(1l) January 2019

2 January A Little Late … … but it starts the year 2019. This morning while I was walking along Barrack Road, I saw another Silent Soldier. These silhouettes were, of course, placed around the country by November 2018 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One. This soldier, I think, is actually from the navy, but apologies if I am wrong: it is not one of my few areas of expertise!
Click for a larger version

6 January

Not Anytime – It’s Tomorrow! On what is a rather drab day, I was surprised to see a lot of action in the new Anytime Fitness. It was busy with people popping in and out. So I ventured in, to be told that it is opening tomorrow (Monday) at noon. The lower section will be used, as well as the first floor. I asked if I could photograph it, but was unfortunately denied. I’m sure it will be great, but for now here is a picture of the still impressive ground floor section. Here is a link to their website for this branch. Back to top

7 January

Goodbye Santa, until next year! Santa leaving Somerford Robert is at it again! This morning, at around 10am, he was on the roof preparing to take down Santa and his sleigh. You may remember the various posts about these displays, at the corner of Somerford and Edward Roads. Here is December’s. Have a look round for others. The next theme is going to be Kevin the Carrot (left). I assume this is the correct image. I had not heard of him until Robert told me, my strongest childhood memory being Bill and Ben the Flowerpot men! Back to top

9 January

Update on the Beach Slope You may remember the closure of the slope to the beach, at the corner of Avon Run Road and Southcliffe Road. Well, work is now going on apace:
Sunny day, and hard at work.
Click for a larger version
There are notices nearby giving the schedule and an letter giving an explanation. For convenience, the text is copied below the image.


Contractor mobilisation – w/c 3rd December 2018 Expected completion by – 25th January 2019 … The council apologises for any inconvenience these maintenance works may cause to your enjoyment of the coastline.


22 November 2018 Dear Sir/Madam


The Council writes to inform you of the works to replace the Friars Cliff Access Ramp, at the junction of Avon Run Road and Southcliffe Road. Avon Construction Ltd has been appointed to undertake the works. The existing failed ramp will be removed and new retaining walls and ramp constructed. During the construction there will be times when plant or equipment will be in use, but the contractor will make every effort to keep disturbance to a minimum. The contractor is scheduled to commence during the week beginning 3rd December 2018 with completion by the end of January 2019. Operational hours will be Monday to Friday between the hours of 07:30 and 17:00. The Council apologises for any disturbance or noise as a consequence of these works. Jonathan Ross Property, Engineering and Car Parking Manager Christchurch and East Dorset Councils Echo update, 15 January Today an article appeared in The Echo. The reason for the closure and subsequent rebuilding was described: Chunks of concrete had broken off from the exterior wall of the ramp, leaving metal pins exposed. Elsewhere, some of the wooden panels on the outside of the wall were missing.
Click the image to read the article
Note that, impressively, they were allowed inside the fence to take the photograph. There are this and two other pictures in the article. Back to top

10 January

Till the Cows Come Home … This morning I was walking along Hawthorn Road, near Ambury Lane and about half a mile from Somerford. A very dirty Land Rover approached behind me, and the farmer warned me to get out of the way, as the cows were being moved. He even suggested that he could wait while I went on ahead. I ignored him! Another farmer got out. The driver stopped a short distance ahead. As I passed the other farmer, he warned me to be careful, and said that he would let the cows out in a minute or so. I ignored him, but decided to hurry anyway! I stopped next to the Land Rover and had a pleasant chat with the ‘senior’ farmer. The cows were approaching, and he told me that there were about 100 of them. I was grumbling about the cold – it was very frosty – and he said that it is much worse when it is pouring freezing rain. In any case, I suspect that he would not have let something as minor as that worry him! All this happened close to the Somerford estate. There is a lot of hard, dirty farming work going on: it is from the town to the country in ten minutes!
The farmer waits…
Click for a larger picture
Back to top

27 January

For Your Information – Two Updates First, the slope at Friars Cliff. You may remember that even though there is still a slope, it was very steep. The adjacent gentler one was dangerous, so had been closed off.

13 January

Spotted Today As you may be aware, the toilets in Saxon Square are to be rebuilt. This will start tomorrow. Other, temporary facilities will be provided during the rebuild, which will take around twelve weeks, leaving the area ready for the new tourist season. Here is an article in the Echo about the rebuild, and click the picture below to see them as they are now. The article also acts as a record for posterity, if you pardon the expression! Note that, of course, I have only taken pictures of the men’s toilets! Back to top

17 January

Here We Go Again! You may remember the road works caused by the installation of a pedestrian crossing near the Meteor Centre on Somerford Road. This was the scene today, showing the warning about yet more roadworks, with the still-covered crossing in the background. The good news is that in an article in The Echo, we are told that ‘Following discussions between Dorset County Council engineers and the retail park developers, who installed the crossing, the “remedial work” is scheduled for four weeks. At present the work is not expected to need temporary traffic lights.’ It has been a lengthy project, as the Oddments/September page and subsequent articles show.

21 January

Disappointing! Scroll up to see the notice about the Saxon Square toilets. Well, sad to say they were open as usual today! So no news is good, or bad, news, depending on your point of view!
Christchurch Toilets Saxon Square
Still open
Update, 25 January They’ve started work!
No entry – work has begun
Back to top

23 January

Even More Silent Soldiers You may have seen the previous monthly Oddments, showing the silent soldiers which appeared around the Borough last year. I was surprised when walking through Burton the other day to see not one, but two Soldiers, with a commemorative bench between.
Silent Soldiers in Burton Village.
Click for a larger image
Here is the first one. There are others on this site. Back to top
24 January Update from yesterday: The Memorial Bench This morning I visited Burton again, to photograph the bench. It is inscribed;


The Memorial Bench
Click for a larger picture
He was killed in Afghanistan, along with his colleague Lance Corporal Michael Foley. Here is a report in The Echo, and there is a much fuller account on the official website. There is a great deal about both of the soldiers, so below I have just included three short tributes to Sgt Taylor. Do click the link about to read many more. For me, Sergeant Taylor epitomised everything positive about the military – he worked hard and played hard and his efforts here in Helmand will not be forgotten. Those friends and colleagues who remain behind on tour have grown even stronger since his loss and they will remember him in line with the highest traditions of the military – they will deliver the results on operations that he would have wanted and they celebrate his life and mourn his loss when they return. (Officer Commanding) Luke was the kind of guy you wanted next to you – regardless of the situation, he was a cool head and a source of endless banter. I never saw him fazed; he just seemed to ‘crack on’ and many a time dragged those around with him! He had one of those infectious charismas, always able to talk himself out of a situation. (Colleague) Luke, a true friend is gone and a legend is born. A hoofing bloke, when Luke talked people listened because nobody could spin a dit like Luke. He lived life to the max, constantly pushing the boundaries, at home learning to BMX with his son Roan, or a complete change in career path, never happy to sit on his ‘Globe and Laurels’ (he’d rip me for that pun). Always the heart and soul of any party and had everyone around him in tears, and now he’s done it again. (Corporal and friend) Back to top

25 January

Two Riversmeet Golf Course, as was
Walking the dog, no golf
Click for a larger image
The picture above shows a dog walker on the golf course. You may wonder what is happening. A notice has been posted with the following information:

Two Riversmeet Park

A new park is coming in 2019 Whilst we make arrangements please feel free to start using this space. Pop into the leisure centre for further information and to comment on proposals, or visit their website. https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/sport-leisure/leisure-centres/two-riversmeet-leisure-centre/two-riversmeet-park.aspx (Click the small image for to go straight to this link) If you would like to speak to someone we are also hosting informal drop-in sessions at the Leisure Centre foyer on:

Saturday 26th January between 11am and 1pm Friday, 8th February between 2pm and 4pm

Please remember that the usual rules still apply, you are required to pick up after your dog. Please respect other users. Thank you. Back to top
27 January Two Local Updates, for Information You may know that the slope to the promenade at Friars Cliff has been closed since August. Though there are actually two paths, one of them is very steep, and its neighbour is longer, but much more gentle. Well, the work has been going on apace, and it is already near completion. The picture was taken this morning (Sunday).
Progress on the path
Click for a larger image
Not too far away, there are still a lot of issues with the new crossing next to the Meteor Centre. Here is an Echo article, complete with many disgruntled comments! There will have to be yet more traffic management, and the preparation barriers have made it rather dangerous as, to quote Ted Hughes, ‘This house has been far out at sea all night.’  It had certainly been windy! Back to top