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ISBN: 9781871164497
Discovering Lost Dorset
Discovering Lost Dorset
  • Description

Long before he started the predecessor of Dorset Life magazine, in 1968, author and editor Rodney Legg was hoarding the photographs of family and friends as well as taking his own pictures. Distant relations included Leggs around Puddletown and the Wareham branch of the Hardys. Retired land-agent Charles Stride of Portland Villa, Shillingstone, contributed material from Sturminster Newton and the Blackmore Vale.

Rodney Legg’s father, Winton cobbler Ted Legg, was given lantern slides by retired Bournemouth solicitor Edwin Dobshon. Through Church Knowle writer and campaigner Monica Hutchings he obtained an old album of the Bond family from Tyneham House.

Many snapshots are delightfully homely but there are occasional professional gems by Walter Pouncy from Dorchester and Helen Muspratt at Swanage. Two of them were blown out of her studio window by a German bomb and picked up in the street.

This unique archive comes into its own in the Isle of Purbeck. It evokes another Dorset that was eliminated by the expansion of the Lulworth tank gunnery ranges, six days before Christmas in 1943, and even he hills that remained in civilian ownership are seen in another age. From horse-drawn reapers through to stone mining they did things differently there. Into the twentieth century, boulders were still being lowered from derricks at Dancing Ledge into offshore boats, as pleasure seekers climbed and bathed nearby. On St Alban’s Head, men of the Coastguard service hauled their ropes from a shed to the cliffs, and fired them with rockets in a training exercise.

This combination of work and leisure is punctuated by episodes of severe weather that are also from bygone times. This selection of 400 key shots concentrates without apology on the nostalgic. Mostly they are previously unpublished. Faces abound and many people will see themselves or their forbears.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 1871164494, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published April 2006. Reprinted March 2009

 
 
Web Price: £19.99
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