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Browse back through our archive of news, published throughout the restoration of Bridport Town Hall.

Mayor’s Blog – Tier 2 = High Alert

Tier 2 = High Alert I suspect that like me your initial reaction on hearing that Dorset was to be placed in Tier 2 when the Lockdown is lifted on 2nd December was one of incredulity. We have been extremely…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Business Awards

Bridport Business Awards 2021 On the morning of Wednesday 11th November I was delighted to take part in the launch of the Bridport Business Awards 2021. The Covid-19 lockdown meant that the event had to be a virtual one. It…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Remembers 2020

Bridport Remembers 2020 November 11th, Remembrance Day, is the day we remember the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace; specifically, the First and Second World Wars,…

Mayor’s Blog – Return to Lockdown

Return to Lockdown As we find ourselves once more moving towards another Covid-19 lockdown on Thursday 5th November we all need to take stock of how we live our everyday lives in order to drive down the number of cases…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Museum

  Bridport Museum I recently had the pleasure of visiting the newly reopened Bridport Museum. Like many similar places across the country it has had to remain closed due the current Covid-19 pandemic. Having its doors open again has provided…

Mayor’s Blog – The Doves of Crock Lane

The Doves of Crock Lane Over the past few months whilst we have all been learning to live with the Covid-19 virus, an amazing art installation has been slowly emerging in Crock Lane. It all started with a rainbow with…

Mayor’s Blog – Weldmar Hospicecare on the Move

Weldmar Hospicare On The Move On Monday morning at 10.00am I found myself in Morrisons car park to welcome the brand new Weldmar Hospicecare Community Outreach Vehicle to Bridport for the first time. The Weldmar Community Outreach Vehicle was launched…

Mayor’s Blog – A Busy Time for the Mayor

A Busy Time for the Mayor Just when things were starting to settle into a relatively calm ‘new normal’ wham bam the Covid-19 figures started to take a turn in the wrong direction and we are once again living in…

Mayor’s Blog – West Bay Railway Anniversary

West Bay Railway Anniversary Tuesday 22nd September marked the 90th anniversary of the closure of the rail passenger service to and from West Bay. On that fateful day the service that had run between Maiden Newton and West Bay via…

Mayor’s Blog – Sustainable Farming

Sustainable Farming I was fortunate to grow up on a farm in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, Nottinghamshire in the 1950s and 60s. In so many ways it was an idyllic childhood, free to roam the fields, observe wildlife, build…

Mayor’s Blog – Plastic Free Bridport

Plastic Free Bridport The 20th and 21st centuries have justifiably been dubbed the Plastics Age, such is the influence and ubiquity of this family of materials. Plastics pervade all aspects of society. We clean our teeth with plastic toothbrushes, type…

Mayor’s Blog – The Portrait Challenge

The Portrait Challenge Bridport I can’t believe that I have spent much of the past few days obsessed by the Portrait Challenge Bridport. As a former designer, drawing was a big part of my skillset, but portraiture was way out…

Mayor’s Blog – VJ Day – 75 Years on

VJ Day – 75 Years On On Saturday 15th August 2020, Bridport commemorated the 75th anniversary of VJ day (Victory over Japan) and the end of the Second World War by the following ………. Flying the Union Flag on the…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Community Orchard.

Bridport Community Orchard – workparty The Bridport Community Orchard is one of the jewels in the town’s crown. The Orchard was established in January 2009 with the planting of 23 half standard apple trees. The second planting, in February 2010,…

Mayors Blog – Bridport Bounces Back

Bridport Bounces Back Sunday 2nd August marked two significant milestones as Bridport continues to Bounce Back from the effects of the Covid-19 virus on the town. Sunday morning saw the return of the popular West Bay Car Boot Sale and…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Green Route

Bridport Green Route A wonderful circular walk around Bridport has recently been established – Bridport Green Route. The new Bridport Green Route has been developed by Bridport Town Council with input from volunteers from local health and access groups, who…

Mayor’s Blog – West Bay Beach Clean

West Bay Beach Clean – it should not be necessary. On the morning of Sunday 19th July I joined a group of brave volunteers of all ages gathered on the shingle beside the West Bay Watch House Cafe to carry…

Jemma Thompson

Here are some images of signwriter Jemma Thompson at work on the Town Hall.

Bridport Town Hall Opens

Following extensive repair and restoration, the first phase of Bridport Town Hall is now open and welcoming the public. Town Surveyor, Daryl Chambers, who has overseen the repairs and restoration of the building, said “this project has saved the building…

To clean or not to clean?

As the scaffolding on the Town Hall was lowered, some people have asked why the stone and brickwork building hasn’t been extensively cleaned.  As with all elements of the project the   historic nature of the building has dictated the appropriate…

External work completed

All repairs to the cupola, roof and external walls of the Town Hall have now been completed.  As a Grade 1 listed building, the process of undertaking even the smallest repair is considerable. Work has had to be referred to English…

Town Hall tours – book now!

On Saturday 22 October there will be a special opportunity to see behind the scenes of the Town Hall Heritage and Conservation Project.  Pre bookable tours will be programmed every 45 minutes throughout the day, giving anyone interested an opportunity…

Uplifting artwork

As part of the Bridport Town Hall Heritage and Conservation project, local artist Darrell Wakelam has been working with local disability groups and young parents to create a permanent artwork for the interior of the new lift at Bridport Town…

Town Hall glints golden

As part of the Bridport Town Hall Heritage and Conservation project, local artist Jemma Thompson has re-gilded the weathervane that tops the distinctive tower of the building.  The weathervane was removed from the building and taken to Jemma’s studio at…

Touching history

While working on the main Council Chamber in the Town Hall, joiners have discovered a carved wooden panel which has been hidden under the floorboards since 1787, the year the Town Hall building was completed. The panel shows the initials…

Well, well…

During initial ground floor excavations the old town well was uncovered. What came as a complete shock however, was the discovery of a second well. beneath the main southern entrance. This second well is about 8 metres deep and has a 1.8…

Praise for local businesses

Local businesses have been praised for their quality and professionalism by Farnrise Construction, the main contractors on the Town Hall Heritage and Conservation Project.  From the outset the project has sought to use local businesses where possible within the restrictions…

Town Hall project update

Work on the Town Hall Heritage and Conservation project is now well under way and reaching the final stages of demolition. The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was originally developed to incorporate some minor restoration and works to…

Town Hall paintings become part of the national collection

The paintings at Bridport Town Hall are now available for people around the world to view online as they become part of the national collection, through a new project called Your Painting. The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) in partnership with the…

Colfox students carve their mark

As part of Bridport Town Council’s Town Hall Heritage and Conservation project, a group of year 9 students from Colfox spent a stone themed day in Purbeck with local stone mason Karl Dixon. First stop was Lovells Quarry where the students…

Fireplace uncovered

A wood and tiled fireplace has been uncovered in the small meeting room. It is thought that it was boarded up to stop drafts but interestingly the fire irons were carefully placed to the right of the fireplace before the board was…

Columns are reinstated

The four columns supporting the first floor have now been reinstated at the sourthern end of the building. One original column was uncovered when the toilets were removed from the building and three new columns have been installed, taking the building…

Secret drawers discovered

Two secret drawers have been discovered beneath the steps of the mayoral dais in the Council Chamber. The drawers were spotted when the ceilings of the ground floor were taken down, exposing the underneath of the wooden structure. A large quantity…

Cameras capture damage

There was an attempted break in at the compound outside Bridport Town Hall recently, which was caught on the town centre CCTV and a person was arrested soon afterwards. The case was dealt with by the Bridport Community Justice Panel…

Major cracks exposed

The stripping back has also exposed a structural problem which, had it not been discovered now, could have been an issue at some time in the future. Initial plans were to conserve the original lathe and plaster ceiling in the…

Memories wanted

Bridport Town Council is working with Bridport Museum to capture and record the memories and stories of local people and their connections with the Town Hall. For over 200 years the Town Hall has been both the civic and symbolic…

Floor excavations

Over the past couple of weeks the careful task of excavating the ground floor has been underway.  When finished the Town Hall will have level access from Bucky Doo square but in order to achieve this, the current floor level…

Original structures exposed

With construction work now a few weeks in, the fittings of the ground floor toilets have been removed and the painstaking task of uncovering the original structures of the building has begun. As a Grade 1 listed building, all demolishion work…

Work Starts

Building works on the Town Hall Heritage and Conservation Project has now started. Bridport Town Council’s project is funded by the Town Council itself, a £600,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) together with support from West Dorset District Council…

Local Schools Paint the Town

Last week, Bridport Mayor, Cllr Geoff Ackerman, meet local artist Sarah Butterworth in Bucky Doo Square to view the fantastic 9 meter long mural she has created with the help of local schools. The mural is positioned on the southern…

Grant for restoration of Newbery paintings

A grant of £3000 has been awarded to Bridport Town Council by the Charles Hayward Foundation, for the restoration of a number of paintings in Bridport Town Hall. The application for this funding was made on behalf of the Town Council…

Borough Coat of Arms

The arms of the Borough, granted in 1623, are “Gules, a castellated post or gateway with flanking turrets, masoned and battlemented arg; in the open port three spinning cogs or hooks in pale, in chief a lion passant guardant crowned,…

Bridport Primary Schools paint the town

Local artist Sarah Butterworth has been working with over 60 children from Bridport Primary, St Catherine’s and St Mary’s Schools in a series of workshops to paint a 9 meter long mural.  The year 5 and year 6 children researched…

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