A day of destruction.

Monday was an afternoon mooching round Swanage. We arrived from Herston Halt, I always find it strange when I have to put my arm out to stop a train, being hauled by diesel and left with a fine steam loco up front. Swanage like Wareham has changed very little over the last half century. No complete town centre makeovers on the Isle of Purbeck.

Yesterday was very hot, perhaps not the best day to be scrambling round Cromwell’s destruction of Corfe Castle but we survived despite the gunfire (the army were practising on the ranges just up the road near Kimmeridge).

I drove off heading for the puddles – that’ll be Tolpuddle, Puddletown, Affpuddle and Briantspuddle – but on a whim turned left intending a quick visit to Lulworth Cove until I encountered an oncoming  Moho. I’m convinced I was far enough over, the plants were slapping R0X1’s nearside, it wasn’t single carriageway and there was plenty of room but there was a sickening very loud bang … complete destruction of the mirror … again!

Having stopped, accosted a random stranger and demanded directions to the nearest motorhome dealer I headed very gingerly to Poole. Quite scary when you need to move into the right hand lane with no idea if anyone’s already in it!

Chappie at the Marquis place was indescribably helpful. He started by phoning around to see if anyone had an Fiat offside mirror unit for a LHD (different angles to a RHD) no-one had so it would have to be ordered and I would have to wait 5 days for one to come from the factory. I decided that wasn’t on as I’m due to leave here tomorrow. So bless him, he found a slightly dented mirror which he epoxied to the remains of the housing and gaffer taped the housing to stabilise it. When I asked how much he just laughed and said “It’s a broken mirror …”

Much later than expected I got to Tolpuddle but of course by this time the museum was closed. The sculpture was well worth seeing tho’. These six men have been my heroes for many years; brothers George and James Loveless, James Brine, James Hammett, Thomas Stansfield and his son John. It was George who had established the Friendly Society in Tolpuddle and they refused to work for less than 10 shillings a week, although by this time wages had been reduced to seven shillings and were due to be further reduced to six. All six were arrested for and convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers . They were sentenced to transportation and penal servitude in Australia. They were later pardoned following a huge public outcry petition and march. Although not true martyrs in the strict sense of the word the six men who unknowingly began the trade union movement came to be known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The sculpture by Thompson Dagnall in 2001 shows six seats only one being occupied, by George Loveless, who is depicted raging his frustration at injustice to the skies.


🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. Replacement mirror on order at Webbs to be done on my return.

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