There are some Humans of Bournemouth we may never be so lucky to interview. Like this list of famous ones. How many of these famous townsfolk did you know about?
When you live in a town as creative and inspiring as ours, it can’t be surprising to find we have a few famous faces in the worlds of sport, literature and screen. Some on our list are well-known to have come from Bournemouth, but others may surprise you…
SIR PERCY FLORENCE SHELLEY
Our town’s association with the Frankenstein author Mary Shelley is perhaps one of our most famed. Not least because she is buried in St. Peter’s Church. But that is the extent of it, contrary to popular belief. It was her youngest child, Sir Percy Florence Shelley, who lived in Boscombe for much of his married life. It was also he who requested his novelist mother be buried here.
Still, we prefer to think of Mary Shelley as the one who lived here, with a Wetherspoons pub and a local literary festival named in her honour.
Did you know that renowned comedian and performer Tony Hancock, perhaps most famous for his radio and television series Hancock’s Half Hour, grew up in Bournemouth from the age of three?
Even back then, our town had a thriving hotel business, and Hancock spent his early years in and out of them, with his father running one on Holdenhurst Road until his death in 1934, and then his mother and stepfather running another on Gervis Road.
Hancock did not return to live in Bournemouth after World War II. Even at the height of his success, he was troubled by mental health issues and alcoholism, which eventually led to his suicide in 1968. There is a plaque on the wall of the hotel where he spent some of his childhood in his memory.
While he was born in Wales, Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale remains one of Bournemouth’s most famous sons. For one thing, he studied at Bournemouth School for Boys until he was 16.
Since then, he has performed as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of films alongside the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and the late Heath Ledger. You will probably not recognise him in his latest role to date as Dick Cheney in the film Vice, for which he had to gain 40 pounds of weight.
Unlike many of our humans who have gone on to find fame and fortune, Bale continues to make visits home to Bournemouth. After all, his family are still local. So, keep your eye out — if you’re lucky, you may well spot him around.
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN
We remain in Hollywood with our town’s next famous name. Definitely the youngest and most recent star to come out of Bournemouth is Emmy Award-nominated actress Millie Bobby Brown. Who will, no doubt, be recognised by fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Brown spent four years living in Bournemouth before moving to the States. However, her family remained local until only a couple of years ago, with two of her siblings working on Richmond Hill.
Fans of the recent hit series Bodyguard may be pleasantly surprised in recognising this next entry. Before she was playing Richard Madden’s ex, actress Sophie Rundle, who has also appeared in Peaky Blinders, Dickensian and Happy Valley is a former student at Bournemouth School for Girls, where she attended before going to RADA.
He’s been a soap star. He’s also been a member of the X-Men. And you will see him in the upcoming film Bohemian Rhapsody. Actor Ben Hardy was born in Bournemouth and remained local to Dorset from there on. His breakout role was in EastEnders, playing Ian Beale’s son Peter for two years, before taking to the big screen in films like X-Men Apocalypse, in which he played Angel.
Moving into the world of local sports stars, one of our bigger names is that of the professional darts player Scott Mitchell. He was born in Bournemouth and raised in the village of Bransgore, Hampshire. In 2015, he won the British Darts Organisation World Championships; a position held by many famous names in the game such as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and the late Eric Bristow.
The great Sunday Times journalist Dilys Powell spent her childhood and studying years in Bournemouth before getting into Oxford (an achievement in itself for a young woman in the 1920s). Powell was a noted film critic and travel writer and, due to the nature of her work, did not make many further visits to her childhood home.
Did you know a Strictly Come Dancing champion was from our little town? Karen Hardy appeared in some of the earlier series of the celebrity dancing show, between 2005 and 2008. She won alongside cricketer Mark Ramprakash in 2006. Rumour has it she studied at what is currently Stourfield Infant School in Southbourne.
Did we miss anyone? Any other famous names from Bournemouth that we don’t know about? Let us know in the comments or on any of our social media channels.
Bournemouth Repair Café Fighting Throwaway Culture
Ahead of the return of Bournemouth Repair Café on Saturday 20th July, I met project lead, Jennie Allen, to find out more about their mission.
Bournemouth repair café is a cog in an international movement of repair cafes striving to resist throwaway culture. Originating from Amsterdam, repair cafes are free meeting places with a base of skilled volunteers, encouraging members of the public to bring in damaged goods for repair. From electricals and textiles to jewellery and furniture, the repair café has you covered.
The Bournemouth repair café is a product of Transition Bournemouth – a local community initiative reducing the impacts of peak oil and climate change. The movement is founded on the belief that working together as communities is where real change takes place, as opposed to individual efforts or waiting for the government to act on issues of concern.
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES?
Project lead Jennie Allen, said:
“The goal is to reduce landfill waste whilst encouraging communities to share at the same time…”
Sharing comes in a variety of forms, including skill sharing, tool sharing and idea sharing. A key objective of the repair café is to pass on knowledge. For instance, those coming in with broken iPhones should leave with the skills to fix them.
“It relates to the idea of a circular economy. People always say ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’, but there is a fourth art as well. ‘Repair’ – one that people don’t do as they used to, because of throwaway culture”
A recent study found that one product successfully repaired at a repair café can prevent up to 24 kilos of carbon dioxide emissions. The study echoes the general message implicit in the repair café movement – that the significant barrier to repair is the general public’s lack of necessary skills, rather than irreparable damage to products.
A NON-PROFIT INITIATIVE
Repair cafés are entirely voluntary, although donations are always welcomed. Donations go towards hiring venues, acquiring new tools and components and covering travel expenses for volunteers. Plus providing refreshments, of course!
Jennie also emphasised that the project should not be viewed as a challenge to local businesses. Rather, they aim to help people become more conscious of sustainable repair practices.
BOURNEMOUTH REPAIR CAFÉ – WHERE AND WHEN?
The event will be held at Bournemouth Library on Saturday 20th July from 2-4pm, in the large meeting room on the second floor.
“We welcome the public to come in with broken items. We will carry out repairs and hopefully teach a thing or two!”
If you are interested, Jennie will welcome you at Bournemouth Library from 2pm tomorrow!
Find out more via the Bournemouth Repair Café Facebook page, or e-mail transitionbournemouth@
What’s On: Rosé & Fizz Festival
Following a successful gin celebration, Maison Sax hosts a festival dedicated to all things pink and bubbly…
August kicks off in style this year with Maison Sax in Ashley Cross. They’re hosting their own Rosé and Fizz Festival on the 10th.
The event was announced following the success of their artisan gin festival back in May. It will take place in their huge Provençal garden at the back of this bistro-style restaurant.
English Oak Vineyard are among the local brands showcasing their products, including an array of sparkling wines.
And rosé and bubbly lovers will be very pleased to learn that the event is free to enter. All you need to do is comment “Fizz o’clock” on the event’s Facebook page.
Stuart Goldsmith to Headline Coastal Comedy
As their season draws to a close, Coastal Comedy has one last high-profile act to share with you…
Award-winning monthly event Coastal Comedy welcomes Stuart Goldsmith this weekend in the last show of their season. The comedian and podcast host will headline the show, taking place on Saturday 13th July at Poole’s Lighthouse Theatre.
Goldsmith has a reputation for smart, accessible stand-up, a natural charm and a quick wit. All this was honed by his early years as a street performer. His act features many up-front revelations about love, sex and romance (among other things), offering plenty of surprises along the way.
Alongside Goldsmith and the event’s founder Adrienne Coles, two other acts will take the Coastal Comedy stage. Opening the show is Rick Kiesewetter, an observational comic with specialist subjects in national identities and stereotypes. And then there’s Johnny Wardlow, part of the BBC New Comedy Awards for three years running.
Coastal Comedy has earned high recognition as one of the best nights out in Bournemouth. This includes the Night Time Award at this year’s BH Stars, plus a finalist in for the Best Night Out Award at 2018’s BAPTAs. Each and every evening never disappoints.