Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Mr Badger Is Transported

We decided to spend Tuesday exploring a little more of Dorset, so drove westwards towards Tolpuddle. This little village played such a significant part in our history, almost 200 years ago.


I have wanted to visit the place for years, since I learned about these good men who were so unjustly treated. The chapel where they worshipped was open when we arrived – but the Museum did not open till 10am [Methodists clearly get up earlier than TUC members!]


Note Mr Badger standing to the side of the memorial arch. I did explain that he was not under sentence of transportation, but that his journeys were all in great comfort, and to be regarded as a holiday.


Deciding to return to the Museum at a later date, we went on into Dorchester, in search of breakfast, and found this..


Napper’s Mite is a charming cafe, built in a former almshouse, dating back 400 years. We enjoyed some good food then wandered round the ancient and interesting town


Dorchester is famous for three former residents – Thomas Hardy the writer, Judge Jeffreys [the Hanging Judge, who presided over the famous ‘Bloody Assizes’ here] and William Barnes, the priest and poet, who wrote much in the Dorset dialect. We looked at shops and buildings – but did not pay to go into the Museum


The front window of the Museum had a display about the new film [Far From the Madding Crowd – my review is here] I tried to photograph the beautiful smocked bonnets, but there was a bit too much reflection. Can you see Bob, grinning over my shoulder?

We left Dorchester and went on to Bridport to find some lunch. Delicious food, a quirky atmosphere, and great artwork on the walls, at Lula’s.

The other quirky spot was Snooks

tolpuddle dorchester bridport 07 15

This milliners was staffed by expert hat enthusiasts – we had such fun there. Kezzie, you really must go, and take CBC with you – you would both love it! I did not let Bob buy a fez, or a pith helmet.

After Bridport, a quick trip to nearby West Bay – aka Broadchurch. No sign of Olivia Colman or David Tennant though. Bob had a good time trying on more headgear [this time motorcycle helmets] and I took Mr Badger to the beach. We found no dead bodies!

tolpuddle dorchester bridport 07 151

But it was getting cold and windy. Hot chocolate and back to the car.P1010757

P1010759We drove back via the Hardy Monument. It is high on a hill, and was originally the site of a beacon intended to warn of a Napoleonic Invasion. It began to rain. You can see it is quite misty round the top of the column. All the way up the hill we had been making bad literary jokes about Jude the Obscure etc.

And as we stood in the drizzle, reading the National Trust Info-Board, we realised it was the other Thomas Hardy.

Not the writer, but the Admiral Thomas Hardy[Nelson’s mate from Trafalgar – you know ‘Kiss me, Hardy’ and all that stuff] P1010758

Bob was highly amused by our error! Home for tea. Mr Badger will be leaving me on Saturday – I think he has seen quite enough of Dorset.


  1. A lovely adventure exploring your area and interesting history. I was confused by Mr Badger so after doing some catch up I understand. It's a wonderful idea and to travel around the world. Does he have a little book to notes down all the places he has visited?

  2. Badger has a passport which is filled in as he arrives and departs from each location. He also has a copy of Wind in the Willows, and his hosts are asked to decorate a few pages. Also postcards are being added to his luggage as he travels. By the time his wanderings are ended, I suspect he will be needing a full sized cabin trunk for his final trip home!

  3. Oh how lovely! I WANT to go to that shop!!!!! Love it!!x


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