Saturday, 28 June 2014

Dorchester a prosperous town

New businesses opening in the town is an indication of prosperity in the town of Dorchester.

I was representing the Dorchester BID on Wednesday as an ambassador and spent some time meeting the visitors arriving by coach outside the very popular market. The coaches arrive in the morning and drop off their passengers as part of a  day excursion during their holiday.

 Most of the visitors this week were from Cardiff and were staying in Bournemouth. The coaches make their way to the Top of Town car park near The Keep Military Museum where there is suitable parking for them and a cafe. The coaches return to collect their passengers later in the afternoon, many of them having bought rather more than perhaps they intended to!

This is all to the advantage of small businesses who are marked on the Dorchester BID map which the ambassadors hand out to visitors. Presenting the town in this way is in my opinion, encouraging new business to open in the town.

Finca is a new cafe that has opened in Great Western Road, offering freshly roasted coffee, sandwiches and cakes in a rustic cosy environment. Gluten free options are included on their menu and the cafe may be open earlier than some.

I can remember taking my eldest daughter in to these premises some years ago when it was formerly a shoe shop. It is lovely to see regeneration in this road as it supports the important existing businesses that are located nearby. 

At the end of South Street in Cornhill Seasalt has opened. 

This is a Cornish business which obviously is taking advantage of the opportunity to trade in the town. It looked like it was flourishing yesterday when I passed by, a new shop does attract attention, but the outside decoration is very enticing.

 I did notice quite a few Seasalt bags in customer's hands when I walked along South Street today! There was not one in mine but I may be tempted soon!  

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Skate Jam

For the past 4 years Dorchester has held an annual Skate Jam at the very popular skatepark opposite Maumbury Rings. The 5th annual event was going to be held at the end of April but had to be cancelled due to bad weather. The event was rescheduled and is being held today instead. 

I arrived just as the BMX competition was starting. The event I believe is a qualifying event for the NASS festival in Somerset. The event is well organised and extremely popular with some very talented local riders. 

It is organised by the skatepark committee,  and supported by Dorchester Town Council and West Dorset District Council.

It is a free event for riders of all ages who had to register to enter. I noticed there were first aiders on hand and all the riders were advised to wear helmets. I did feel that ignoring this advice was a bit foolish, but the majority seemed to have them on.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Kingston Maurward College Open Day

Yesterday I attended Kingston Maurward College open day. I had obtained discounted tickets from Dorchester Tourist Information Centre and was pleased to discover that my 16 year old daughter qualified for a child's ticket and was free.  It was an opportuntiy to spend some time in a relaxed environment and to also explore the courses that the college has to offer. 

There was plenty to entertain all ages, and some delicious food and drink to indulge in. It was hard to resist the tempting smells of the food cooking, and deciding between the options was quite a challenge!  I was very tempted by the bass in a bun,  but opted for the organic lamb and watercress wrap which was being cooked by Downhouse Farm.  It was absolutely delicious and the drizzle of ginger sauce was a great combination!

Sitting on the grass bank overlooking the lake we were treated to various musical performances. I enjoyed the Decadettes who sang music from different decades. I had met one of the the singers recently when she came and gave an inspirational talk on a course that I am taking called Springboard, which is a personal development course for women. 

It was a very happy atmosphere and some of the young children were obviously very taken with the music from past eras, as a lot of them were dancing, and rolling down the hill as you do when you are young and flexible!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sir Frederick Treves past and present

Over the past year I have been suffering with discomfort in my neck and lower back. My GP has diagnosed osteoarthritis and has referred me to the  Dorset musculosketal services  at Frederick Treves House in Dorchester.
I recognised the name Treves as there is a Treves Road in Dorchester, so I have been having a look into who this genteleman was.

Frederick was born  in 1853 in Dorchester at no 8 Cornhill.

His parents were furniture makers and he attended school at a building in South Street which was run by the poet William Barnes until he was about 13 years old.

As a teenager he went to Merchant Tailors School in London. His father died and his mother moved the family to London. He then went to University College where he studied medicine.

Researching the history of some of his medical achievements it explains to me why his name has been honoured for the  modern medical centre on the Poundbury where I have my appointment in a few weeks time.

I remember watching a film when I was a teenager called 'The elephant man'. It was the story of a man who suffered from a severe physical deformity and I can remember the film made me feel very sad.
I have discovered that Frederick Treves provided the man that the film was based on 'Joseph Merrick' with safe accomodation in an attic of a London hospital, until he died. This very sad film must of had an impact on me as I remember it clearly and I understand Joseph died without a confirmed diagnosis of his extremely disfiguring condition.
Frederick Treves was also  responsible for the correct treatment for appendicitis and was the first to perform an operation to remove an appendix in England. This is of great interest to me as my niece was extremely ill with appendicitis at the age of 11 and her younger brother also had his removed at the same age.
It is very humbling to find the memorial to this obviously very talented medical surgeon in our local graveyard.

Frederick married Elizabeth Mason in 1877 when he was 24, she was a brewers daughter. I wonder what she would have thought of the new Brewhouse and Kitchen!
They had 2 daughters Enid and Hetty.

 He became the royal surgeon to both Queen Victoria and then King Edward VII whom he operated on to remove his appendix before his coronation.  He became Sir Frederick Treves and was rightly honoured for his innovative work, that we now consider often common and routine.
Very sadly his younger daughter Hetty died at the age of 18 from appendicitis. It must have been very harrowing for Frederick to operate on his own daughter and not to be able to save her.

 Frederick was given the opportunity of early retirement around the age of 55. He returned to Dorset, and his book Highways and Byways in Dorset was published. He travelled the world as he was  now a very wealthy man and could afford to do so. He moved to Lausanne in Switzerland in 1918 where he later died in 1923 of Peritonitis!!!! His body was cremated.

His ashes were later returned to Dorchester and a memorial service was held at St Peter's Church in Dorchester and his friend Thomas Hardy chose the Hymns, I have yet to find out which ones they  were.
My appointment at Frederick Treves House now seems extremely more meaningful, and I understand   that Frederick Treves made a huge contribution to medical history. 

A modern explanation of the condition that Joseph Merrick suffered from.

Link to Dorset Ancestors page