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Illustrious Age of Steam Back at Poole Quay



Mini Steam on the Quay took place on 11th May 2019
Photos by Dominic Hughes.

Last weekend, Mini Steam on the Quay returned to Poole. We went along to see the celebration of that bygone technology in action…

Visitors in their hundreds took to Poole Quay to enjoy a festival of mini steam engines. Steam owners from Dorset and the surrounding counties came together last Saturday to present their miniature steam and traction engines, offering rides to members of the public.

Up-and-down the Quay: many visitors took the opportunity for a ride.

Richard Harvey, one of the chief organisers, reflected upon the event’s beginnings as a “New Year’s Day ‘steam-off’ between a group of enthusiasts”. Ten years on, the ‘steam-off’ has transpired into a popular annual event consisting of 20-25 engines.

A reminder of the illustrious age of steam.

What’s more — they now help to raise funds for numerous charities. This year, the festival was in aid of Salisbury District Hospital’s Star Appeal: Little Lives.

Present at the event were Stacey and Andy, with their nine-month-old daughter Hollie. They are not only part of the organising team, but also beneficiaries of the fantastic work of the Star Appeal. Stacey explained that Hollie, who was born ten weeks premature, may not have been with us “had it not been for the specialised equipment, care and support at Salisbury District Hospital funded by the charity.”

Proud parents: Andy and Stacey with their daughter, Hollie.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Salisbury provides additional care to around 300 babies every year. The Star Appeal funds a family accommodation unit attached to NICU, in addition to advanced equipment such as incubators. They also fund ‘kangaroo care’ wards, which allow skin-to-skin contact between parent and newborn.

Now in its tenth year, Mini Steam on the Quay has once again provided a highly successful fundraiser, generating a fairground atmosphere for young and old to enjoy. We extend a special thanks to Poole Tourism and the event organisers.

To find out more about Salisbury District Hospital Star Appeal, visit here, and for specific information on Little Lives, visit here. And you keep up with the local goings-on by visiting our Events section.

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Bournemouth Repair Café Fighting Throwaway Culture



Images by Dominic Hughes and supplied by Transition Bournemouth

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.


Repairs are often simpler than expected


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.


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.


Jennie Allen – Project Lead for Bournemouth Repair Cafe

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 

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What’s On: Rosé & Fizz Festival



The festival is hosted by Maison Sax, Ashley Cross, Poole

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.

Find out more about Maison Sax in this article, or visit the restaurant’s website

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Stuart Goldsmith to Headline Coastal Comedy



Coastal Comedy presents Stuart Goldsmith

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.

Interested? Get on over to the Coastal Comedy website to book your tickets or visit their Facebook page for more information…

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