Monday, 6 March 2017

My town


What are the favourite things about where you live? Obviously the highlight for me is living by the sea, but I also love the town of Bridport, even in the winter - let me show you some of my favourite  buildings.


This is Bucky Doo Square and is always a hive of activity on a Saturday morning with live music and it is the place where everyone congregates at times of celebration, such as the famous annual Bridport Hat Festival ....



The oldest building in Bridport is the Chantry dating back to the 1253. It was once used as a Priest's house. The Council have recently put it on the market, it is a shame that it will fall into private hands.


Bridport had a strong dissenting tradition - this led to many different non-conformist chapels being built in the town during the 18th and 19th century. Following a recommendation from Brenda at Brenda I have been reading many of Tracey Chevalier's novels. Even my husband who is not usually interested in historical novels has been enjoying reading them. I was quite surprised when I picked up The Runaway to discover that it started in Bridport and mentions the Quakers Meeting House. Has anyone read it?

Bridport Quakers Meeting House


 The Unitarian Chapel in the Garden has a lovely dove cote outside and inside upstairs the box pews are now used to sell donated second hand books. I always love to rummage through old books, you never know what you may find. Looking the opposite way and facing each other is another magnificent church!




The Methodist chapel is now the popular Arts Centre,


The Electric Palace is another popular entertainment location. It was the second cinema in town and opened in 1926. Today it is used for films and also for live music. The art deco interior is wonderful.


There has been lots of work going on around Bridport during the winter. it makes it difficult to take a picture in some locations!. The pavements are been dug up by the Electricity Board,


There are many winding streets and further places to explore.



There are many independent shops which make shopping a pleasure and a unique experience.



I should point out that it is not usually this empty! We were up early on a Sunday morning while everyone else was probably still in bed!

I would love to hear about your home town too.
Sarah x

54 comments:

  1. I love Bridport too. So full of historical buildings. I remember back in 1974 coming once a week to St Mary's Primary for teaching practise. We also stayed at the youth hostel there although not sure if it's still open. St Helier has lost so many old buildings. The finance industry are stripping the heart out of our town sadly. B x

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    1. There is no longer a youth hostel in the town.I didn't realise you had been to Bridport when you were doing your teacher training. St Mary's has moved since you were here. They have a wonderful edible garden project that encourages the children to eat the vegetables grown in the garden. Sarah x

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    2. I think the YHA had been a rope making factory or something similar. If memory serves it was on the road leaving Bridport heading for Lyme. St Mary's was a very old building, not surprised it's been replaced. The edible garden sounds fun :)

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    3. Could it have been west Rivers House?http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3018995
      Sarah x

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    4. That looks familiar, I remember the small panel windows and it being on several floors :)

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  2. If I ever get to England the second-hand book stores, along with the antique shops, will be the first places I visit! Then the gardens. We love our downtown because they've made it very walkable. There is a linear park that runs along a creek from the town park (with a band shell and playground among other features) past shops and restaurants, the library, and art center. I'm guessing it's at least a mile long. They hold music events and festivals there, too.

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    1. Your downtown sounds good too. I have never come across the term Band shell it is a good way to describe a bandstand. Sarah x

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    2. Here, a band shell means it has a back/side/top shaped like a shell! Only the front is open to the audience and helps funnel the sound in that direction.

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  3. We have spent many happy days in and around Bridport ☺

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  4. Such a beautiful place, Sarah, and so old. A building which is 100 years old is really something here.

    I love everything about this island since I am an island girl at heart.

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  5. I'm glad you explained the day/time you were taking these photos - it looks like a ghost town!! Lovely place, thanks for sharing! xo

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    1. During the day there are too many vehicles that get in the way! People always make the picture look more interesting! Sarah x

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  6. Dear Sarah,

    How lovely to see the photos of your town - Bridport looks like a beautiful place and loved seeing around. Great to get up early while people are still in bed. Love Chantry building and fancy that dating back to 1253! Also love the quaint little antique shop and I spy a pretty pink house.
    Have a great week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  7. It is many years since I went to Bridport, but it is as lovely as I remember it xxx

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  8. We'll be passing through Bridport on Friday on our way to Cornwall - usually stop here for a cuppa - will look out for these buildings!

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    1. There are lots of good local cafes too! Hope you have a good journey and stop over. Sarah x

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  9. Goodness! This certainly takes me back...
    I worked Bridport as part of my area/patch
    for 42yrs...I've done a lot of business there!
    Mostly with the licence trade. I always made
    sure l was there for market day to! Used to
    be on a Wednesday!

    I live in Blandford, Dorset...God's own county,
    love it, in and around the towns, each with there
    relaxing ways! Over the years, l've been offered
    promotion, more money, with having to move, once
    to London...Arrrrgh! but no, turned it ALL down!
    Love Dorset!

    So..must get off my backside and make a trip down
    there again!
    Great post...Lovely photos...! :).

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    1. Hi Willie, Good to hear from you! Market days are still Wednesday and Saturdays. I don't blame you staying in Dorset, Blandford is a lovely market town too. Sarah x

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  10. It's so pretty. I've been there, but only briefly. I'd love to have a proper look round one day. My little town has an old centre, but most of the housing is new and it's set to double in size with houses being built in so many of the surrounding fields. I'm not happy! CJ xx

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    1. The new local housing plans have just come out here too. They are proposing increasing the number of houses built from 20 a year to 100, so know how you feel. Sarah x

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  11. Hi Sarah, I’ve read one or two novels by Tracey Chevalier but not The Runaway, I must add it to my want to read list.
    My favourite thing about living where I do is being so close to the countryside, my least favourite is being so far from a town. I’m beginning to think I would like to move to somewhere like Salisbury where the countryside is not far away, but shops and doctors are on the doorstep.
    I would love a rummage through the books in The Unitarian Chapel – I must remember to pay them a visit if we visit Bridport this summer. When does the hat fair normally take place? It would be nice to aim for a day when there is something special is on, my hubby would enjoy photographing all the hats.
    I really enjoyed seeing all the photographs and hearing about how much you love it there.

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    1. The Hat festival is on Saturday 2nd September 2017, there are always great photo opportunities see http://www.bridporthatfest.org/ and other second hand bookshops too (Wild and Homeless books and Bridport Old books.)
      Sarah x

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  12. It looks like a lovely little town, a great place to explore.

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  13. Oh Sarah, your town is MAGICAL, just like I envision England! I want to go there so badly, and just wander the old streets of history and beauty. Now you have me thinking about photographing my town!

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  14. Thank you for the tour of your charming town. I live in the US but dream of making another trip to the UK soon. Until then, I relish blogs that take me away....to England and Wales. Kind regards.

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  15. It's slightly home-sick making to see these photos (I used to live close to Bridport) and slightly strange because I think it's gone a little posher / younger / something-or-other-er than when I was regularly there. Lovely pictures.

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    1. Hi Lucy, Bridport has changed over the years very different to when I first used to visit there in the 80's. Sarah x

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  16. Thank you so much Sarah for sharing about your town with us all. I simply love to see more photos of England. My husband's grandparents from father side are originally from England. We would love to visit someday if we have an opportunity. The old buildings are precious but sadly corporations and such destroys them. Wonderful post!

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  17. Many, many, many years ago I had a holiday near Bridport, looking at your pictures, I ought to come back sometime. A lovely journey, thank you.

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  18. I miss my home town sometimes, it was a lovely place to grow up in and of course wonderful for me to visit now with my own family. Where I live now in Skipton (a similar sized rural market town) has very many similarities, but Bridport is a special place x

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  19. Thank you for the Brenda/olddogsnewtruck link. I have subscribed to her blog.

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  20. Not forgetting the Bridport yarn shop, where I bought a skein of gorgeous sock wool, whilst visiting there on holiday last year.

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    1. The Yarn shop is another great shop too! Sarah x

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  21. I love where I live, but if I had to move your corner of the world would be at the top of my list of places to go live. You have natural beauty and a history that is rich and deep. I can't believe they are selling the Priest's House. I don't know how these things work but couldn't it be put in the National Trust?

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    1. The National Trust did look at it but unfortunately declined to take it on. Sarah x

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  22. How lucky you are living in such a pretty place. Places don't look their best at this time of year, so in the summer I imagine it's even prettier :-)

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  23. Although I have been to Britain many times, I have never been to Bridport, so thank you for the tour of this lovely town. So much history in every building, I'd like to spend a few days wandering around. (A pity about the priest's house, the National Trust does a good job with the projects they do take on.)I read one of Tracey Chevalier's books and loved it (about looking for fossils...around your area I think?) and The Runaway is on my list...my neighbour has a shelf full of her books! Happy spring!

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  24. Oh I think too, that it is not normal, that a street is so empty. Your Impressions are wonderful, hope, to see Bridport and Weymouth soon.

    Sigrun

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    1. Are you planning a trip to Dorset? Sarah x

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  25. Utterly English - I love it. What I love most about where I live is the silence, emptiness and the clean air! (I'm not really a recluse...)

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  26. I am very fond of Bridport as you know. One of my favourite streets is the one you pictured (fourth from the end) where some of the houses have front gardens across the street.

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    1. I like that street too - it's so unusual. It does have a past as it was once the hangout for ladies of the night! Sarah x

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  27. How interesting, I shall look at the street differently from now on!!

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  28. You are a lucky dog to live with that magical coastline and a local town as history-laden as Bridport. Plus, it's charming. Do you know how Bridport's non-conforming tradition arose? It's fascinating how certain areas in England and the U.S. have historically been seedbeds for dissent and freethinking. Petri dishes for bucking the norm. Speaking of bucking, where does the name "Bucky Doo" come from? Finally, it warmed my heart to hear that you--and your husband--have been enjoying Tracey Chevalier's books based on one of my comments. I am usually reluctant to recommend books and movies because people have such different tastes. And my taste tends to be a little quirky at times. But in this case, I am so glad that I did.

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    1. Sorry I hadn't got around to publishing your first comment. Some of the merchants of the town became interested in the non conformist movement. Even though they were prosecuted for their beliefs, they continued to up hold them and encouraged others to follow them. It is thought that the word Bucky Doo derives from the word bucardo, an old name for a prison. There used to be a small cell in the bottom of the town hall. I like quirky things too! Sarah x

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  29. It looks like a delightful town! I have read "The Runaway". I enjoy Tracy Chevalier's books a lot. Love the look of the independent shops. They are the best shops to visit.

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  30. I love that you show us where you live, Sarah, and give us a bit of the background. It's a shame that the priest's house will be sold privately but that's the way things are going these days. My family background is Royal Navy and I'm aware of several stunning senior officer properties that have been flogged off, demolished and the land used to build modern flats. It's heartbreaking to have memories torn away like that - all in the name of progress, or should that be commerce? I've never been to Bridport but my current favourite town is Thame in Oxfordshire close to where my niece lives. It's a good mix of historic characterful properties and modern amenities like good supermarkets and interesting independent shops. Not sure it would be worth a detour but it's very pleasant to visit on a Saturday morning! Caro xx

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  31. I just love your place! Well, the best thing where I live? The sea, the countryside and the calmness - best!
    Have a happy friday and a great weekend, take care...
    Titti

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  32. How have I missed out on Bridport? I love Dorset, had my honeymoon in Swanage and camped many times in and around that area, once spending a fortnight in my small tent (with large Border Collie!) in Wareham Forest when the temperatures plummeted. The dog's waterbowl froze solid on the 1st night, so after that, I always slept with a large bottle of water in my sleeping bag so that we both had a drink in the morning. Woke each day to deep, pristine snow and followed tracks of deer, badgers and other creatures through the woods.
    I must return - just waiting for the weather to improve; here in Cornwall we have had an overload of rain. But I absolutely love Cornwall - the sea, the pure air, the beauty, the magic. Even (most times) the rain!

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  33. Towns with character like that are disappearing fast. If we're not careful, all towns will soon look the same. (Certainly they will have the same chain shops in their High Streets).

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  34. I've only ever briefly visited Bridport, but have always liked the look of it and your photos show it off really well. I was thinking you must be a very powerful person to have cleared the streets so comprehensively - then saw you'd made an early Sunday excursion... Love your header photos - excellent - and so timely!

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  35. WOw!!!
    it was GREAT virtual pleasure which occupied my senses with excitement while looking at your one of MOST BEAUTIFUL TOWN!!!
    thank you so much for sharing these wonderful views of your town that owns marvelous architecture and lovely traditions and celebrations.

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  36. Bridport is such a lovely place, it was great seeing it through your photos again x

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  37. I really love to walk with you in your town. It looks so wonderful.
    Greetings from Finland .

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