Clowning around for 25 years 1 Sep 2015

Paultons Park’s resident clown, Scotty, has been making kids of all ages crack up for a quarter of a century.

Orphan Baby Orang-utans Graduate to the Monkey World Crèche! 19 Aug 2015

In time for World Orang-utan Day on 19th August, Sumatran orang-utan orphans Bulu Mata and Rieke have moved into a purpose-built playroom crèche inside Europe’s Orang-utan Nursery at Monkey World in Dorset.

Swanage Railway Celebrates Twentieth Anniversary of The First Passenger Trains 19 Aug 2015

An important achievement in the development of the Swanage Railway has been celebrated by the heritage line's volunteers – the twentieth anniversary of the first passenger trains to Corfe Castle and Norden. The hot and sunny morning of Saturday, 12 August, 1995 – truly the Glorious Twelfth – saw the first passenger trains run from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden for the first time since the last British Rail train in January, 1972. In the 20 years that followed, some four million passengers have taken the train from Norden and Corfe Castle to Swanage – taking traffic off the narrow and winding A351 road to the picture postcard village and the seaside town. Volunteer Stuart Vousden drove some of the trains on that first day on Saturday, 12 August, 1995, and exactly 20 years on – to the day – Stuart drove the first train of the day from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden. The rebuilding of the two and a half miles of line from Harman's Cross to Corfe Castle and Norden took seven years and £360,000 after the tracks were lifted for scrap by British Rail during the summer of 1972. By the end of the first week of extended train operations in August, 1995, 20,000 passengers were carried to Corfe Castle and beyond to Norden where Purbeck District Council had built its successful park and ride car park. Swanage Railway General Manager Matt Green said: "The amount of effort that goes into extending a preserved railway is huge so to achieve the extension to Norden against all the odds – including fighting off a proposed by-pass on the disused line through Corfe Castle – is incredible." The extended line from Harman's Cross to Corfe Castle and Norden took 900 tonnes of track in 180 60-foot-long panels; 360 rails; 6,000 wooden and concrete sleepers; 12,000 track chairs; 36,000 track screws; 1,200 fishplates; 2,400 bolts and 6,000 tonnes of granite track ballast. And the cost of relaying the line from Harman's Cross to Corfe Castle and Norden – £360,000 – was almost five times the original cost of building the entire ten mile branch line from Wareham to Swanage in 1883 and 1884. Mr Green explained: "It's fantastic so many of those people who helped with the opening of the line to Corfe Castle and Norden 20 years ago are still with the Swanage Railway today. For those who have moved on – or have sadly died – the Railway stands as a lasting memorial to their determined efforts.  On Saturday, 12 August, 1995, the first train to Corfe Castle and Norden left Swanage at 9.30am – to the sound of bells being rung at the nearby St Mary's Church – and was hauled by Victorian-designed London and South Western Railway M7 class tank steam locomotive No. 30053 built in 1905. After her arrival at Corfe Castle on the first train, the then Mayor of Swanage – Councillor Julie Wheeldon – handed a commemorative scroll, marking the historic occasion, to Corfe Castle Parish Council vice-chairman Les Hayward. An elated Mr Hayward, whose grandfather was Corfe Castle's station master during the late 1940s and early 1950s, said: "You have all done a wonderful job. Now you have a railway that goes from somewhere to somewhere!" Admitting she had doubted whether the Swanage Railway would ever achieve its aims in the early 1980s – and with her voice sometimes wavering with emotion – Mrs Wheeldon paid tribute to "the wonderful people who have made this day possible" and said "this Railway is a wonderful thing and today is a wonderful day for Swanage, Corfe Castle and Purbeck." The first train from Norden and Corfe Castle back to Swanage on Saturday, 12 August, 1995, was hauled by 1940s Southern Railway unrebuilt Battle of Britain class Bulleid Pacific steam locomotive No. 34072 '257 Squadron'. Swanage Railway train times and fares – and special event details – are online at or by calling 01929 425800.

Green Glory for Dolphin Shopping Centre 17 Aug 2015

The Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole has been recognised for its environmental efforts and has been announced as a winner at the International Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice, competing against more than 500 other nominations.

Travel by Steam Train to Major Purbeck Fundraising Event – and Pay Half The Normal Admission Price! 17 Aug 2015

This year's Harman's Cross country fete, flower show and gymkhana features the Wessex Military Band, a flower and vegetable show, craft marquee, dog agility display and show rings. There is also a grand raffle, afternoon teas and refreshments, barbecue, beer tent, tombola, plant stall, children's rides, coconut shy, amusements, trade stands, local produce and a horse show. Created from nothing by dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers during 1988, Harman's Cross station was the first new station to be built in Dorset for more than 50 years and accepted its first train during December, 1988. It was officially opened by British Rail's Southern Region General Manager Gordon Pettitt during a special ceremony in March, 1989. Thanks to a strong support group of local people, the station has since been developed and improved with the addition of a station building, waiting shelter and signal box. Swanage Railway train times – and special event details – are available online at or by telephone on 01929 425800.

Beatles, Cabaret and Disco at Poole’s Summer Breeze 13 Aug 2015

Get funky on Poole Quay as Summer Breeze arrives with a party atmosphere on Thursday 20 August from 7pm.

Fundraising a piece of cake for Poole store 11 Aug 2015

Staff from Wilko at Poole’s Dolphin Shopping Centre have raised more than £2,000 for charity.

Get the party started at Poole’s Summer Breeze 10 Aug 2015

Get funky on Poole Quay as Summer Breeze arrives with a party atmosphere on Thursday 13 August from 7pm.

Dolphin Shopping Centre adds the ‘wag-factor’ to charity dog show 5 Aug 2015

The Dolphin Shopping Centre was keen to mark its support for its charity of the year, Margaret Green Animal Rescue Centre, by sponsoring a class at the local charity’s Annual Companion Dog Show and Family Fun Day.

Jive till you drop at Poole’s Summer Breeze 4 Aug 2015

Get out your dancing shoes and party the night away as Summer Breeze comes to  Poole Quay on Thursday 6 August from 7pm.

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