Skip to content

Blog 113

BLOG 113 – From Street to Sea 5, the 2021 Census, Collect, West Bay Beach Wheelchairs and more


Two days after celebrating the coronation of King Charles III, we are all being urged to dedicate some time on the additional bank holiday on Monday, May 8 to volunteering. This is to honour the King’s lifetime of public service.

The Big Help Out encourages people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local community. The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend.

From Street to Sea Bridport’s twice yearly mass litter pick is an ideal way in which you can take part in The Big Help Out and do something positive about the litter that blights our streets, green spaces, rivers and beaches.


Whether you are a royalist or a republican this is the perfect opportunity to give something back, show how much you care about and love our wonderful town. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Go out on the street where you live and collect all the litter you can find and add it to your own bin.
  • Go to one of the group street and green space litter pick rendezvous points at either the Co-op, Morrisons or Waitrose car parks, and the West Bay Discovery Centre.
  • Go to the Watch House Cafe to take part in a group beach litter pick.


Over the weekend, canoeists and paddle boarders will be travelling along our rivers collecting the litter that accumulates along the banks out of reach from the shore.

The start time for each of the group litter picks is 10.00am and you will be amazed how much can be achieved in an hour so please come along and join the growing army of Bridport citizens who care and deal with other people’s litter, stopping some of it at least making its way From Street to Sea.

It really is a simple as that.


To find out more or offer support email:


Analysis of recently released 2021 Census results, which has been carried out by the Bridport Local Area Partnership, creates potentially valuable evidence about the area and its needs. It includes information about the population, employment, housing tenure, car ownership, health and care and makes fascinating reading.


A Census is usually held every ten years to count the population and measure its characteristics. Analysis by the Partnership has focussed on findings for the Parish and Town Councils within its area. It shows the variation between those local Council areas and makes comparison with Census figures for the whole of Dorset and whole of England.


The full analysis can be found on the Bridport Town Council webpage by clicking HERE.

COLLECT – an evening with Fingerprint Dance and friends

Last Saturday evening a packed Electric Palace was treated to a series of wonderful contemporary dance performances hosted by Anna Golding’s Fingerprint Dance troupe.

Since training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Anna has been based in London and the South West working as a facilitator, performer, project leader and choreographer. As a mature dancer herself, she is curious about how we tell stories with our bodies as we age and how this is represented in live performance.

Over the last twenty years, Anna has worked for organisations including Take Art, Activate Performing Arts, Pavilion Dance South West, The V&A Museum, Landance and Greenwich Dance Agency.

Anna is passionate about integrated and mature dance, landscape and site responsive performance. In 2011 she set up No Limits offering dance and live music opportunities to people with learning disabilities in Dorset. Out of this has grown Fingerprint Dance, a vibrant inclusive performing arts organisation rooted in community and growing opportunities to create together. It believes in the unique potential of each individual regardless of age, ability or background – the unique potential in each fingerprint.

From the first performance ‘Heart Star’ by Forest and Fingerprint Dance the audience was treated to a combination of live dance and film performances that took them on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Also taking to the stage during the evening were Movers and Shakers who performed a piece inspired by the exhibits in the Dorset Museum; Bridport Youth Dance who performed a piece entitled The Waiting Room about those about to enter heaven and the process of cleansing their souls in order to make it to the other side; Grace and Growl whose Ophelia the divine feminine who breaks down the walls of the citadel, shatters the rule keepers and wakes up the wild and free in all of us. Other performers included the Yama Dance Company, DANCE SIX-0, and a film by the Australian award winning group Ripe Dance.

The images above were taken by local photographer Pete Mallinson


On Wednesday morning I had the pleasure of visiting Harbour House in West Bay to talk to some of the residents about being Mayor of Bridport for the past three years.

On arrival I was met greeted by a young woman whose uncle Clifford Samways had been Mayor of Bridport in the early 1990s. After my talk she had a good look at the mayor’s chain which brought back memories of Clifford but she did not spot his name on any of the shields and we realised that the practice of adding names to the chain stopped several decades ago.

I thought I was doing well having reached my three score years and ten earlier this month but amongst the residents gathered in the lounge to listen to me were three ladies who had reached their centenary, and sharp as a pin each of them was – what an inspiration.


They were a great audience, listening attentively, asking some really interesting questions and sharing memories of previous mayors dating back many years.

As always the opportunity to see the mayor and mayoress chains as well as the maces close up was a highlight. Seeing one of the staff dressed in the full mayoral regalia added to the experience.

All in all I found it a thoroughly enjoyable and life affirming experience and I hope the residents and staff there found it equally rewarding and fun.


West Bay’s beach wheelchair scheme, providing beach access for those with disabilities, was launched on Friday, March 31 at 12noon. The event on West Beach was organised by Elaine Leader, who has led the campaign to make access to the sea available to all. Also there was reporter Johnny Rutherford from Spotlight Southwest so look out for his report from a very windy West Beach with a very lively sea in the background.

When I spoke to Elaine she told me:

”It is lovely to see this project finally up and running” .

“The beach matting has already been laid by West Bay harbourmaster James Radcliffe and his team, and we’ll soon have three different types of beach wheelchairs for people to see and try out.

It is going to make such a difference to so many people with disabilities and restricted mobility who previously have not been able to access the beach and sea at West Bay.”


Elaine has worked with Bridport Town Council, Dorset Council and Parkdean Resorts to get the scheme up and running.

Parkdean, which owns West Bay Holiday Park and is the UK’s largest holiday park operator, will facilitate free hire of the wheelchairs.

One of the beach wheelchairs can float in the sea and can be used in conjunction with a qualified swimming coach so that the carers do not necessarily need to be in the water.

There will also be a special wheelchair platform on balloon wheels for people who need a specific wheelchair and cannot transfer to one of the beach ones. This is currently being manufactured and is being funded by West Dorset Mencap.

There is now a Changing Places toilet provided by Parkdean, which is available for the public to use at any time. A second one is being installed in West Bay Road later in the year.  Each will have a toilet, an adult changing bed, shower and a hoist and will offer a crucial but basic need for people with complex disabilities so they can enjoy a whole day at the beach instead of having to go home when they need to use the facilities.

Funding for the scheme has come via donations from Bridport Town Council, West Dorset Mencap, Bridport Round Table and numerous other charities, individuals and organisations who have contributed to the Crowdfunder campaign.

In addition Magna Housing, Highlands End Holiday Park and Groves Nurseries and Garden Centre have all pledged support for the scheme. But funding is still needed for the storage building for the wheelchairs which will be located in the slipway area.

You can donate on the Crowdfunder page by clicking HERE.


The much loved West Bay Car Boot sale returns on Sunday 2nd April. Traders can attend from 6.30am and must vacate the car park by 12 noon. It will be open to the public from 7.30am so go along early if you want to snap up a bargain.

Costs for this car boot sale are £7 for all vehicles and £15 for commercial catering. The car boot sale will be held every Sunday until the end of October.


All profits go to community projects to be applied for through a grant scheme allocated by local councillors.

AND FINALLY – Car Parking Update

Dorset Council has announced revised car parking charges which will come into operation from April 28th. “An increase in the cost of parking in Dorset Council’s car parks will be limited to busy tourist areas. The rates will be seasonal, with some only increasing for the spring/summer period.” The full announcement can be read HERE

A detailed list of the changes including those in Bridport and West Bay can be read HERE.

In amongst it all is the addition of the Wykes Court car park to the Short Stay permit list. Good news for many I am sure.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top