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Fings Are What They Used To Be

6 July, 1.15pm

7pm: Merger history page moved to Councils Archive and deleted from menu.

A crude modification of the old song in the title, and it’s not quite true, but it was good to see Christchurch looking just a little more like it usually does on market day. Easing lockdown does obviously carry major risks. and time alone will tell; we must just continue to be careful. The lady on guard outside the library in the first slide reminds us of the importance of maintaining caution. Click here to go to the article.

Encounter With a Horse

5 July, 4pm

This morning the weather was spectacular, so it was an opportunity for a very long walk. The most exciting thing was a horse and trap speeding by, and the horse was so frisky and energetic that for a moment I was quite worried. However, all was fine, and it passed without incident. The clouds were fantastic, and a lonely, long-distance runner took advantage, racing off down a path and towards the vast clouds. Over Hawthorn Lane a plane was coming in to land, presumably at Bournemouth. It looked absolutely huge, but unfortunately I only had a wide lens on. Still, you get the idea.

The Bear at Burton is opening on July 15, and I was delighted that the travellers on the recreation ground near to Sainsbury’s have moved on and left hardly a sign; you would not know they had been there. Click the image or here.

It’s Happening!

4 July, 2.30pm

On the left is a picture of Hair on The Cliffe, and it is really good to see them already working, the salon open.

As reported at the end of June, they were preparing to re-open. Muir-Chapman has obviously also been working really hard: they were cutting hair this morning, and it was but a shell around a week ago! The. hairdresser is behind the poster of the very glamorous model!

Yesterday it was also good to see Robert Hancock’s garden again. Captain Tom Moore has duly received his promotion in Somerford, too. He is now Colonel!

Very minor update about the Ducking Stool cafe, as-was.

It’s all Happening Tomorrow

3 July, 7.30am

As well as pubs, hairdressers and other facilities, the play parks will also be opened tomorrow, Saturday. Here is the list for Christchurch: Barrack Road recreation ground; Highcliffe recreation; Mudeford Quay; Mudeford recreation ground; Mudeford Wood; Quomps play area; Watermans Adventure Park; Watermans Park toddler play area. (See the list for the whole borough.). The picture shows Highcliffe playground, obviously taken from distance. It had been quite busy earlier. Click the image for larger.

Here is more information if you fancy a drink tomorrow: Pubs, restaurants and bars start to reopen from Saturday 4 July. When planning to visit, keep in mind that you will be asked to provide your contact details which will be kept for 21 days, and that many places will ask for bookings and won’t always accept walk-ins.

And Now For Yesterday!


A new section has been added to the Councils page, so that you can easily find Cllr Slade’s Q&A sessions. Yesterday’s is fully reported here.

Summer’s Lease is Here!

2 July, 1.30pm

True, the weather isn’t as hot as it has been, but it is nevertheless warm and comfortable, and the clouds impressive. So once more it was the Meadows path, with no need for nerves about the cows now: they were all lying down, gazing with only mild, languid interest as I passed. Towards the end it was possible to access the path to the private fishing area of the River and it was well worth the diversion.

Look at the pictures to find the ever-hopeful Egret!

This month has now been added to the Oddments Index

6pm: Another update. Click here and scroll down.

It’s July!

1 July, 5.15pm

Sadly, though May and June were warm – even hot – months, today dawned cloudy and with a brisk breeze. There were not too many pedestrians around, but the traffic was busy, almost as it had been before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Still, the display of flowers near the Fountain roundabout was brilliant and the gardeners cheerful, and it didn’t rain. Of course, when I was ensconced at home in the afternoon, the sunshine appeared! C’est la vie …

Looking Promising

30 June, 7am

Click the picture

As you no doubt know, and have been looking forward to with anticipation if not actual desperation, the hairdressers are allowed to re-open on Saturday. As with many other shops and facilities, it takes an enormous amount of organisation and expense to keep people safe during Covid-19, but possibly even more so with hairdressers, requiring as it does close contact for lengthy periods. Apparently even small talk will be banned! I had heard that some hairdressers have over a thousand bookings already, so don’t count on a smart new appearance on Saturday! Still, it will be great when it happens.

5pm: Don’t get too excited, but Coming Up has been reinstated. There will, of course, be relatively little content, but with the easing of lockdown some non-social events and openings are taking place and it is logical to keep them in the same place. There are events tomorrow and at the weekend, and some libraries open on Monday!

7.15pm: Have a look at this final item for June, of some great photographs by the world-famous photographer Rankin. He is particularly known for his pictures of the Rolling Stones and Her Majesty the Queen. They were taken to honour the 72nd birthday of the NHS, particularly significant as it has coped so well with what has been undoubtedly its most difficult period.

Click here and scroll down, or go straight to Rankin’s page, which also gives details of the courageous work of twelve NHS staff.

A New Section

29 June 5.30pm

After a lot of faffing around and indecision, I have finally settled on a new design for the Council pages. It is just started, but should be complete within the next day or two. The aim is to reduce the number of items on the menu and to delete content which has no relevance any more. Click the image to go to the new page, which is also now near the top of the Governance menu. Many of the other menu items will be removed soon.

29 June, 8am: Not a large update, but worth reading. Go to the Christchurch Priory page and scroll right down to the bottom, to ‘An Amusing Tale.’ Another update later.

A Pastoral Scene in Town

28 June, 2pm

Today this is quite a short, though I hope interesting and pleasant, update. Click the image to view.

The Council and Politics sections – under Governance – are being redesigned to reduce the number of menu items. I hope to have this finished today or later this week, depending on the speed of progress. Time alone will tell …

Armed Forces Day

27 June, 11.15am

As you may know, today is Armed Forces Day, with events taking place across the country to support the fantastic work they do. In these difficult times they have been particularly important, helping to distribute an incredible amount of personal protective equipment for hospital and care workers, indeed key workers generally.

It was a logistical nightmare, and how better to deal with it than to use those who are trained: in warfare you cannot fight without supplies, and battles are won or lost because of their provision.

You may have seen our Forces personnel in the news, lugging heavy boxes and piling them – very neatly, of course! – into vans and lorries. Thank you! Click the flag, above, to read more.

3.30pm: Timings for the Q&A Session added.


26 June, 12.30pm

There is a new page, still under way, giving the information below, plus other items and link to the session. it will be added to the menu soon.

Today I saw that there is a small traveller encampment on the recreation ground near Saffron Drive. It is a small one, and quite tidy, and they are not interfering with or disturbing passers-by. However, in view of this is it seems a good time to publish Cllr Slade’s information about the legal position. There is a great deal to consider, especially because the Council is constrained by legal requirements. The whole item is published here.

Major Incident Declared

25 June, 4.15pm

This was received by email on Thursday afternoon. The text (public domain) is reproduced below. Further, here are links to more articles. I have heavily blurred a picture from one of them. I could go and take my own, but that would add to the problem.
Daily Mail (main item); Daily Mirror (main item); Bournemouth Echo

A major incident has been declared after thousands of people defied advice to stay away and descended on BCP Council beaches on the hottest day of the year so far.  A multi-agency emergency response has now been activated to co-ordinate resources across the area to tackle the issues. 

Council Leader Vikki Slade said: ‘We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks, in the last 24-48 hours. The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response.’

Services were left completely overstretched as visitors arrived in large volumes resulting in widespread problems of illegal parking, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour, gridlock on roads and prohibited overnight camping. 

BCP Council issued 558 parking enforcement fines – the highest on record – and responded to many reports of cars parking and causing an obstruction. 

Roads in and out of the area were heavily congested into the early hours. Crews received widespread abuse and intimidation as they attempted to empty overflowing bins on the seafront. In the stretch between just the piers, eight tonnes of waste was collected yesterday on the second collection run of the day. This morning, a further 33 tons of waste was removed along the full stretch of coastline. There were also a number of incidents reported which involved excessive alcohol and fights. 

Additional police patrols have now been brought in, security put in place to protect refuse crews and additional parking enforcement implemented to support the management of car parks and ticketing. 

Signage urging people that the conurbation is full are now in use, including on approach roads. Overnight campers were evicted and further patrols by seafront ranger staff will be put in place. 

Public health messaging has gone out to ensure people stay hydrated especially if stuck in long traffic queues. 

Council Leader Vikki Slade added: ‘The numbers of people descending down here are like those seen on a bank holiday. We are not in a position to welcome visitors in these numbers now or to deal with the full range of problems associated with managing volumes of people like this. PLEASE do not come. We are not able to welcome you yet.’

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: ‘These are unprecedented times and we are urging people to stay away from the area of Bournemouth Beach and other Dorset beaches.  We continue to work very closely with BCP Council and other partners to ensure the safety of the public. We are also deploying additional resources to provide increased patrols in the vicinity to help tackle any issues of anti-social behaviour and other offences being committed. The declaration of a major incident allows us to bring agencies together so we can take actions available to us to safeguard the public as much as possible. 

‘We are also reliant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the public to think twice before heading to the area. Clearly we are still in a public health crisis and such a significant volume of people heading to one area places a further strain on emergency services resources.  

‘This influx of visitors to our area places a significant increase in demand on our service and we would ask people to please bear with us.  

We would therefore stress again that we are asking people to please stay away from the area.’

Pinebeach is No More

24 June, 2.30pm

This has been going on for a very long time, but progress is at last being made. Click the image to go to that page (scroll all the way down to the bottom), or go here to see the whole of the current planning section.

There is also a brief update from Highcliffe, intriguingly involving a mattress and a ship, on this month’s Oddments. Have a look if you are puzzled, or even only mildly curious.

Lockdown Eased!

23 June, 2pm

Another beautiful day, and as I write the Prime Minister is in the Commons delivering the decision about easing the lockdown. Thankfully hairdressers are among the beneficiaries, so it was off to Christchurch to try to get a booking ASAP.

Afterwards, in view of the weather, a pleasant walk across the Meadows. Though early, it was remarkably busy, some people already settled to their fishing.

Music and More

22 June, 5pm

Today was Market Day, and it was busier than last week, with beautiful warm weather. Saxon Square was quite lively, though of course the coffee shops are still not al fresco yet. The organist was very popular.

It shouldn’t be too long until it’s as lively as usual, and hopefully the hairdressers will be open from July 4, too! The issue which follows from that will be getting an appointment!

Site updates here