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Saturday, August 3rd, 1974

          What we’re you doing on Saturday August 3rd in 1974?  I would have been on holiday from the later years of my time in primary school, possibly staying in a caravan in Devon with my family, but it would appear, someone else, who lived in Weymouth, was plumbing a sink in our kitchen.

          The “Bathroom” is still ongoing at our house, it’s almost finished, but our Bathroom man has been doing a little fixing downstairs by the kitchen sink as well which included replacing the waste pipe through the wall to the drain outside.  When the old piece of pipe was removed a ball of crumpled up newspaper fell into the hole and had to be removed before the new pipe would fit through.  The cavity in the wall had been stuffed with The Dorset Evening Echo when the old plumbing had been done.

          What else was happening in Dorset on Saturday 3rd August ….

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          HY. DUKE & SON of 74 Thomas Street were selling “All new” houses in the coastal area. 

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          Whereas Portland properties were newly available near Easton.  Particularly one modern end terrace house adjoining open fields in a quiet cul-de-sac.  Enjoying a good size side garden.  Rooms:  Large lounge/dining room, rear hall, kitchen, 2 large bedrooms, and bathroom.  Wiring for off-peak *****.  Garage and gardens.  Which the sole agents were selling for just eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty-something pounds.

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          COLDHARBOUR HOSPITAL, in Sherborne was trying to recruit CADET NURSES, age 16, and NURSING ASSISTANTS, full or part time.

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          SITUATIONS VACANT…

           A regular and reliable babysitter was required for a 2½-year-old child in the Bradford Peverell area.

          An active pensioner was required for general cleaning duties. Mornings. Good wages for a reliable person. A permanent position at the Marlboro Restaurant.

          A kitchen hand for 3 evenings only. Also waitress, were wanted at Bonkers Bistro. Excellent wages offered for hard workers. 

          Lane and Co were advertising for an audio typist for a chartered accountant in Weymouth.  Salary by negotiation and holiday arrangements honoured.

         Norfolk Hotel were advertising good wages for additional staff and Chambermaid.

         Ricardo Ltd were looking for Carpenters.  Mature and experienced men were required for conversion, maintenance and repair work. Permancy to suitable  men.

          Counter assistants were required for lunch-time and evening duties. Good wages and permanent position were on offer by the Marlboro Restaurant.

          De Parys required an experienced presser.  Full and part-time positions available.

          E V Clarke, a Chemist of 54 South Street Dorchester was advertising for full time sales assistant.

          And a Dorchester firm of auctioneers and estate agents was requiring a junior telephonist / receptionist, with some trying being an advantage.

          Of course, there is just no way I was going to throw away this little piece of screwed up paper with all this information written in it.  I poked about online with Mr Google to see who I could find, without much luck I might add, apart from the Marlboro Restaurant

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          The Marlboro Restaurant sits proudly on the corner of St Edmund Street and St. Thomas Street, just before the Town Bridge.  I took a couple of photos when I was next passing and was excited to see the business was established in 1974.  I wonder if these vacant situations were for the first ever cleaner and counter staff.  

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          More from before: Semi-retirement by “my seaside” in “Weymouth

Donkeys

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          Donkeys at the seaside… What’s not to love.

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          The first encounter I remember with the seaside donkeys is way back in my school time memories.   Not primary school as you would expect, but secondary school.   My year in school was one of the difficult years (come to think of it, my school in general had a bit of a reputation for being full of difficult years).  Each year though we were still taken on our school trip by a few brave teachers who had built up a “good/bad” relationship with us kids, if we were good we went, if we were bad we didn’t.

          Every year we were allowed to choose where to go, and every year the teacher’s eyes would roll up into their head as we chose the same school trip as the year before … We would go from Penarth on a coach to Bristol ice-skating rink, skate for a few hours, then go to Western-Super-Mare where we would eat our packed lunch on the beach watching the donkeys.  After a few hours we would then all hop back on the coach and be taken back to school in time to go home.

          Maybe it was the donkeys which drew us to Weston each year, maybe it was the yearly outing to the skating rink, who knows for what reasons a class of 11 year-old had the same choice when they reach a class of fifteen year-olds, but each year mine was one of the hands in the air voting for the same school trip.

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          The donkeys are very much part of the attraction of “Blackpool” too, I enjoyed Blackpool on a few occasions with Hubby before the girls arrived, and then again when the girls were small, the jungle Jim’s and the circus inside Blackpool Tower in particular, but when the hen parties and stag nights took away a little too much of the family holidayness for me I stopped going.  In more recent years, Blackpool has moved some of the party people on and insisted those who stay are better behaved, although Blackpool isn’t at the top of my list to visit at the moment, it is definitely heading back towards the family type holiday again.

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          We have donkeys on our beach at Weymouth, maybe another subconscious reason for why I chose this particular seaside for retirement.  Our donkeys are the “West Hill Donkeys“, you can follow their exploits away from the sands on their “Facebook page“.

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          One late afternoon last summer I was walking along Weymouth prom with Mum-in-law when we saw the donkies had started to be packed up for the day.   While the donkeys quite happily stood eating hay, all the trappings for their day at the seaside were gradually dismantled and stored away in the little donkey shed.

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          I assured Mum-in-law it would be worth waiting, and although it took a while, we were finally treated to the sight of the donkeys being led out onto the sand where they rolled around like school children before they too returned to their transport and headed home.

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          More from before: Semi-retirement by “my seaside” in “Weymouth

Virus exercise

          These are strange times we live in, the summer season in Weymouth should be in full swing, the population on a sunny Sunday afternoon should be practically doubled by tourists, but instead during a venture into the outside you can easily walk in the road to pass locals on the pavement at a safe distance with a polite nod as you go.

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          I only go out for my allowed daily exercise with Hubby about once a week, I’m still working in my little supermarket on three days, walking in, standing up for most of my shift and then plodding back home. The rest of the week I’ve been playing in the garden.

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          I remember another busy Bank holiday when I had gone out looking for a “Quiet Spot” and on this walk we headed in that direction again.

      Walking along the south side of the harbour, if you heep going to will come to the old stone pier. You pass the steps up to Nothe Gardens and the Pier Cafe, and just as the pier extends out in front of you there are a couple of… I would have said old wooden steps, but they seem to have been replaced by brand new ones… At the bottom of these steps, even when the tide is in you’ll find yourself on a tiny pebbled beach at the base of Nothe Fort.  But when the tide is out, this little beach is the gateway to so much more.

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          I’m not as young as I used to be, this second childhood is so much more fun, as I already know the bits I don’t like… Vegetables for instance… , although the little girl in me sometimes forgets my aged limitations.  Clambering out to my rock to sit with only the sea in front of me takes more careful negotiation than it would have in my younger years, I can’t afford even a little slip nowadays, and this time, once I reached the stone the warmth where it had been basking in the sun for many hours seeped through to my bones as I sat and made me smile in equal amounts to the sound of the splashing waves. As you can see from the previous photo, Hubby had his camera out too, but this is the photo I snapped from my pearch before I cambered back to dry land at the base of the Fort.

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          The next decision was made by the old lady, the hips, knees and ankles were good to go on, so instead of heading back to the pebbled beach and the Old Stone Pier, we continued around the base of the Fort towards the gardens… And the giant boulders of Portland stone, dropped into place as protection from the sea at the base of the gardens.

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          The end of the path disappears underneath the giant rocks and you have to climb over them to make your way back up to higher ground.

          At high tide the little path turns back into a secret as the waves break onto the wall of the Fort.

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          More from before: Semi-retirement by the seaside in “Weymouth