Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hobbits, Chewing Gum, Greensleeves and Fine Knit Sweaters

They don't sound like likely ingredients for the local history of Branksome Park in between Poole and Bournemouth. However, Iris Morris's book "Looking Back at Branksome Park" (one of a series of local history books by the same author published by Old Thyme Publishing, Poole) presents a painstakingly researched account of the area which links these disperate entities.

I can recommend this book for anyone who wants to see a history interwoven with residents such as JRR Tolkien, The Wrigley family (of chewing gum fame), Mantovani (the orchestra leader and musical arranger who had a best selling record with Greensleeves in 1952) and the Marsden-Smedley family (of John Smedley knitwear).

I never knew this area had such interesting characters chronicled alongside the better known residents such as the Duke of Westminster and Lady Wimborne (auntie to Sir Winston Churchill).

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