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

Mayor’s Blog

Bridport Primary School – Edible Garden Bridport Primary Schools Edible garden hosted an open after school event last Friday and I went along to see how it is progressing. When I arrived the garden and field beside it was thronged…

Mayor’s Blog

Bridport Food and Beer Festival 2022, The Plott and Gordon Court The fantastic Bridport Food and Beer Festival, organised by Bridport Local Food Group, is back even bigger and better on Asker Meadow this weekend. The scaled down event last…

Mayor’s Blog – Jubilee celebrations and much more …

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations and more … The recent extended Bank Holiday weekend marked the official celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Alongside Bridport Town Crier John Collingwood, I have had the honour of carrying out…

Mayor’s Blog – Becoming Mayor again, Magic Tenners and the Jubilee!

Becoming Mayor Again, Magic Tenners and the Queens Platinum Jubilee I would like to begin this week’s Blog by thanking my fellow Town Councillors for electing me to serve this, my third term as Bridport’s Town Mayor. It is without…

Mayor’s Blog – Its all about Community

It’s all about Community Over the past week or so I have been reminded of the importance of community. Events that have been held in Bridport, many of which I have been thrilled to have been able to attend, have…

Mayor’s Blog – A Perfect Storm

A Perfect Storm It has been said that we are facing a perfect storm, global warming, environmental and ecological meltdown, and now rapidly rising energy and food costs. The war in Ukraine has brought into sharp focus just how precariously…

Mayor’s Blog – Spring, Food, Awards…..

Spring, Food, Awards and more The Easter weekend is upon us; schools are on holiday; visitor numbers have increased and the weather looks pretty good. Unlike Christmas, Easter falls on a different date each year, the first Sunday after the…

Mayor’s Blog – Covid, Cycles & Community –

Covid, Cycles, Community and Water Voles It was Anne, my wife, who tested positive with Covid first and then a couple of days later it was my turn. We were very aware that numbers of cases, both nationally and locally,…

Mayor’s Blog – Business Awards, River Rubbish and more –

Bridport Business Awards 2022, River Rubbish and more. Bridport Business Awards 2022 In only three years the Bridport Business Awards have become an important event in the Bridport calendar of events. Nigel Reeve, of Marketing West, which runs the awards,…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport responds to the Crisis in Ukraine –

BRIDPORT RESPONDS TO THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE As the crisis in Ukraine becomes ever more desperate, the people of Bridport are continuing to step up and do what they can to support Ukrainian citizens engulfed in the fighting and those…

Mayor’s Blog – Flying the Ukrainian Flag

Flying the Ukraine Flag and more The positive response to the flying of the Ukrainian flag and lighting the Town Hall clock in yellow and blue has been overwhelming. When I made the suggestion to my fellow Town Councillors, I…

Mayor’s Blog – Creating a Storm

Creating A Storm What a week – Bridport has been battered by a series of storms, with ‘Eunice’ being the most destructive, lately. Apart from a few nights of noisy window rattling fortunately I was not really affected by the…

Litter, High Sheriff, Tom Daley and Baboo Gelato

Let’s get the negative bit out of the way first. Last Monday I did one of my regular litter picks with my 3 year old grand daughter along Crock Lane and we were really disappointed by the amount we collected.…

Mayor’s Blog – A Week of Mixed Emotions

A Week of Mixed Emotions On the afternoon 6th February 1952 the carefree world of a young woman was changed forever when she was given the news by her husband, Prince Philip, that her father, King George VI has died…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Community Orchard

Bridport Community Orchard In the heart of Bridport, nestled away behind St Mary’s Church on South Street, is the Bridport Community Orchard. A second smaller site at the top of Park Road known as Jubilee Green is also part of…

Mayor’s Blog – What Happens to our Waste

What happens to our waste? One of the side effects of the Christmas season is a significant spike in the amount of waste generated. Everything from wrapping paper to food waste increases during this period and it takes several weeks…

Mayor’s Blog – Three Special Occasions

Three Special Occasions With all of the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations behind us I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my experience of three very different events I attended during that period. Blue Lights…

A Sad End to the Year

A Sad End to the Year My quiet Saturday evening was turned upside down when I learned, with a combination of great shock and profound sadness, of the passing of Simon Jordan. I first met Simon several years ago on…

Mayor’s Blog – Hope and Community

Hope and Community Recent days have been themed by two things hope and community. The sight of the first snowdrop followed by crocuses and daffodils is something that fills me with joy every year. They are a sign that the…

Mayor’s Blog – A Moment of Reflection –

A Moment of Reflection At 11.00 on Sunday 14 November 2021, Bridport along with cities, towns and villages across the country try fell silent for two minutes as people paid their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in…

Mayor’s Blog – Give and Take

Give and Take “The principle of give and take; that is diplomacy—give one and take ten” — Mark Twain But was Mark Twain right? There are times when it certainly seems so. The world can sometimes feel full of people who…

Mayor’s Blog – Your Wellbeing Matters

Your Wellbeing Matters The past 20 months have been an extremely challenge time across the globe. The Covid pandemic has brought death to millions of people and life changing symptoms to many more. Whilst the impact on people’s physical health…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport the Town that makes things Happen

Bridport – the town that makes things happen You will be pleased to know that the past ten days have been an extremely busy time for your Mayor. This week’s Blog is going to tell you about just three events…

Mayor’s Blog – The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen The 1968 action packed movie The Dirty Dozen is one that regularly appears on the small screen to this day. From today when you hear or read the words The Dirty Dozen it will take on a…

Mayor’s Blog – Roundabout Magic

Roundabout Magic As a child growing up in the 1960s ‘The Magic Roundabout’ was a daily highlight of my TV viewing bur the offbeat adventures of Dylan, Dougal, Ermintrude, Brian, Mr Rusty and of course Zebedee are nothing compared to…

Mayor’s Blog – Dogs About Town

Dogs About Town As part of my role of Mayor I have tried my best to make myself available and to listen to the concerns raised by members of the Bridport Town Council community. To that end my contact details…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Cohousing

Bridport Cohousing In a field adjacent to Bridport Hospital there is something very exciting happening. Groundbreaking is a term used to describe all manner of innovations but on this occasion what is happening is truly ground breaking because emerging from…

Mayor’s Blog – Barking Mad, West Bay and St Mary’s Orchard

Barking Mad, West Bay Discovery Centre & St Mary’s School Orchard Barking Mad My thanks to Roz Copson, Dee Fenton (Arts Centre), volunteers, participants, and all those who attended (including several town councillors) for their various contributions towards making the…

Mayor’s Blog – Food and Water

Food and Water On Saturday I had the pleasure of officially declaring open the Bridport Food Fair and the new water fountain in Bucky Doo Square. At both events I was joined by our wonderful Town Crier John Collingwood who…

Mayor’s Blog – Riding in a Trishaw

Riding in a Trishaw from West Bay To Bucky Doo Square Cycling Without Age is an international project that helps elderly and disabled people get out and about using volunteer-driven ‘trishaws’. The initiative is looking to set up a new…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Business Awards 2021

Bridport Business Awards 2021 It was an absolute privilege and pleasure to attend the Bridport Business Awards 2021. Like everything else over the past year plus the awards were impacted upon by the Covid pandemic. Launched on the 11th November…

Mayor’s Blog – A Sunny Bank Holiday…

A Sunny Bank Holiday Weekend A Bank Holiday weekend and the sun is shining. What more could we ask for after such a long period of doom, cooped up inside? There is nothing like some clear blue skies and warm…

Mayor’s Blog – The Future of Local Shopping has Arrived

Bridport – the future of local shopping has arrived. On July 5th 1994 Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie opened an online bookstore in Seattle. Because of the city’s reputation as a tech hub and Washington states small population it…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport’s Street Market

Bridport’s Street Market Bridport’s street market is one of the jewels that contribute to making our town so special. The market you see today has a long history. In 1253, King Henry III granted a charter to Bridport and since…

Mayor’s Blog – Welcome Back

Welcome Back Friday 9th April 2021 – As I walked through the town this morning there was a palpable feeling of excitement in the air. Wherever I looked I could see activity in commercial premises that have been closed for…

Mayor’s Blog – Resurrection and Reflection

Easter 2021 – resurrection and reflection. As Christians celebrated the festival of Easter in commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection this weekend, the familiar sights of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny served as a reminder of its very ancient origins outside…

Mayor’s Blog – Allington Hillbillies

Allington Hillbillies Bridport nestles beneath beautiful hills in valleys created by the rivers Asker and Brit. The hills that envelop the town are an important feature of its overall visual character. This was recognised in the Neighbourhood Plan, by establishing…

Mayor’s Blog – Thank you!

Thank You As we move gradually through Boris Johnson’s plan for reawakening the country from the Covid-19 lockdown in four stages, with a minimum of five weeks between each, we find ourselves in a period of reflection and anticipation. Looking…

Mayor’s Blog – International Women’s Day

  International Women’s Day – Celebrating Agnes Suttill, a Bridport pioneer in the fight for women’s rights Recently, one of my fellow town councillors drew the Council’s attention to the fact that 2021 marked an important centenary for the town:…

Mayor’s Blog – Springing Back to Life

  Springing back to life We are bang in the middle of what is my favourite time of the year because the period between mid February and mid March is one filled with hope. The dark days of winter are…

Mayor’s Blog – Bridport Tree Planting

Bridport Tree Planting – investing in the future. Like most people I am a big fan of trees. As a small boy climbing them was the main attraction. As I grew older I gradually came to realise what amazing, complex…

Mayor’s Blog – Mayor receives his jab!

Mayor receives his jab The 10th February marked the 50th anniversary of the release of Carol King’s album, Tapestry. In 2020, Tapestry was ranked number 25 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Listening to…

Mayor’s Blog – You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone The pace of change during my lifetime has been astounding. Alongside the many wonderful scientific and technological advances that have made all our lives so much easier than those that lived by previous generations we now…

Mayor’s Blog – Dealing with Bridport’s Waste

Dealing with Bridport’s Waste Over the past few months I have become increasingly aware of the waste my household generates and what happens to it. Hence my involvement in the Plastic free Bridport campaign and my recent Blog looking at…

Census 2021

Households across Dorset, along with the rest of England and Wales, will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021. Bridport Town Council staff will be receiving training to offer support to residents with completing their forms this year.…

Mayor’s Blog – Sir Brian Urquhart – born in Bridport

Sir Brian Urquhart – a true citizen of the world born in Bridport When I was young, I used to see my parents discussing the latest obituary in their daily paper. People I had never heard of but who clearly…

Mayor’s Blog – Lockdown 3

Covid-19 – Lockdown 3 I don’t think there can possibly be one person in our community today that has not felt the weight of last night’s announcement or the anxiety that it will inevitably bring and my thoughts are with…

Mayors Blog – I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas Christmas as we all know is a time for family, friends, food, giving and sharing. Being able to see my grand daughters open their presents on Christmas morning has to have been one of…

Mayor’s Blog – Moving up to Tier 3

Moving up to Tier 3 Earlier today the Government announced that the Dorset Council area will go into Tier 3 (Very High) from 00:01am on Thursday 31 December. A strain of coronavirus has already reached Dorset according to new data…

Mayor’s Blog – A Time for Giving

Christmas – a time for giving. As a child Christmas meant the mysterious delivery of presents down the chimney into my sack and the excitement of tearing off wrapping paper to see what Santa had brought me. Later in life…

Mayor’s Blog – So Proud of Bridport

So Proud of Bridport I have never been more proud to be a citizen of Bridport than over the past week. REASON 1 On Monday evening BBC Spotlight South West included a feature about Bridport in its evening news broadcast.…

Bridport’s Christmas Cheer-Up Market

BRIDPORT CHRISTMAS ‘CHEER-UP’ MARKET SATURDAY 12 DECEMBER Despite Bridport Christmas Cheer being cancelled the volunteer committee that organises this popular annual event to launch Christmas in the Town has been determined to bring festive cheer to Bridport, and to help…

Mayor’s Blog – Shop Local

Shop Local Shop Local is the big message nationally this Christmas and what better place to do it than Bridport. On Wednesday I spent the day with BBC Spotlight South West reporter John Henderson filming and interviewing people around the…

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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