for Dorchester since 2002. ‘Now we’re winning games by huge margins, which some people say is a sign of a weak league, but sides pull together and improve just like we did.’ Club manager since 2011 Darrin Chutter pays tribute to the hard work of his charges and echoes the point about improvement: ‘We won twentynil against Gillingham Town at the start of the season, but it was only ten-nil when we last played them and by the end of the season they’d got much better. It’s no big secret, if you keep a team together and play regularly you will improve.’ Since Darrin took charge in the two seasons Dorchester didn’t win the league they were runners up and they also made it to the final of the Dorset Women’s Cup in 2014-15 and 2015-

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Harriet Scott

Tash Sibley in action against Poole Town Ladies Reserves

most games, maybe fifty or sixty when we played Shaftesbury,’ says Darrin. Matches are played on Sundays during the season at Dorchester Sports Centre, but the team trains every Wednesday all year round except for two weeks over Christmas. ‘There’s a world of difference between a warm summer evening and a freezing cold night in January – that’s when you find out who has the commitment it takes. We’ve got a squad now of about twenty and always have sixteen or eighteen for matches, that takes real dedication, especially when some of our players come over from Bridport, Weymouth, Portland, even Swanage. If we have an away game at Verwood for instance that’s a lot of travelling.’ Players range in age from Beth’s sister Harriet who’s just sixteen and doubles as club photographer, to veteran Clare Bagwell who joined Dorchester in 1995. There’s competition in all positions and everyone knows a dip in form can cost them a place in the starting eleven. Star striker Becky scored 97 goals two seasons running before breaking a leg, coming back and notching another seventy or so in the last campaign. ‘All of us have had to up our game and we can’t carry anyone who is not giving one hundred per cent,’ she says. ‘That’s why girls want to play with us.’ One such is midfielder Tash Sibley who joined last season after spells with Weymouth Ladies and Portland United Ladies. ‘It’s really difficult to keep a team together so you have to support one another,’ she says. ‘It’s obvious, but women are different to men and in my experience they’re more likely to bring off-field stuff onto the pitch. You have to be together when you step over the line and unless you have that strength teams can fold. ‘We can be honest with one another after a game, talk about what went well and what went wrong and move on to the next game. I really like that about Dorchester.’ It’s music to Darrin’s ears – the post-match get

together, preferably with the opposition as well, is something he learned in the men’s amateur game and has instilled in the club. ‘But we’re not out to copy men’s football, we go out there to play our own game,’ says the manager. ‘You won’t see fifty- or sixty-yard crossfield passes in the women’s game, we have to play our way out of defence, which to my mind makes for more attractive, more skilful football in any case.’ Darrin also faces a particular challenge as manager. ‘I’m a man in a woman’s world, I can’t go storming into the changing room after a match and start throwing tea cups around – I have to knock first,’ he smiles. ‘Actually I’m pretty laid back, but if they’ve had a bad game or aren’t pulling their weight they’ll know about it.’ The business of running the club is no mean feat either. Becky also serves as club secretary and is one of several players to have found individual sponsorship. Local companies also sponsor the kit and pay for the referees to officiate matches. Other expenses from travel costs to kit washing are met out of players’ pockets. ‘Things are changing but it’s really difficult to generate interest in women’s football at this level. We’re in the local paper sometimes although most people in the town don’t really know about us,’ says Tash. That might change now that Dorchester Town Community Football Club, the men’s side playing in the Southern League Premier Division, has successfully raised funds for a 3G artificial pitch that will make The Avenue stadium a football hub for the region. ‘It [will] make a massive difference,’ explains Darrin. ‘The men’s side is supportive, but at the moment if their pitch gets badly churned up on a Saturday they would have to cancel our Sunday matches at short notice and it’s not easy to find another pitch. ‘Playing in the stadium and being able to see our crowd would be a step up to the next level.’ 23


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Fortuneswell Cancer Trust celebrates 20 years Supporting patients in Dorchester


t’s a shocking statistic but a consensus is emerging that by 2020 almost half the people in the UK will have to face cancer in their lifetime. The opening this summer of the new Robert White Radiotherapy Unit and Cancer Outpatients Unit at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester will ensure the majority of cancer patients in the west, south and north of the county can receive radiotherapy without having to travel to the Dorset Cancer Centre in Poole. The new outpatients department will provide outpatient, counselling and support facilities for all cancer patients and enable improvements to be made to the chemotherapy unit on the hospital’s Fortuneswell Cancer Ward. ‘The sobering fact is that people don’t need convincing to donate money to a charity like ours because they see the benefit of it often through direct experience or that of family and friends,’ says Dr David Evans, outgoing chair of Fortuneswell Cancer Trust. Founded 20 years ago with the simple sole aim ‘to assist cancer sufferers in Dorset’, the charity has been instrumental in contributing funds to the new £1.75 million cancer outpatients unit at Dorset County Hospital and is preparing to donate further funds that will enhance the existing chemotherapy unit on the Fortuneswell Cancer Ward to create space for patients to be accompanied while they receive treatment. ‘It’s not ideal at the moment that patients can’t have a friend or family member remain with them while they receive chemo, which can take some time to deliver and is often a cause of some anxiety. The improvements will create more space so patients can have some company.’ It just the latest in two decades of gradual changes and improvements in the facilities available for cancer patients that have been funded at least in part by Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, formed in 1998 as an independent charitable trust to channel funds donated by patients and their families who had been treated in the hospital’s original cancer unit. ‘The old unit was very cramped and with the advances in cancer treatment and rising numbers of patients the facilities were increasingly inadequate,’ says David, a former Weymouth GP who chaired the Trust for the last ten years before handing over to Paul Ryan earlier this year. ‘We were set up as a spending body essentially rather than a fundraising body, but it took time

Above Members of Dorset County Hospital Cancer Centre team. back l-r: Andrew Beale, housekeeping assistant; Jess Best, housekeeping assistant; Amy Hallett, physician’s assistant; Christine Coleman, staff nurse; Abigail Orchard, lead cancer nurse. Front l-r: Vicky Hyde, Macmillan support worker; Dr Melanie Harvey, medical oncologist; Dr Sandra Pepper, palliative care specialist

Left David Evans (right), former Weymouth GP who has chaired Fortuneswell Cancer Trust for the last ten years, hands over to new chair Paul Ryan


Fortuneswell Cancer Trust at 20

New chair of Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, Paul Ryan


until a change in hospital management coincided with a sense that we were now pushing against open doors and at last we were able to make a real difference.’ In 2005 the Trust’s donation of £150,000 saw a new outpatients department open and it was closely involved in the opening of the dedicated cancer ward in 2012 meaning that for the first time cancer patients at Dorset County Hospital could be treated on a specialist ward rather than a general ward. Further donations helped create an isolation suite on the ward so that some of the more complicated leukaemias could be treated and, most recently, the Trust has made a major contribution to the new £1.75 million cancer outpatient unit. ‘People give very generously because they see that charitable funding can really enhance what the NHS can offer, but it’s not all about big projects. We donate funds to help buy items of equipment for all departments in the hospital provided doing so will benefit cancer patients.

‘Our next target is to fund a minor operation theatre so that people who need to have a biopsy taken, provided it’s accessible of course, can get the job done there and then and not have to go away and wait to come in again for another appointment.’ The Trust agreed to fund the hospital’s reflexology service provided by Abbigail LangstoneWring whose work in collating evidence of patient responses to the complementary treatment has been widely acknowledged in the sector. ‘As a doctor I was sceptical but we funded it initially for a year and have seen that patients report feeling better and that improves their sense of wellbeing. Reflexology is comparatively cheap and it’s harmless, but it wouldn’t get NHS funding because there are no absolute medical benefits. So the Trust has agreed to continue funding it on a rolling five-year programme meaning we would always have to give five years notice if we were to cease funding.’ As well as on-going donations and awarenessraising annual town centre street collections, the Trust’s major fundraising event is the annual Swingtime in the Gardens live music showcase in Borough Gardens set up by popular local musician Sam Fowler after he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1994 and continued in his memory after his death in 2009. This year, the Trust will also host its first carol service for people and their families whose lives have been affected by cancer. ‘We wanted to do something simple,’ explains David. ‘Anyone is welcome to come along and light a candle to celebrate the life of someone they know who lives with or has lived with cancer.’ Unusually for a charity as active as Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, it has no paid staff and minimal operating costs. Three trustees fulfil the legal responsibilities of running the organisation with help from a further seven committee members. Anyone who makes a donation is automatically a member for that year and each year the Trust typically sends out invitations to between 150 and 200 people to attend the AGM and vote. ‘There may be others of course who donate anonymously that we don’t know of and never hear about, but membership fluctuates around the 200 mark. Similarly our turnover is of the order of £100,000 a year, although it has been greater recently because of fundraising for the new outpatients unit. ‘The Trust is very familiar to lots of local people but we’re always meeting those who haven’t heard of us before so there’s work to be done. We’re in good shape as we welcome a new chairman and new secretary. I’ve enjoyed my time as chairman and am very happy to continue serving as a trustee.’ The Fortuneswell Cancer Trust Celebratory Carol Service is on 15 December at Weymouth Bay Methodist Chapel from 5.30.


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Where to go, what to see Hardy Monument Visible for miles, the Hardy Monument has been a Dorset landmark since 1844 when it was built on the summit of Black Down by public subscription in tribute to Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, he of Nelson’s ‘Kiss me Hardy’ fame, who died in 1839. Hardy served as flag captain to Admiral Nelson and commanded HMS Victory at Trafalgar. He went on to become First Naval Lord and encouraged the development of steam warships. In that capacity he is also reputed to have ordered the decommissioning of HMS Victory, but on telling his wife who burst into tears returned to his office to rescind the command. Hardy’s family owned the Portesham estate and wanted a suitable memorial that could be used as a landmark for shipping. The monument, which can be seen up to 60 miles out to sea, is shaped to look like a spyglass and its corners are aligned with the compass points. Following its restoration in 1900 it was sold to the National Trust in 1938 for £15 and further renovated in 2009. The heathland surrounding it was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1984. Within sight of the Hardy Monument, the new artwork at

Ethan Doyle White Creative Commons / Charlotte at Black Down

What's going on in and around Dorchester Black Down by sculptor Amanda Moore features in Land of Bone and Stone, a short film promoting the art and landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. It stars eleven-yearold Charlotte Gale, a member of Dorchester Youth Theatre, and has been made by Dorchester-based Arts Development Company and the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Land of Bone and Stone can be seen online through Facebook and YouTube. Open daily, 11.00 Black Down, Portesham,

Kingston Maurward Gardens Something of a secret jewel in Dorset’s horticultural sightseeing crown, the 35-acres of formal gardens at Kingston Maurward House were laid out between 1915 and 1922. Designed within the existing framework of an 18th century parkland setting in the manner of Capability Brown and incorporating some elements of the previous Victorian lay out, the gardens are an oasis of peace and calm far from the madding crowd of Dorchester and quite in keeping with the tranquillity of Hardy’s birthplace nearby. The main north-south axis leads from the Red Garden, through the Mediterranean Border, to the Double Herbaceous Border; while the east-west axis runs from the Brick Garden, along the Terrace Border and the south front of the House. On either side of these main axes are small areas of self-contained ‘garden rooms’ partitioned by yew and box hedges. Each garden has a central feature or a theme, such as the Penstemon Terrace and Rose Garden, and all are carefully planted to ensure year-round colour. Open daily, 10.00 Kingston Maurward Animal Park & Gardens, 01305 215003,

The Cherry Orchard One of the South West’s most distinctive creative institutions, Miracle Theatre returns to Dorset this summer with its latest touring production. This time it is tackling Chekhov’s bittersweet comedy about a once-wealthy family, whose idleness and extravagance have brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. Obstinate and self-absorbed, they are deaf to the rumblings of change that surround them and unable to accept help when they need it. Will it take a revolution to destroy their cosy world of privilege and entitlement – or will their own stupidity be enough? Adapted and directed by Bill Scott, The Cherry Orchard is laced with mordant humour and pathos that ensure it continues to chime with the times more than a century after it was written. 13 July, 7.30 Maumbury Rings, Dorchester, 01305 266926, 29

Terracotta Warriors Museum

Helen Jones

For the first time in more than 30 years, the Terracotta Army of sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, are on show outside London this summer. Although visitors will have to travel to Liverpool to see the actual funerary army, Dorchester’s Terracotta Warriors Museum is home to the next best thing – a collection of replicas created by conservation technicians in China. Qin Shi Huang conquered and united China in the late third century BCE, creating the Great Wall of China and building a massive national road system. His mausoleum was the size of a city and guarded by the 8000-strong Terracotta Army that remained untouched until their discovery by farmers in 1974. The Dorchester collection includes kneeling bowmen, armoured officers and the emperor himself in full costume. Open daily, 10.00 Salisbury Street, Dorchester, 01305 266040,

Dorset County Show The annual county show features more than 450 trade stands and a terrific weekend of many and varied attractions. The show is still largely run by farming families and those with an interest in farming, food and the countryside with hotly contested competitions that bring out the best from the area to challenge for the livestock and equestrian cups, trophies and awards. It’s also an important showcase for Dorset’s food and drink producers, as well as its home crafters and horticulturalists. The entertainment matches the show’s family nature with a funfair and amusements, a working vintage display and classic tractors, falconry, ferret and terrier racing and the popular Heavy Horse Village. 1, 2 September, 8.30 County Showground, Dorchester,

The Creepy Crawly Show In a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Mother Nature’s finest creations, the team from The Creepy Crawly Show will be in Dorchester this summer to introduce the public to some slippery stars. From snakes to spiders, hissing cockroaches to giant snails, there’s no shortage of critters to meet, touch and hold. The Creepy Crawly Show rangers are experts in their field and come from backgrounds in family entertainment so the accent is on fun with lots of comedy, music and antics that wouldn’t be out of place on shows like I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 28 July, noon Brewery Square, Dorchester, 07870 856250, 30

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Dorchester Lives

Peter Noble MBE Dorchester's pixel pioneer


here’s at least one in every smartphone. They’re in webcams, drones, CCTV cameras and movie cameras as well. Since the turn of the 21st century, if not before, the solid state ‘active pixel’ image sensor has become one of the world’s most ubiquitous technologies, an integral part of a global industry worth billions. And it started life on the Grove Trading Estate in Dorchester, the brainchild of scientistengineer-mathematician Peter Noble whose MBE awarded in the New Year honours for services to photography and charity arguably acknowledges only part of the story. For the work done by Peter and his team more than fifty years ago was on the verge of being lost to history when, out of the blue, four years ago he received an email from an American professor who asked if the recipient was the Peter Noble who worked on the active pixel image sensor and if so was he still alive. ‘It was a complete shock,’ says Peter between sips of coffee in a busy Dorchester café. ‘I replied ‘Yes’ and let him work out the rest for himself. It transpired he works in the field and we struck up a conversation.’ From those exchanges Peter has gradually received a degree of belated recognition as a pioneer of the digital image sensor that millions of smartphone users now take for granted every day. Even so, whereas parallel work by American scientists at the Fairchild Corporation is held by the Smithsonian Institution, Peter’s archive is stored at home in Poundbury. ‘Thank God I had the presence of mind to keep an image that shows the first image being made using our device. I also have hand drawings of the layout. In those days of course each image sensing area was about 0.2 of an inch square, whereas today you could fit many thousands into the same space.’ Having left school at 15, Peter spent his early years in research at AEI Aldermaston working on optical sensing devices. In 1966, at the age of 25, he was recruited by Plessey to lead a team in developing optical sensors that could identify numbers and letters. ‘They had an automated system that was held up by its inability to read cheques. It was our job to invent something that would read the characters. The solution seemed obvious to me, it just hadn’t been done before.’ The details of how the team solved the problem are best unpacked elsewhere, but having met the challenge Peter was disappointed by the company’s reluctance to push the technology forward. His answer was to jump ship and do it

Left Peter was invited to speak at NASA and toured its Jet Propulsion Laboratory centre in Pasadena, California where he found NASA image sensing engineers were well aware of his invention

himself, taking six of the team with him. They ended up in Dorchester after one of their wives flatly refused to move to Birmingham where Peter had intended to found his company, Integrated Photomatrix Ltd. ‘I challenged them to come up with an alternative location and they did. The locals had no idea what we were up to there and it fascinates me to this day that relatively few people realise the smartphone camera nearly everyone carries with

Below A world first, the 10 x 10 sensor array produced by Peter at Plessey: ‘It was after this that I jumped ship and went on to prove the whole thing at IPL with eh 64 x 64.


Peter Noble MBE Having applied for government funding IPL was able to develop the image sensing technology and produced this 64 x 64 array with sufficiently high density of pixels (4096) to be used in a camera to relay black and white moving images – the world’s first digital camera, made in Dorchester

The first 2D image produced by the first digital image sensor mounted in a camera – the first digital camera. The photo shows the subject, the camera and the image reproduced on a screen below

them started out right here in Dorchester.’ Soon after launching his own business Peter was courted by an American firm with an offer that would have seen him earning almost twenty times what he made at home, but he stayed put, pressed on and in 1974 IPL won a Queen’s Award for Industry. ‘My wife Barbara and I liked it here, we had a young baby and the work went well. I approached government and got funding and we developed linear sensor systems for a range of applications – for instance we made a device that measured the thickness of molten steel so that it could be adjusted and wouldn’t waste steel.’ As he quietly went about refining technology that has changed the world, working in science

and electronics until about five years ago, Peter also played an active role in the life of Dorchester. He has belonged to Round Table and Rotary for more than 35 years, serving both at national council level, been a school governor and given many talks about his work. He also had a keen interest in extreme sports driven by his sons Mark and Chris who started riding BMX bikes in the early 1980s. As Mark was crowned World BMX Flatland Champion in 1988 Peter founded Team Extreme, the UK’s only professional extreme sports show and team. Mark went on to launch and edit a series of BMX magazines while Peter, as a strictly parttime pursuit, continued to expand the team internationally before selling his interests three years ago. Today, Peter is chairman of Poundbury Community Trust and Poundbury (MANCO2) Ltd, one of the town’s three management companies that are in the process of merging into a single entity. He still undertakes consultancy work advising on how technology might impact on the future and maintains a particular interest in the possibility of using stem cells to connect an image sensor directly to the brain – effectively giving eyesight to the blind. ‘The trouble is for every benefit in science there is a cost and the idea of computer technology plugged directly into the brain raises all sorts of problems with hacking and potential disruption from outside.’ Many view the genesis of the image sensor as similarly significant to the creation of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners Lee and in 2015 Peter was invited by the International Image Sensor Society to give a keynote speech and receive a Pioneering Achievement Award at its global convention. ‘There were representatives from Google, Samsung and all the major companies, people wanted to meet me, I was approached for selfies – it felt very odd and still does if I’m honest. Before the presentation I spent two or three days in session listening to speakers and it struck me that the work we did was so long ago that it has been almost forgotten. ‘There’s no doubt someone would have come up with the first image sensor, it just happened to be me.’ It’s easy to cast Peter as an unsung hero of modern science who has lived beneath the radar of public acclaim long enough for it to make little difference now, but when pressed for an analogy there’s an admirable absence of sour grapes when he observes: ‘I may have invented the wheel but others came along with the tyre, the bearings and everything else.’ Peter Noble’s autobiographical book, ‘My Imageination’ is ready for publication. Contact him at to find out more.


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Dorset Life in Dorchester 2018  

2018's edition of high-quality glossy magazine made in Dorset for residents of Dorchester

Dorset Life in Dorchester 2018  

2018's edition of high-quality glossy magazine made in Dorset for residents of Dorchester