Three blue plaques have been unveiled at a trading estate in Bridport to recognise its long history and the contribution of individuals who were the innovators and entrepreneurs of their time.

The plaques were unveiled at St Michael's Trading Estate as a permanent and visible reminder of Bridport’s industrial life.

The first plaque unveiled to William Saunders Edwards paid homage to Bridport’s ropemaking and netmaking industry, as for more than 700 years, the town led the world in rope and net making and today a handful of companies are still the main suppliers to fishing fleets, sports clubs, airlines and even the space industry.

Mr Saunders Edwards broke the mould by taking nets from St Michael’s into the world of lawn tennis, the All-England Club and then to the Football Association for the first goal nets, then cricket nets, and almost every village hall in the country has a badminton net or two.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: William Saunders Edwards plaququeWilliam Saunders Edwards plaquque (Image: St Michael's Trading Estate)

The next plaque was to William Gale and his family, which was unveiled by the Mayor, Cllr Ian Bark.

William Gale established a family business and set about the manufacture of twine, with his three sons, Sidney, Fred, and Albert picking up where their father left off.

Cllr Bark said: “Just looking around St Michael’s it was obvious that this was once a thriving hub of industrial activity, these buildings still stand as a mark of respect to the entrepreneurs and workers who created and worked in them.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: William Gale PlaqueWilliam Gale Plaque (Image: St Michael's Trading Estate)

The final plaque was unveiled by Karen Hunt to commemorate the creation of Bridport Industries, and she agreed with the Mayor that Bridport’s heritage is: “not just about these buildings we see around but about the people who shaped them, worked in them and lived in the surrounding streets.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Netting plaqueNetting plaque (Image: St Michael's Trading Estate)

“These plaques mark part of the story of why Bridport is laid out and looks the way it does; they are a sign of what it has meant to be a small industrial town in a rural area dominated by one industry.”