A while ago, when searching for something to do on an unexpected free morning, I saw an advert for a Walking Talk of Bournemouth. These are organised and lead by Hattie Miles, a Bournemouth local whose work with Bournemouth Echo over the last 24 years has given her a unique insight to the goings on of Bournemouth town and it’s flavourful history.
It seems only right that we, as people who pride ourselves on being Bournemouth’s biggest fans, should also be people who know a bit about our favourite seaside town’s (admittedly short) history.
So I booked myself onto a tour! The Hidden Gems of the Town Centre tour to be precise. Starting at The Miramar Hotel on a rather drizzly day, myself, Hattie and a few others strolled along the east cliff (this was pre-landslide), down to the prom, along the gardens and round the back of the town centre.
Soaking up the history of the town and the stories that form it is fascinating. Places you walk past everyday take on new significance once you know the history woven into it. Bournemouth is only young, but there is enough history to make you feel wonder and pride!
We learnt about:
Tregonwell, the great founder of the town.
Old Harry Pay, the cheeky chappy who has some stacks named after him.
The fact that Tolkien stayed here often (and hated it!)
THE Beatles big gig
The fascinating story of the Shelly’s (no Mary didn’t actually live here)
The unfortunate demise of Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce)
… I could divulge more details about these tales but I think Hattie could tell the stories much better.
I think we should tell the history of our towns more often, it adds so much flavour and texture. We can be encouraged by the stories of local activists. We CAN make a difference in our town, because people have gone before us and done just that. Perhaps, in the far off future, people will go on walking talks and hear about the goings on that are happening right now?
So if you have a spare morning or afternoon that you want to fill with something a little out of the ordinary then you should definitely go on a Walking Talk. Hattie is a lovely tour host, she made two hours pass by in a flash, rain and all – absolutely recommended!
Walking Tours are £6 per person (at the time of writing) and there is no need to book. Just choose your tour and turn up at the stated meeting point!