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Friday, 2 May 2008

Westham 125 years celebrations

On the 26th April 2008, we visited the Conifers Primary School where they commemorated 125 years since town planners came up with the district name 'Westham'. (see previous blog entry 'Westham united' , Tuesday, 15 April 2008)

The event was organised by the Westham COPS (Community Orientated Problem Solving), Weymouth and Portland Borough Council with aid of National Lottery funding. The celebrations proved a success as was the weather, which brought a well attended crowd of people to the event.

The proceedings were opened by the arrival of Alderman Andy Hutchings and the newly-crowned Westham Princess Jessica Oswald and Mini Miss Ariana Matthews. The honourable David Harris, Mayor of the Borough of Weymouth and Portland was also there to congratulate organisers

In the car park there was a display of classic cars, motorbikes belonging to the New Forest Harley-Davidson club as well as an engine and representatives of Dorset Fire Service. For the little ones there was a ride on a miniature steam locomotive.

The School playing field had a selection of handycraft, bric-a-brac and cake stalls plus face painting and two very fine birds of prey on display: a Barn Owl and Harris Hawk belonging to handler Chris Randal. In the main arena there firstly was a performance by the Bluebelle Twirlers and then demonstrations of Taekwondo as well as Police Dog handlers

Inside the school, an interesting exhibition of 'The History of Westham' was on display. This included a number of photographs, family trees, documentation thereof, maps and artefacts donated by local people as well as by people outside of the county. Dark Dorset even contributed by providing photographs and information regarding the Science Fiction author Eric Frank Russell, who lived in Westham as a child (see previous blog entry 'In memory of British Science Fiction writer, Eric Frank Russell who died this day in 1978',Thursday, 28 February 2008).

We must congratulate Debby Rose and Samantha Spracklen for their stirling work in getting this exhibition together.

Such was the popularity and success of the history exhibition at the Westham 125 event, a book about Westham's history is now in preparation. If you have anything relating to the history that could be included or if you have memories of bygone times in Westham that you'd be happy to share, then they can make contact through the Westham website at http://www.westham.weymouth-dorset.co.uk.

Well done, Westham 125!!

(Below) Highlights of the afternoon 'Westham 125 celebration'

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