The directory of community and business organisations in Broadstone Dorset

Residents Association MagazinearrowWinter 2001/9


You will all recall the enthusiasm with which people throughout the length and breadth of the country embarked on creative, commemorative, architectural and social projects to mark the start of the new millennium.

In Broadstone this spirit affected the committee of the Residents' Association and members of the Evening Townswomen's Guild, who decided to compile a new history of Broad stone, since that inspired and edited by Nona Bowring was now more than 30 years old. Once again several of the ladies of the Guild who had been involved in the 1967 version and a member of the Residents' Association formed a historical research team to revise and enlarge the original booklet.

Initially their aim was the seemingly straightforward one of recording the last 30 years of Broadstone's history. This task should have been disposed of relatively quickly, certainly by the end of 2001.

So what happened to delay the appearance of the updated history?

Two different methods of acquiring information about the past are being used and both have proved far richer in resource than anticipated. Long term residents of the village are being asked to draw on their memories of events, buildings and people to paint a clearer picture of life as it was, especially during the last thirty years.

Contact has been made as well with other groups tracing Broadstone's history e.g. the University of the Third Age photography group with its photographic illustrations comparing the shops of the Broadway as they are today with their appearance and function 50 years ago.

At the same time a careful search is being made for as much written documentary evidence as possible. This source is very rewarding, yielding unexpected insights into the early development of the village. One document leads to another and the search becomes deeper and more revealing.

Articles in the Residents' Association magazine have played a part too in enticing residents at home and abroad to offer valuable documentary and pictorial records. The result of all this is that during the course of the research the scope of the work has widened from merely recording the last 30 years to reviewing in some detail the period from 1806-2000.

As in 1967 the new history will describe many aspects of community life- education churches, local government, notable people, local services, sport and other - leisure interests. Wherever a grand accumulation about a particular period becomes available tableau of that moment in time will be included and it is hoped that photographs of people places and events will enliven the text.

However, it is difficult to assess just how many more written or oral accounts of the pasi remain to be discovered in the County Records Office, libraries and private homes, and once embarked on a project so rarely undertaken, it does seem correct to be thorough and produce a worthwhile full account of the origins of the community and what it was like many years ago.

A tentative date for the completion of this magnum opus then is the end of 2002. But the adage "if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well" guides the researchers and they will continue to work meticulously, if somewhat slowly.

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