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DorsetLife POOLE The Dorset Magazine

in

2017/18


L I V E L I F E O N T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

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in POOLE 2017/18

Photo essay: Wind & sun at Sandbanks October's last days: calm beaches & frantic windsurfing ......5 Why I love: Poole Quay & the Old Town........….............9

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This copy of Dorset Life in Poole is presented to you with the compliments of Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine: Dorset's longest-established county magazine. To get 25% off a year's UK subscription (£24 instead of £32) mention Dorset Life in Poole when calling 01929 551264 or complete and return the form below. To take out a subscription for yourself or as a gift, call on 01929 551264, or complete the form below and return it to: Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine, 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4DY PO17

Friends of Dolphin Giving access for all to Poole Harbour by boat................11 Why I love: Sandbanks & Canford Cliffs..................….....17 Poole lives: Barry Cox Creator of the RNLI Heritage Library and Archive.............21 Cycling Poole The town's history and future on two wheels...........................25 What to see in and around Poole in the next months..29 Why I love: Lower Parkstone & Ashley Cross............….31 Praising PEDAS The Poole and East Dorset Art Society...................................33

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The centre-spread image of Compton Acres is by David Goodman The cover shot of the Guildhall from Market Street is by the editor Dorset Life in Poole is published by The Dorset Magazine Ltd 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham BH20 4DY. Tel 01929 551264 www.dorsetlife.co.uk @DorsetLifeMag www.fb.me/DorsetLifeMag To download a copy of this and other Dorset Life town-based and other special magazines, visit www.dorsetlife.co.uk/other-publications/ Publisher: Lisa Richards (office@dorsetlife.co.uk) Editor: Joël Lacey (editor@dorsetlife.co.uk) Writer: Nick Churchill (www.nickchurchill.org.uk) Advertisement Sales Director: David Silk (01305 836440, dave@dorsetlife.co.uk) Business Development Manager: Julie Cullen (01258 459090, julie@dorsetlife.co.uk) Editorial design: Mark Fudge (www.fudgiedesign.co.uk) Advertisement design: Designosaur (http://designosaur.uk.com) Printing: Pensord, (www.pensord.co.uk) All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without permission.

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Photo essay

Wind & sun Sandbanks at the end of October

W

inter is coming, but whilst it's not here just yet, things are calming down on the Sandbanks peninsula. On the beach side, cabins are secured against forthcoming gales and shorts – let alone swimming costumes – are only rarely to be spotted. The roads are almost clear of MAMILs (see page 25), but the end of October sees the last sighting before the annual hibernation of the MOOMINs (Mildly Overweight Older Men In Neoprene). They are to be seen (some for brief periods only) zipping across the roadside shallows of Poole Harbour near its entrance at Sandbanks. The end of October also often marks a significant drop in air temperature, water temperature and a corresponding increase in wind and rain, which is probably why Banks Road parking charges no longer apply after that date.

Top right Setting off for the last hour of windsurfing of the season Above Not shot at dawn, but middle day Left Dealing with two-foot high waves is not that common an experience when in Poole Harbour, but make for speedy windsurfing

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Top (left & right) The '30 years of blue flag beaches' flag is torn at the end after a season of use and some strong recent winds. A single beach user has created a squiggly artwork that stretches to the Haven Hotel. Above From horizontal to vertical and from standstill to top speed in about 50 yards but only a few seconds Right The Crazy Golf advertising hoarding is at an appropriately wonky angle. Beyond the Pavilion sits a figure hunkered down against the wind, but choosing the view over shelter.

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Why I love...

Poole Quay, Old Town We live locally and come down to the Quay to fish once a month or so. We’ve got a boat as well and like to get out into Poole Harbour but we haven’t done so as much this year or last as Michael has a bad back. This is the second fish of the day and we’ve only been here a short while. Last time we came down with our granddaughter and her mum and between us we must have caught about 30 fish – sea bass mainly, a few wrasse and a couple of starfish – but we put them all back as they were small. We watched one chap from over the other side of the dock come down, set up and pull out a large plaice within half an hour. Then he went home. Job done! Michael and Teresa Sargent

I work in Poole as a stage manager for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. I’ve just come back after a few weeks travelling and was only thinking a minute ago how lovely it is here. I really like the Old Town at this end of Poole it’s very pretty, but I’m not so keen on the other end of Poole, although I think the indoor climbing wall is incredible. I don’t suppose it’ll ever happen but it would be great if we could have an outdoor one, maybe in the park – we could nip out at lunchtime for a climb. Esther Robinson

The last time I was on Poole Quay it was 1975 and I was a 16-year-old squaddie – I don’t remember too much about it to say how much it has changed, but these swanky flats weren’t here. It’s the first time my wife has been here. We’re staying in Boscombe for eight nights and have come over on the train as we’ve not been that impressed by Boscombe or Bournemouth to be honest. Poole seems nice and tidy and has some character; we’ve been admiring the yachts. Julie and Phil ‘Boo’ Waby

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,7Âś66+2:7,0( at the theatre in Burwood Nursing Home Care Home gets own traditional theatre for residents, with vintage touches A family run care home has built a theatre for its residents, which is the latest addition to a growing range of amenities at the home. Burwood Nursing Home in Broadstone, which already has an old styled pub, the Railway Tavern, wanted to improve its entertainment offering by building the theatre, which is modelled on a 1930s Art Deco music hall. The theatre even features the old seats from the Bournemouth Winter Gardens concert hall that was demolished in 2006. Paul Jessup, who together with his wife, Sarah, run the care home said: ‘One of our residents remembers the seats, having watched the Beatles perform at the Winter Gardens.

‘‘We have a lot of space here in Broadstone so we decided when we built the new home it would include a lot of communal space to facilitate a diverse and interesting program of activities. So we decided to do something a bit quirky and as far as I’m aware no one else has built a theatre in a care home. Everyone loves to go to the theatre and sometimes as you get older it’s not as easy as it used to be, so we thought let’s bring the theatre to us. So far it’s been a great success and it really has the feel of going out to see a show. A few weeks ago the cast for Waiting for God visited and put on a show for the home. It was amazing having the likes of Jeffrey Holland and Nichola McAuliffe on our stage

doing their show for us. That was a real treat for the residents, especially those that remember Jeffery Holland in Hi De Hi. We also have a lot of schools and local dance groups visit us and its great for them to have a stage for their performance. This week we showed some old silent Chaplin movies on the screen and had a pianist play to the scenes. With the Art Deco styling of the theatre it really took you back to how it would have been in the early days of cinema.’’ There are more big events planned with The Good Old Days production coming to the theatre at the end of the month. -VYTVYLPUMVYTH[PVUHIV\[ )\Y^VVK5\YZPUN/VTLWSLHZL]PZP[!

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Giving Poole

The Friends of Dolphin Fun on the water for all

I

n a town such as Poole getting out on the water is a simple pleasure, almost mundane some might say, but what if it’s not? What if it’s beyond a person’s experience to enjoy being on the water with the wind in their face and the roll of the waves beneath them? That is precisely the question the Friends of Dolphin was founded to answer. Conceived by the Rotary Club of Parkstone as a special project to mark Rotary International’s 75th anniversary, the Friends of Dolphin was launched on 23 February 1980 with the sole purpose of providing free trips in Poole Harbour for disabled people of all ages and disabilities. Parkstone Rotary handed the project over to the newly formed The Friends of Dolphin Charity in 1982 and the first Dolphin vessel was replaced by Dolphin II in 1990 and it by Dolphin III in 2002, but the single objective remains the same to this day. It is anticipated the charity will welcome its 50,000th passenger aboard next summer and the first informal discussions are taking place about replacing Dolphin III with a new vessel in 2020. It costs more than £12,000 a year to run Dolphin III, which had its engines replaced last year, so fundraising is an on-going necessity. Even so, the charity is in good shape, it’s fully crewed, solvent and is a visible part of life on Poole Quay from its first trips on 1 May each year to the last on 30 September. ‘That’s no reason to take anything for granted of course, but this is a seafaring town and we get support from businesses and local organisations,’ says chairman Ray Kipling. ‘Where we sometimes miss out is on individuals perhaps, but everybody connected with charity is a volunteer, there are no paid officers or crew. We’re always on the look out for more help and because we can’t send anyone out on the water after the age of 75 for insurance reasons we find ourselves replacing a few crew members each year.’ Dolphins I and II were flat bottomed craft built in Hamworthy by RTK Marine. They were launched from a slipway – first at Baiter Park and then from the Royal Marines base at Hamworthy – and boarded by means of a loading ramp at the bow. By contrast, after Poole & District Fishermen’s Association and Poole Harbour Commissioners provided the charity with a berth in the new fisherman’s boat haven, it could press ahead with Dolphin III, which was built on the Isle of Wight to a new catamaran design with level access enabling crew and passengers to embark from a pontoon in the Poole Quay Boat Haven.

‘The reason we started in the first place was that Parkstone Rotary identified that disabled people, particularly those in wheelchairs could not get access to the normal pleasure boats in the Harbour,’ says deputy chairman Bob Irwin, who has been involved with Friends of Dolphin since it started and now handles the bookings. ‘It is incredibly rewarding to see people enjoying themselves on the water. We have lots of really touching testimonials and receive requests from all over the country. At the moment I’m hoping we can help a former Royal Marine whose friend, also an ex-Marine, is gravely ill and would like to get back out on the water one last time.’ Dolphin III carries a maximum of 12 people including carers on two-hour trips around the Harbour twice a day at 11.00 and 2.00 six days a week, although sometimes on a Sunday as well. The service is obviously weather dependent and with careful planning trips are rarely oversubscribed, but neither are there many spare

Friends of Dolphin volunteers by the Dolphin III boat, which costs more than £12,000 a year to run.

Toby Spencer anticipates going on the Dolphin with great excitement

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Dolphin III in the Harbour

Joseph Dunbar soaking up the sensory experience that going on the Dolphin boat provides for him. His vision is poor but he loves the sound and vibration of the engine when it starts, the wind and spray on his face plus the excitement and banter of his fellow travellers.

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places aboard. Tides permitting, Dolphin III also makes the popular ‘fish and chip trip’ to Wareham Quay, which includes a fish lunch. Many users come in groups from special schools, care homes and community organisations for disabled people, but there are lots of individual users as well, particularly during the holiday season. ‘Our oldest passenger to date was 106,’ says Bob. ‘She came every year and even on her last trip signed off with a cheery ‘see you next year’.’ The Dolphin III’s volunteer skippers are all qualified seafarers with a wealth of experience be they Master Mariner, RYA Yachtmaster, ex-Marines or Royal Navy, Poole Lifeboat crew or trawlerman. Also aboard are trained First Mates as well as other volunteer crew. ‘It’s wonderful to see people’s reactions on the trips,’ says recently appointed skipper Norman Hollamby. ‘Something as simple as tea and biscuits becomes really special when you’re out on the water. We often have our passengers singing away – it was so loud one day last week I couldn’t hear the radio to find out where they wanted us to dock.’ There’s no shortage of stories about passengers, from the 97-year-old former Hamworthy gravel quay worker who regaled the passengers with tales of old Poole Quay, to the testimonies of local disabled people who had been

able to see the backs of Brownsea Island and Furzey for the first time from the water. And earlier this year the Friends of Dolphin was awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of its work. ‘It’s a reflection of the many years of hard work by hundreds of volunteers who have brought happiness to all our passengers,’ says Ray. ‘You know, you can’t go very fast so there’s no choice but to relax and enjoy the ride. On a sunny day with the wind in your hair, when you get a wave there’s always a chuckle – the benefits are obvious.’ www.thefriendsfodolphin.co.uk HOW IT HELPS Jane Chandler is a teacher at Montacute School for children and young people aged three to nineteen who have complex learning difficulties or disabilities. ‘The service offered by Friends of Dolphin means we’re able to take pupils of all ages out on the water for free. Even though some of our pupils don’t have a great deal of expression there are ways you can tell they are switched on to the experience. It might be just a look, but we know. ‘For many pupils it is a multi-sensory experience so they can feel the wind in the their hair, the sun on their skin and the smell of the sea, as well as the movement on the water – it is a very different experience to being on land. ‘The volunteers on the boat are always incredibly supportive of the staff and, to be honest, I don’t know if they always realise the difference they make to the lives of the pupils. These are children with sometimes quite profound and severe needs so to be able to drive straight up to the Quay and have easy wheelchair access onto and off the boat is incredibly important. Some of our pupils are quite anxious so it’s quite a big thing to be able to go on the trip with the minimum of fuss and waiting around. ‘Friends of Dolphin is a wonderful service that is perfectly tailored for our needs – I have to make sure I get the bookings in quick at the beginning of the season.’


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Why I love...

Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs We came over to Bournemouth to see a show and d stay t a couple of nights and just decided to walk down to Sandbanks. We come over here from Southampton a couple of times a year and sometimes walk out to the chain ferry and go over to Studland. It’s lovely here and we like the fresh air and walking. Southampton is coastal, but that’s where any similarity ends! Dean and Karen Evans

This is such a beautiful part of the world it’s like being abroad really. We’re from Birmingham and I’ve been down a few times before because a friend of my mum’s has an apartment in Sandbanks. We’ve just come out for a walk with my partner Justin and my mum. It’s lovely and quiet now the main holidaymakers have gone home. Emma Francis with Lily, partner Justin Forester and her mum Pauline Francis

Canford Cliffs is quite quiet but we’re busy at work at Ellis Jones. We like the coffee shops and sandwiches from Oxfords, which keep us going. The people are very friendly here and get to know you. People like it here because it’s very good for couples and families. It’s not really changed in the few years since we’ve been here. It’s a nice place to work. Bethanie Watson (left) and Samantha Wesley (right) 17

Overleaf: Italian Garden at Compton Acres by David Goodman

I’ve got a day off so I’m in the village to do a few jobs and then I’m going to Compton Acres because I haven’t been there for years. I was born and bred in this part of the world so for me it’s home. I’ve lived all over the UK but I keep coming back here. It’s got everything – peace and quiet, the sea, bustling towns, nightlife if you want it, culture at Lighthouse and the people are really friendly. For me it’s all about quality of life and it doesn’t get a lot better than this. Rosie Connell


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Poole Lives

The world that Barry built Barry Cox of the RNLI’s Heritage Library and Archive

A

little more than 30 years ago Barry Cox was taken into an old Dutch barn at what was then known as the RNLI Depot at Poole and shown a stack of dusty boxes. Inside were sheaves of papers, documents, manuscripts and books that had been left since the organisation moved there in 1974 then added to over the years. Their content effectively chronicled the history of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution since its inception in 1824. Barry’s task was to order the papers and establish a working archive. Three decades and one British Empire Medal later he sits in an air conditioned room lined with neat metal shelves on which sit bound volumes and dozens of books about lifeboats. In front of his desk is another door beyond which boxes of sorted boxes of papers, letters and designs as well as minutes books, financial ledgers and service records are carefully arranged on shelves in fire-protected, climate controlled safety. This is the world that Barry built, the RNLI Heritage Library and Archive. ‘Every now and then I think that after thirty years I should be on my way,’ he smiles, ‘but I’m the one who knows where everything is and if I don’t know the answer to a query I know where to look for it. They say everyone should have something to keep them busy when they retire – well this is what I have, although it’s only a day a week now.’ By the mid-1980s Barry was working in the City of London, in a senior role in the international division of Nat West. He applied to join a community relations scheme under which he would be seconded to a charity that could make use of his expertise for the last five years of his working life before taking early retirement at 60. Looking for an opportunity to retire close to where he was born at Castletown on the Isle of Portland he wrote to the RNLI was interviewed and accepted. ‘I was never a natural banker – my grandparents and great grandparents were shipbrokers and chandlers – so I was relieved the RNLI wasn’t interested in my banking skills. But I love books, I’m never without one, so they thought I might be able to help them sort out their archive.’ His first job was to discern exactly what archive there was. As well as the boxes of papers in the barn, every department in the main office building on West Quay Road had various ‘treasures’ and items of interest that Barry painstakingly recorded on sheets he typed by hand and filed. Those records have now been computerised although,

tellingly, the original folders of lists are still to hand. ‘Back then of course there wasn’t a great deal of interest in heritage so people were quite surprised when I turned up taking notes about old stuff they had in their offices,’ he recalls. ‘I’ve also worked very closely with the Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. Its members have a wealth of knowledge and have often been my first port of call in researching things. I wrote to every lifeboat station in the country to ask what they had in the way of archive… about four replied. ‘It’s a different story now that word has got round about the archive though – these days we get sent all kinds of things that nobody else wants in case they’re useful to us!’ He’s joking of course, well half-joking perhaps, but levity aside there’s little doubt that without Barry hundreds, even thousands of historical records – some of them almost 200 years old – could have been lost. ‘There are some things I doubt will ever be found,’ he says. Until the 1920s information about

Although its current home is less than two years old, Barry Cox set up the RNLI’s heritage archive 30 years ago

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Home Grown

Great Oaks is the brand new Encore care home in Bournemouth. a

b

reat Oaks is situated in a peaceful, private woodland setting in Bournemouth. It is the third residential, nursing and dementia care home in the South of England from Encore, which specialises in modern, purpose-built, private care homes. Encore is dedicated to the care and wellbeing of residents and its teams pride themselves on bringing smiles to residents’ faces every day. Great Oaks, the brand new care home in Bournemouth, is no exception. The dedicated team has been taking every opportunity to get to know the new residents with engaging, creative and personalised activities. Great Oaks features a beautiful SHUKZJHWLKNHYKLU^P[OYHPZLKÅV^LYILKZ and a vegetable patch that any greenÄUNLYLKYLZPKLU[ZJHUOLSW[V[LUK

The raised vegetable patch has proved very popular with residents. The success of which can be seen with the Gardening *S\I»ZÄYZ[Z\JJLZZM\SºOHY]LZ[» Activities Manager, Sue Goktas, has been getting to know the new residents to ÄUKV\[[OLPYPUKP]PK\HSPU[LYLZ[ZPUVYKLY to personalise activities. For example, Iris’ grandson worked for Formula 1, so what IL[[LY^H`[VYLTPUPZJL[OHUI`ºI\YUPUN rubber’ as she raced a remote controlled (\KPJHYHYV\UK[OLNHYKLU Day Breaks resident, Ron, loved dancing with his late wife Catherine and greatly LUQV`LK[HRPUN[V[OLKHUJLÅVVYK\YPUN a musical performance. 6ULVM[OL]HS\LZH[,UJVYLPZ[Vº)L Spontaneous’ and the teams encourage residents to continue to do the things they love. Great Oaks resident, Derek, enjoys getting out and about; whether it is going for a stroll with his partner Vi in the meadow next to Great Oaks, or out with his best

friend Doug to spend an afternoon at the Vitality Stadium to support their home team, AFC Bournemouth. The growing family of homes includes the much-anticipated Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, in partnership with the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Hamble Heights in Fareham opened its doors in 2013 and has since achieved a number of awards; one of which is Best Activities Coordinator for the South West in the 2016 Great British Care Awards.

For more information about Great Oaks, call 01202 087 444 or visit www.greatoaksbournemouth.co.uk a) +LYLRHUK=PLUQV`PUNHSLHM`Z[YVSSPU[OLÄLSKZ next to Great Oaks. b) Doug and Derek – ‘Up the Cherries’!

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The world that Barry built

meetings, rescues and events was entered into a series of Precis Books of which all bar one, Book B, are on Barry’s shelves. ‘Book B is my holy grail, I’d love to see that but I fear it was lost in a move.’ He reaches for two bound volumes that date from 1851 when the institution’s president the Duke of Northumberland became president and offered one hundred guineas in prize money for the best design for a new self-righting lifeboat. There are hundreds of pieces of paper in the files, handwritten and drawn designs that serve as a reminder of the extent of the response to the challenge that saw entries submitted from all over the world. At Barry’s fingertips are countless other stories of courage, bravery and skill, of terrible disasters, narrow escapes, great triumphs and enormous sacrifice – all human emotion is to be found in the archive and a great many more examples of mankind at its best than its basest. In editing the book Lifeboat Gallantry, a comprehensive study of RNLI gallantry medals and how they were won, Barry was able to piece together many fragments of information from a range of sources to tell some of those stories for the first time. He’s also written A Lifeboat Year, which chronicles wrecks, rescues and events day-by-day.

‘I’ve no formal training as a librarian; I’ve just done it my own way. Although, when I started I had the books ordered alphabetically by title, but have had to re-order to arrange them by author. Computers have come in since I started of course and I understand the next step is to digitise the most important parts of the archive and make it more accessible to people. ‘I still deal with all sorts of queries – we get a lot of family history researchers. I’ve got one on the go at the moment and they’ve told me about an incident that saw a lifeboat in service in January, but they’ve neglected to say which year. It can be frustrating, but as long as I can be of help I’m happy to be here.’ Last year, nominated by his colleagues in the heritage department, Barry was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of his years of voluntary service. ‘That was such a surprise and a real honour. Obviously I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until it was announced and I had no idea who told them about me until I got a call from some of the people here at the RNLI and then of course I realised who it was. That was really special, something I never imagined would ever happen to me.’

Barry Cox in the climate controlled fire-protected strong room examines the minute book for March 1824 – barely a month after the institution’s first meeting – which records the King’s consent that the organisation style itself ‘Royal’

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Poole groups

On your bike Poole and the renaissance of cycling

‘I

am absolutely positive that if the bicycle was invented tomorrow instead of exactly 200 years ago we would be hailing it as the saviour of the world’s transport problems – plus it would solve our health issues as well.’ Nick Phillips is an Accessibility Team Leader at the Borough of Poole and although it’s part of his job to be something of an evangelist for cycling, perhaps he has a point. The links between traffic congestion, poor air quality and ill health are beyond dispute, as are those between increased exercise and improved health. Given that, there seems a good case to accept that in the most general terms cycling is ‘a good thing’. And Poole appears to be in the vanguard of cycling’s renaissance as a viable means of getting around a busy town. The award of £3 million from the Department of Transport’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund will create a new, wide cycleway on Magna Road and repair more than 7.5 miles of highway, as well as upgrade drainage. Even allowing for that much-fabled modern tribe, the MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra), more of us are taking to two wheels now than at any time for a generation. Poole has an expanding network of 99km of cycleways – half of which are in green areas or traffic-free – and has measured twice as many cycle journeys being taken in the borough over the last decade. ‘It’s my job to enable people to get from A to B in our town as easily and efficiently as possible, whether on foot, on a bike, a bus, a train, or in a wheelchair, mobility scooter or car,” says Nick, who goes on to recall happy times walking his children to school, spending quality time with them while avoiding the congestion of the school run. ‘I’m a big fan of walking and it can seem to me that people have forgotten how to do it, but we’re all pedestrians the moment we get out of our cars.’ This year Poole awarded its first Golden Shoe Trophy to the primary school that got the most of its pupils to walk, scoot or park-and-stride during Walk to School Week in May. Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School won with 80 per cent of its pupils electing to travel actively to school. In an effort to benefit road users and travellers between both boroughs, Poole and Bournemouth have joint cycling, rights of way and public transport officers that have helped create a network of signed routes to keep cyclists away from the main flow of motorised traffic. ‘Transport by its nature is across boundaries.

The thinking in Poole has been very much about improving accessibility and making it easier to get around. Wherever possible we will provide quality cycle facilities alongside main roads as part of our Strategic Cycle Network – the new Gravel Hill lane is a great example. However, this year we’ve also been signing ‘quiet routes’ between Poole and Hamworthy Park via the new footbridge, Rockley, Upton Country Park, Holes Bay and back to the town centre. ‘Next we will provide a Poole and Bournemouth quiet route that makes use of parallel roads so they’re less congested, safer and cleaner. It’s a great leisure route but crucially can also be used by commuters. A major factor in that success has been the expansion of the 20mph speed limit in residential roads. If drivers slow down they drive with greater consideration, reduce carbon emissions and make it easier for others to cycle or walk.’ The emphasis on cycling in Poole is nothing new. Poole Park’s 534-metre circular cycle track around the cricket pitch is one of the oldest in the country and was included with designated paths for walkers in the original plans laid out by the borough engineer John Elford in 1887: ‘Numerous footpaths will be laid down varying from eight feet to four feet in width, also a bicycle track, a quarter

Above Poole’s premier pedal bike night, the Action Sports Tour Team, on the Quay in August. As well as breathtaking acrobatic stunt bike displays by worldclass riders, there are also chances to have a go on trick cycles and crazy bikes, talk to officials about cycling in Poole and find out about Bikeability training. Below Amy Munson, from class 5JM accepts Poole’s first Golden Shoe award from the Mayor Cllr Lindsay Wilson at Baden Powell & St Peters CE Junior School

25


Above Now that's what I call an integrated transport policy: cycling in Poole in earlier times was a less fraught affair, albeit bikes were much, much heavier

Right Gina and George Phillips ready for action with bikes and helmets

26

of a mile in length and twelve feet in width, enclosing the cricket ground which will contain about five acres.’ The Prince of Wales opened the Park on 18 January 1890 and the cricket and cycling facilities were completed two years later. As car ownership boomed from the 1960s onwards, Poole became a regional centre for cycle speedway with a purpose-built track at Harbourside Park opening in 1981. In 1989 Poole teams achieved a clean sweep of all four UK national championships – U15s, U18s, U21s and Senior – a feat that remains unequalled. Paradoxically, Nick points to the controversial 1989 White Paper ‘Roads for Prosperity’, which famously detailed the country’s largest road building programme since the Romans, as the nadir for cycling as a practical means of transport in this country. ‘Traffic management is like plumbing,’ he says. ‘If you widen the pipe and increase the flow of water you move the problem further around the system, you don’t get rid of the problem. ‘For the last few years Poole has had taken a considered, strategic approach to getting around

the town without so much emphasis on the car. We’ve seen a massive increase in use of bikes and buses in Poole showing that if alternatives are as convenient and attractive people will leave their cars at home. We’d love to do more but as a small unitary authority we control more of the levers and there’s good dialogue between departments so we can react quite quickly and get the most from limited resources. ‘For instance, there’s an on-going programme of resurfacing the roads, but once we’ve replaced the black top there’s no requirement to put the markings back in the same place so where possible we’ve been able to create cycle lanes – that’s like getting a cycle lane for free. Why wouldn’t we do that if we could? ‘The traffic lanes are narrower so drivers slow down and the cycle lanes offer a safer route to town for cyclists. We’ve done it in Fernside Road this year and we’ll be moving around to Longfleet Road.’ Looking to the future, Poole has focused on introducing more people to cycling and the council is the first in Dorset to be funded by the Department of Transport to provide Bikeability Balance Training. This means introducing reception class children to pedal-less balance bikes to learn basic riding skills and generate enthusiasm for all things on two wheels. Bikeability – the new name for Cycling Proficiency training – then continues with older children on Levels 1 and 2 so that they can gain enough skills to enable them to ride to their secondary school. Level 3 involves Year 8 students, 12- and 13-year-olds, being taken by National Standard trainers and taught on main roads to manage all traffic conditions. ‘It’s a virtuous circle,’ says Nick. ‘If we get young people cycling and walking, that means they’ll be fitter and more alert at school. They’ll already have a means of transport before they start work and when they do get a job they’ll be more likely to cycle, which is better for their health, reduces the number of vehicles on the road and is cleaner for the environment. ‘If we make one in five a sustainable journey – so one vehicle in five disappears because of car sharing, taking a bus, walking, cycling or even shopping from home – then congestion virtually disappears. It makes you think, doesn’t it?’ HEALTH RIDES A new season of Healthy Cycle Rides will begin in March. The Tuesday rides usually start from outside the Civic Centre at 10.15 and last 60 to 90 minutes mostly on flat, quiet roads and traffic-free routes. Bikes are available to borrow, but need to be booked on 01202 262000. Poole Leisure Cycling Group meets on the first Saturday of the month during British Summer Time with rides starting from Upton Country Park Tea Rooms courtyard at 2.00. www.poole.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/sportsclubs-fitness/cycling/




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A Poole Christmas Extravaganza 30 November - 3 December

Entertainment Light shows Market on the Quay

Evening flotilla Santa procession Fireworks

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Where to go, what to see What's going on in and around Poole Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra French Conductor Victor Aviat will take the rostrum as the BSO stages its annual ‘Celebration of Christmas Carols’ concert at Lighthouse. Lead by the ranks of Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus, the audience is encouraged to join in in a heart-warming evening of festive music to include David Willcocks's arrangement of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. Aviat has won widespread praise with a conducting repertoire as diverse as Mozart and Bernd Alois Zimmerman as well as Offenbach’s lost opera Le Roi Carotte. 23 December, 7.30 Lighthouse, Poole, 01202 280000, www.lighthousepoole.co.uk *The BSO also hosts its traditional New Year’s Day Johann Strauss Viennese Gala from 3.00, also with Victor Aviat.

Christmas in Poole Now a traditional part of Christmas in Poole, the annual Lantern Parade will once again light up the town centre as children process down the High Street with lanterns and illuminated works of art. Pupils from local schools have been working to create their lanterns, which are illuminated by LED lights. The parade is open to everyone as the popular procession sees the children meeting in Falkland Square from 5.00 to parade from 6.00, ending up at the Guildhall around 6.45 for carol singing and mince pies. Poole BID is also hosting a Christmas Light Extravaganza for three evenings from 30 November to light up the Dolphin Centre, Falkland Square, High Street and Quay. There’s a Santa procession from 11.00 on 3 December from the Quay to Falkland Square and Christmas markets on the Quay on 1 and 3 December. 30 November, 5.00 Falkland Square, www.pooletourism.com

Christmas Walk & Carols Glimpses of Christmases Past, Present and Future are in store on Brownsea Island as the National Trust rangers lead special festive walks. Visitors will be able to enjoy a guided walk of the island’s lagoon with its internationally important wildlife and habitats before being lead by to the candlelit St Mary’s Church for carols, mulled wine and mince pies. Merry Christmas! 19, 21 December, 10.00 National Trust Sandbanks Jetty, 01202 707744, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ brownsea-island

Cinderella There’s sure to be a ball this Christmas with family pantomime Cinderella dancing into action at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts. Coproduced by Lighthouse and Duncan Reeves Productions – led by actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan and musical director Darren Reeves – the show marks the beginning of a new three-year producing partnership with the aim of bringing high quality family pantomime to Poole, and follows the success of last year’s Christmas show Aladdin. Peter Duncan’s background is firmly rooted in the traditions of pantomime. His parents, comedian Alan Gale and soprano Patricia Kaye, were also panto producers and he’s no stranger to the Poole area having been the UK’s Chief Scout (2004-2009) during which he oversaw a centenary celebration broadcast live from Brownsea Island. ‘I’m really looking forward to creating another good pantomime at Lighthouse. There will be much laughter and spectacle along with a talented cast – I promise!’ he says. ‘Lighthouse is delighted to be renewing its producing partnership with Duncan Reeves Productions,’ adds Lighthouse chief executive Elspeth McBain. ‘Aladdin proved to be tremendously popular with our audiences last Christmas and we’re looking forward to creating an even more magical and fun-filled panto with Cinderella.’ 8 December – 6 January, Various times Lighthouse, Poole, 01202 280000, www.lighthousepoole.co.uk

St Petersburg Classical Ballet Under the direction of Marina Medvetskaya, St Petersburg Classic Ballet returns to Lighthouse Poole following its spectacular debut in 2017. Combining classical training and technique with the best-loved Russian ballets, the company’s much-praised performances are complemented by a full orchestra and star soloists. The four-day run at Lighthouse opens with Giselle, one of the few 19th century Romantic ballets to survive intact. The music is by Adolphe Adam and propels the classic story of love, betrayal and redemption about a young village girl who loves to dance despite the uncertainty of a weak heart. The second half of the stay features Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, Swan Lake. A tragic tale of love and betrayal with an instantly recognisable score, the story follows Prince Siegfried and his true love Odette who would rather die than live apart. 24-28 January, 7.30 (Sat, Sun mat 2.30) Lighthouse, Poole, 01202 280000, www.lighthousepoole.co.uk 29








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I’ve not long moved here from Plymouth as my mum came up last year and it felt like it was time for a bit of a change. I’m living in Westbourne but work in Ashley Cross at the florists and it’s really nice there. The people are really nice and I’ve been recommended the bars and restaurants here are really good for going out. I like Ashley Cross as it’s a bit quieter than the hectic town centres in Bournemouth and Poole. Mind you, it’s all a step up from Plymouth. I haven’t really got a plan but I can see me staying here for a while. Lucy Brennan

I live in Penn Hill but chose to have an office – I’m in digital and animation – in Ashley Cross instead of a trading estate or industrial park because there is a genuine sense of community here that makes it easy to feel at home. It also means I can have an office dog, this is Bertie, and nip out for a walk. You see familiar faces all the time and bump into people you’ve done business with who become friends, things just become much less complicated. I like the events that are put on in the Green, work is within cycling distance of home and the schools are good for the children, aged seven and nine. Ed Willson, with Bertie

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Art for art's sake

Praising PEDAS Inside Poole and East Dorset Art Society

I

ts founder members include Augustus John and Henry Lamb, two of the best known names in 20th century British Art, and George Spencer Watson was an early president, but today’s Poole and East Dorset Art Society is a much more approachable group than the one they helped initiate in 1924. Conceived as a means of fostering public appreciation of Art locally, it seems PEDAS intended to invite all artists working in the area to submit work, but didn’t. In the event for its first exhibition it ‘made do’ with stellar contributions from John and Lamb alongside work by other founders including Associates of the Royal College of Art like John Adams and Hugh Llewellyn, best known for their Poole Pottery designs. John had been presiding over his Bohemian enclave at Alderney Manor since 1910 and no doubt made warm welcome of Lamb who moved to Poole in pursuit of peace and quiet after World War 1 having been badly gassed. Lamb’s paintings of Poole streets perhaps echo that quest for calm, although maybe not given that he counted many of the high living Bloomsbury Group among his friends and was visited by Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Gilbert and George Spencer, as well as Lytton Strachey whose portrait is among Lamb’s best known works. ‘In the early days the emphasis was on working artists bringing together a group of paintings to exhibit, as opposed to being an outlet for members’ work,’ says Liz Magee, a member of some thirty years’ standing.

These days PEDAS membership is non-selective, fully inclusive and kept to around a hundred, with a small waiting list. Enthusiasm and commitment are as important than skill, according to Liz’s fellow artist Sally Holland. ‘Members support one another to improve and try new things; we’re very open to all forms of figurative and abstract work in any media including also ceramics, textile art and photography,’ she says. PEDAS quickly established a fine reputation that was only enhanced by the likes of noted maritime painter Edward Gribble who moved to Poole in the early 1930s and served for many years as chairman and vice-president; also renowned portraitist Sir Gerald Kelly who spent 30 years as PEDAS president including five years from 1949 to 1954 when he was also president of the Royal Academy. From the outset the society fostered close links with Poole School (then College) of Art that became part of Bournemouth and Poole College and during the 1950s supported its principal Arthur Andrews as he secured funding for The College Art Collection. He went on to acquire significant works by leading artists including Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens, Jacob Epstein, Bridget Riley,

Above left One of Bournemouth & Poole's most accomplished artists, Eustace Nash, shown rather more formally attired than fellow PEDAS founder member Augustus John (above) who sported a gold earring

Bottom A PEDAS exhibition at the Gallery Upstairs at Upton House

33


High Tide at Sterte by Dennis Hill showing Poole Power Station's once-iconic silhouette

The catalogue for the 25th anniversary PEDAS exhibition in 1956 with a distinctive woodcut by Edward Lister

34

painting trips abroad. Central to the society’s activities at home though is its management of The Gallery Upstairs at Upton Country Park where a busy programme of exhibitions changes every two weeks and accommodates the society’s own biannual shows. ‘It’s owned by the Borough of Poole but managed and run by us as a community gallery,’ says Liz who sits on the gallery sub-committee, ‘showing work by local art clubs and small groups of local artists, or sometimes solo exhibitions. Of course selling is important, there’s nothing like the feeling that someone you don’t know likes something you’ve made enough to want it on their wall, but sometimes an artist will say it’s Stanley Hayter, Barbara Hepworth and Graham enough just to see their work properly hung on a Sutherland, many of which were sold amid great gallery wall.’ controversy in 2013 as the College sought to fund That said both artists sound cautionary notes new facilities. that PEDAS must guard against complacency. The ‘That was a terrible tragedy for Poole,’ says society used to exhibit in various Poole venues Sally. ‘Arthur Andrews collected the works for the including Lighthouse and St James Church Hall college, which was in local authority control and – it even showed work aboard the SS Shieldhall where they were on show to the public in The steamship moored at Poole Quay. Study Gallery, or KUBE as it became. They were ‘It’s very easy to not look beyond the Gallery,’ intended for the people of Poole and yet they were says Liz, ‘but we must. In the same way it’s good sold without consultation.’ to be challenged out of our comfort zones as It’s not the only time PEDAS has felt aggrieved artists, which is why I like the themed exhibitions by the apparent disregard of Art by those in because you have to research and make authority. In 1978 the society bought Dorset something specific…’ as in Ekphrasis, last year’s Coast, a large collage by its late president PEDAS show for Dorset Art Weeks. Edward Lister, who taught at the college and had ‘We had fun with that – it’s the use of one art studied under Gilbert Spencer at the RCA, and form to describe another art form,’ Sally explains. presented it to Poole Arts Centre on its opening. ‘So a painting could be explained as sculpture, or Subsequently, PEDAS chairman at the time Brian music as painting. It was very interesting.’ Tofield rescued it from a skip as the Arts Centre And exactly the sort of thinking that should underwent its transformation into Lighthouse preserve PEDAS well into the 22nd century. in 2002. •The Open 17 exhibition can be seen at the Now entrusted to the safekeeping of Dennis Hill, Gallery Upstairs at Upton Country Park from 2 a long-standing PEDAS member who was taught December. www.pedas.org.uk by Lister and remembers him fondly, Dorset Coast still bears the mark of its maker who, standing in a gallery and looking to light a cigarette, spotted some sandpaper on the artwork and used it to strike his match. By the 1980s the society was in decline and according to current president John Bowen, who took up the post of Lecturer in Charge of Fine Art Studies at Poole College in 1980, struggling to reconcile its reputation with the need to find new members. Working with the then chairman Peter Hardwick PEDAS began to develop an entirely inclusive approach to membership to create an environment of mutual support and encouragement. ‘For many members, myself included at times, PEDAS is an absolute lifeline,’ says Liz. ‘We’re a very sociable group, we like to get out and do things. Most of my friends now are in PEDAS.’ There are regular gallery trips to London and elsewhere, painting excursions, even some foreign travel and recent destinations have included Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, The Hague, Bruges and Brussels. Future plans may include


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