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From Grafitti to Ghosts, Dorchester Review of 2014

Monday, January 12th, 2015

With a New Year recently started, we thought it would be great to see what notable achievements, events and anniversaries have taken place in Dorchester during 2014. Here are a few of the highlights from another action packed year in the County Town.

New permitted grafitti artwork under the railway bridge on Damers Road brightened up a previously drab area and caused a bit of controvesy at the same time. The change of the pistol into a bubble gun seemed to apese most opponents to the design. View how the artwork developed.

Graffiti artwork under the railway bridge in Dorchester Dorset.
A new resident now lives under the bridge down town.


A Master Chef winner arrived to a Dorchester restaurant in March. We interviewed Mat Follas, the winner of BBC’s Masterchef in 2009. He has been cooking up some very tasty dishes at The Casterbridge Hotel in High East Street and getting some rave reviews throughout 2014 for the culinary delights that he has been producing.

Chef Mat Follas
Mat Follas now at The Casterbridge in Dorchester.

The biennial Dorchester Art Festival took place in May. The extravaganza of theatre, comedy, music, dance and interactive workshops took place over four days in venues all around the town.

The Ballad of Martha Brown
The Ballad of Martha Brown, an original drama based on the life and times of the last woman publically hanged in Dorset

The well loved Dinosaur Museum celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2014. With its unique and innovative mix of fossils, skeletons and dinosaur reconstructions combined with hands-on activities and multimedia displays, the museum has been wowing visitors since 1984.

Dinosaur museum Birthday celebrations.
Happy 30th Birthday to The Dinosaur Museum!

A regular in the calendar for the many resisdents and visitors is the Dorchester Carnival. 2014 saw the return of the ever-popular carnival charity pub race, street fair, fun fair and live music events throughout the town. The main event was of course the procession with the main theme being famous movies.

Carnival procession in Dorchester.
Dorchester carnival is a fun packed two days in June. Run by the people of Dorchester for the people of Dorchester.

In July, after lengthy research and negotiations, the Dorchester BID gained permission for use of car parking at the prison while the Ministry of Justice was looking for new owners. This was great news as it helped to alleviate the lack of spaces in the town centre.

The Old Prison car park.
The Old Prison car park.

For the school summer holidays the Dorchester Super Sleuth Flag Competition returned. The event was very well supported, we were delighted to see so many youngsters work so hard on it (and mums and dads too!).

International flag fluttering in the wind.
The flag competition was a big hit with children during the summer holidays.


The annual Dorset County Show returned to the show ground in September. We had a great couple of days visiting what has become a fantastic event in the Dorchester calendar. The weather played its part too and certainly brought the crowds out.

Award winning sheep with rosettes.
Sheep champion at the Dorset County Show 2014.

In October we thought we would try and find out where the most spooky place is in and around Dorchester. The Dorchester Tunnels, Icen Way, Dorset County Museum and HMP Prison all made it onto the short of scary local locations.

One of the many tunnels under Dorchester
One of the many tunnels under Dorchester

At the end of the year the town geared itself up for the festive season and the ever-popular Christmas Cracker night. The big light switch on was completed by Mat Follas and Peppa Pig. Local businesses got involved with many entering the inaugural Shop Window Competition which was won by Nicoll World Travel.

Winner of the Christmas Window competition 2014
Scott Duncan presenting Chris Greenway from Nicholl World Travel with a trophy, certificate and £300 cash prize.

Why no mention of the Dorchester community play? Certainly a highlight of the year for me

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