25 YEARS AGO March 5, 1993

CONTROVERSY: A Bridport puppeteer has sprung to the defence of Mr punch after a Lyme Regis councillor labelled his seafront show violent and unsuitable for children.

CRIME: A crackdown on vandalism at Bridport Youth Centre - by persuading offenders to either repair or pay for their damage - is paying dividends. Youth leader Arthur Woodgate says all cases of vandalism at the Gundry Lane premises have been satisfactorily resolved.

SALE: Tenders are being sought for the site of the former Askers Motel – destroyed by fire over two years ago – and 21 chalets. Preliminary tender particulars have been drawn up by estate agents Goadsby and Harding, acting on the instructions of the receiver.

LIFELINE: Intervention by West Dorset MP Sir James Spicer has led to a £30k lifeline being thrown by the district council to to Bridport’s troubled Solent Furniture. Management are mounting a rescue bid to save the company, where 50 workers lost their jobs on Friday.

50 YEARS AGO March 1, 1968

DISPUTE: Residents around the square in Beaminster are engaged in a bitter dispute about the dust, dirt and litter they say is spoiling one of the most beautiful 18th Century squares in the county.

CUTS: Heavy cuts in education and health programmed, of which Dorset has been justly proud, or an even more crippling rate rise next year – that was the bleak alternative put before members of Dorset County Council at their budget meeting. Placing this ultimatum bluntly and unequivocally before members, the chairman of the finance committee warned that the prospect for the future was gloomy in the extreme.

EXTENSION: By the end of the summer, the £4,000 Lyme Regis Hospital Extension Scheme should be completed, said the matron, at the annual meeting. The appeal for funds to extend the North wing – launched by the Friends a year ago – had been so successful and so well-supported by the town and catchment area that work would start as soon as tenders had been agreed.