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I am always intrigued by all the accents I hear from people on the campsite. The gentleman in the photo had a lovely Bristol accent, while his wife had a very soft Welsh one. (1) I know when I first arrived in Sydney no one had ever heard my strong Dorset accent before and said that I had to be either from Ireland or the United states. In those days I was glad to replace the accent with an Australian one, but now I am saddened that it is dying out as the older people pass away, and youngsters are influenced by more education, social media and television to speak like everyone else.

A young couple arrived in this hired Wicked Campers converted van. The firm is owned by a graffiti artists. They said that it slept two and was very comfortable. (2, 3)


Some friends from Gloucester visited us recently with their 5 year old Great Dane Tia. She was a rescue dog and was skin and bone when they met her. (4) After some tender loving care she now weighs a healthy 12 stone. She didn’t quite know what to make of the Limousin young stock (15 to 20 months old) in the yard, and they were very curious about her. (5) The grass has at last started to grow after the awful weather we had recently. I now have to hire people to mow the lawns and the campsite. (6, 7)

This Hebe plant obviously didn’t survive the snow very well and will have to be replaced. (8) On checking my dahlias I have discovered that I have lost half of them to the cold weather. They were all right in the cider cellar the winter before last. I will have to put them in the spare bedroom next winter as I have done in previous years. I quickly had to buy some more (before stocks ran out) to make up the losses, ready to sell the flowers this summer. Daffodils I planted earlier this year all came up blind, but the Narcissi bloomed beautifully. (9)


This hairdressing salon (10) was started by David and Sheila Briggs in 1983 and I have been patronising it ever since I left London and returned to Dorset many moons ago. In 2008 they retired and gave Sharon Dodge a brilliant opportunity to take over the salon. (11) Sharon had started at Hair by David whilst still at school as a Saturday girl. (12) She started her apprenticeship as soon as she left school as she knew from a young age that she wanted to style hair. (13) During this apprenticeship she attended college one day a week. (14) When she qualified she felt it was very scary but with encouragement from David and Sheila Briggs and all the stylists in the salon she moved to styling and loved it. Along the way she met and married Elliott and had two children Callum and Harriett.

Taking over the salon was something that Sharon had not really thought about but with Elliott’s support and eagerness she decided to take the jump. All her family and the team at the salon helped and supported her which was an amazing boost to her confidence.

Sharon has learnt so much managing the salon: not taking everything personally, having fun in what they are doing, being professional but also human, and making the salon a calm and relaxing place to visit.

Hair by David has so many loyal clients, who have been coming for years, so they have seen all the changes and have encouraged Sharon all the way. The business is getting new clients all the time and keeps up with all the latest techniques, such as colouring, cutting, perming and blow dries. (15, 17, 18) Hair by David uses Paul Mitchell products and their team help and advise the business all the time. (19) Sharon’s future plans are very simple: to keep everyone happy, manage the salon professionally and to help with the training of apprentices.

It is wonderful to look back when Sharon was in my Business Studies class at Colfox School, shy but hard working, and to think that one day she would progress through the ranks to manage a hairdressing salon in Bridport.


Thanks to the farmers and landowners of the Marshwood Vale, a new habitat restoration project has begun in far West Dorset. Conservation work will be funded by the National Grid and aims to enhance the landscape around their high-powered electricity lines. (20) Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Dorset area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have collaborated to pull together the Magical Marshwood Vale landscape enhancement initiative with the help of 25 landowners along the pylon line between Lambert’s Castle and Salway Ash.

Hedgerow tree planting is a measure of great value to wildlife and landscape. The idea came from land owners in the Vale where hedgerow trees are an iconic feature of the region – an old name for this area is the Vale of the Oaks. Another project that’s been included is a wild daffodil nursery to nurture locally collected seeds of another archetypal Marshwood Vale species.

All in all, the target for the project is to:

  • Plant 126 oak trees in boundaries within sight of the pylons
  • Lay 1800 metres of hedgerow
  • Plant 60 new orchard trees
  • Re-create 7 hectares of wild flower meadows
  • Restore 150 m of river habitat
  • Take on 7 hectares of scrub clearance on species-rich grassland
  • Enhance 7 ponds for wildlife
  • Establish a wild daffodil nursery in the Vale

The launch of the project was on 12th April whereby we walked down the Great Bluntshay Farm track, (21) and then took a left turn to espy a field full of wild daffodils. (22) We then moved closer to the River Char where Nick Gray explained the river habitat part of the project. (23) Later we all met up at the Shave Cross Pub, just up the road, for a presentation by Ian Reece, and a helping of shepherds pie. (24) My involvement with the project is to have this hedge “cut and plushed” – laid by the old fashioned method, (25) and to have the oak trees I have been growing in pots for years planted in one of my hedgerows. (26, 27) The taller one shot through the bottom of the pot and is now growing at a rate of knots and will be very difficult to dig out!


Jurassic Coast Business Partners, Ambassadors and Partner Organisations were exclusively invited along to this unique event which was sponsored by Edwards and Keeping, Chartered Accountants. Dippy arrived at the Museum on 10th February 2018 and will be leaving to go to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on 26th May to 9th September. After this it will visit another 6 venues finishing its round Britain tour on 31st October 2020. Dorchester was the first venue to start the tour. In the short time Dippy was in the county town it attracted over 100,000 visitors.

This part of the museum was only just big enough to house Dippy, the diplodocus. (28, 29) It was fortunate that its tail was already curved before it reached the Museum. (30)

It took about 2 hours to set up the event. (31, 32) and was ready by 7 pm to welcome 90 people. (33) During the evening Anjana Ford and Sam Rose, Programme Manager and Chief Executive respectively, each gave an expert guided tour of the Dippy exhibition through the mezzanine area.(34) This photo shows Anjana, Lucy Culkin, Programme Manager, Guy Kerr (Programme Manager – Engagement & Partnership, and Sam Rose. The Chair of the Jurassic Coast Trust, Alex O’Dwyer, gave a rousing ovation outlining the importance of the involvement of those attending the event. (35)

Dippy lived around 150 million years ago, about half way through the age of the dinosaurs. His home was near a lake on land which is now south western North America. The skeleton was discovered by railway workers in 1898 in Wyoming. It was acquired by Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie for his newly founded Natural History Museum in Pittsburgh. King Edward VII, then a keen trustee of the British Museum, saw a sketch of Dippy in 1902 and Carnegie agreed to donate a cast to the British Natural History Museum as a gift. The 292 cast pieces of the skeleton were sent to London in 36 crates and unveiled on 12 May 1905. After 112 years on display the dinosaur replica was removed in early 2017 to be replaced by a young blue whale, dubbed “Hope”


Thank you to all the people who have helped me with this newsletter: Ian Reece, Nick Gray, Sharon Dodge, Guy Kerr, Caroline Lambert and Carol Lee.

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