• Even the sun had his hat on as hundreds of people turned out for one of Dorset’s most popular festivals. Bridport enjoyed one of its ‘best ever’ Hat Festivals as the sun shone for the annual mass-hatted photo and a whole host of other hat-tastic events.
  • A farmer spoke of her fury after experiencing five attacks on her sheep by out-of-control dogs in just six months. The farmer, who wished to remain anonymous, had to have one animal put down and pay for veterinary treatment for three others. The fourth was killed in an attack. Dorset Police issued a warning to dog owners following the attack. 
  • Diamond couple Pamela Fry and Leslie Hile, who met on the dancefloor 63 years ago, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Pamela was aged just 15 when her head was turned by 21-year-old Leslie Hile during a dance held at the Bourneville Hotel in Eype – now Eypes Mouth Hotel – in 1954.
  • A staggering £99,000 was raised at Buckham Fair. Hosted by Martin Clunes and his wife Philippa, the annual event at Buckham Down, near Beaminster, smashed all past fundraising efforts, meaning good news for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, which were the event’s nominated charity


  • A pioneering mental health festival was a success. Bridport’s first ever Mind Fest celebrated ‘the power of the mind’ with a five-day event at various locations across the town. Organised by the Hughes Unit Group Supporters (HUGS), the event led up to, and coincided with, World Mental Health Day.
  • It was announced that the life of a famous fossil hunter could be brought to the big screen. Director Sharon Sheehan revealed that Lyme Regis’ own Mary Anning was to be the subject of a new, two-part feature film starring Jenny Agutter of the Avengers.
  • There were no rumours about it – a pop legend really did pop in to meet a group of young musicians in a chance visit. Youngsters at Lyme Regis-based charity B Sharp welcomed Mick Fleetwood, of Fleetwood Mac, to have a look around along with Matt Griffiths, the chief executive of the National Foundation of Youth Music.
  • A petition was launched calling for a bypass to relieve ‘ever-increasing’ traffic problems in a village.The Chideock Bypass Working Group began seeking signatures for the backing of a bypass around the village which to ease congestion.


  • A firefighter who spent 30 years saving lives put out his last fire. Bridport firefighter Tristan Cox said farewell to his fellow officers at a ceremony at Bridport Fire Station.
  • Record crowds gathered around a bonfire in what was the ‘biggest and most successful’ event. The community flocked to West Bay for Bonfire by the Beach, where they were wowed by a ‘truly spectacular’ firework display.
  • Furious campaigners slammed a decision to go ahead with a 760 home development as ‘sham democracy at its very worst.’ A meeting of West Dorset District Council’s planning committee saw councillors overwhelmingly approve outline planning application for the controversial development on Vearse Farm in Bridport.
  • The community had its say – and did not want South Street in Bridport pedestrianised. A public consultation into the trial closure of the road revealed that 69 per cent of those who took part were against the idea. The scheme was shelved.


  • A man had a ‘lucky escape’ after he became stuck in some mud with the incoming tide rushing in around him. The man, who had been climbing cliffs, became stuck on Charmouth Beach. With no phone signal, he managed to raise the alarm by catching the attention of a passer-by. 
  • A jewellery shop that had been at the heart of the community for more than four decades closed its doors. After 42 years of designing, making and repairing jewellery, John and Jocelyn Pardoe retired from Goldfinger Jewellery.
  • There was plenty of Christmas cheer to go around as a town welcomed the festive season. Crowds flocked to Bridport town centre to celebrate the ‘biggest and best’ annual Christmas Cheer event.
  • A photo showing a natural phenomenon which catapulted West Dorset into the spotlight showed off the region’s beauty. James Loveridge’s photo of fog rolling off cliffs at West Bay saw him shortlisted for the Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition in the ‘view from above’ category.