Do you have the winning photo?

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) and the Bournemouth Daily Echo are continuing to celebrate Poole’s vibrant harbour by launching its second photographic competition category dedicated to photos taken by under-21’s.

The Echo is encouraging its young readers to submit their harbour photographs by September xx for the chance to win an iPad 3. Creative ideas can cover anything from marine life, to watersports images or photos from a camera phone.

The four-month competition, which has been incorporated into the ‘Have Your Say’ section of the paper, will run until November with photographs submitted for each month’s theme appearing in print. There will also be a month dedicated to wildlife images and month for photos taken by professional photographers.

A prize will be presented to each category winner, and at PHC’s Open Evening at the Port of Poole in November the four winning photographs will be judged against one another to select an overall winner.

Jim Stewart, chief executive of the Poole Harbour Commissioners, says: “If you’re under the age of 21this is a good chance to show your photography ability. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, a sailing fanatic or both we would love you to share your images with us. These days it is unusual to find a mobile phone handset without a digital camera function and the quality of some of these pictures can be remarkable.”

To enter, email your picture to and include the words Poole Harbour Photographic Competition in the subject line.

Entrants must include their name, age, address, telephone number, email address and a brief description of the location or event and time of year.

Spring is in the air…

Spring is in the air…

Oriental otters to find a new home at the Bournemouth Oceanarium

As we see glimpses of spring appearing, we can appreciate with fresh eyes how lucky we are to live in this stunning area, and from what we’re hearing, it seems there’ll be some exciting new things to experience and enjoy for the summer season ahead. Watch this space, we’ll keep you in the loop!

In the meantime, make the most of a deal being offered for the whole of March to anyone living in a BH postcode. When fuel prices are getting ever higher and other increases are pinching our pockets, it’s nice to hear of someone looking after their locals. Oceanarium Bournemouth is once again offering half price entry to BH residents this month; it’s the perfect excuse to take the family or indulge in some tranquil time out. The Oceanarium is one example of a business creating something new for the 2011 season – they’ve got some new friends arriving. Otters! Their very first mammal arrives this spring and we’re looking forward to helping them celebrate with launch events and special activities. A whole new enclosure is in construction to welcome the pair of naughty Oriental small clawed otters, who are known to be funny to watch and extremely playful and mischievous.

Talking of playful and mischievous, I was recently treated to hang out with some very well-dressed footballers, courtesy of AFC Bournemouth. Not being particularly into football, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I accepted an invitation to lunch and a match one Saturday to watch the Cherries v Huddersfield with my kids, our events manager, Chloe and her lovely partner, Jason. I thought it was important that we got to experience a live football match – something I had never done before (yes I got ribbed for that). Well, I admit it; I totally get it now. Watching anything live is always a buzz and we really enjoyed ourselves. Having a sociable lunch first in the restaurant was a great way to start the afternoon and I’d recommend it to anyone. You even get tea and cake in half time! The children thought they were in heaven.

As we finished lunch and wandered out to find our seats in the stadium, I was very excited to see we were surrounded by other AFCB players. Suited, booted and Barbour’d up to the nines, Chloe quietly thought she’d gone to heaven too!

The atmosphere and the energy in the packed stadium was magical. Watching the match play end to end, and seeing the stadium explode as the Cherries scored, made our day. Sadly, Huddersfield equalled it right on the wire and the result was a draw, but we’d had a fantastic time and would like to shout a big thank you to the Club for inviting us. We’ll be back for sure.

From my blatant plug of the month to a tip from us about ‘blatant plugs’! Like us, many of you will be regular users of social media, and from now on you have to be much more careful about how you talk about the company you work for online. And not just for fear of getting the sack! The advertising standards people are cracking down on anyone trying to influence others through blogs, status updates or other online communications. You need to ask for guidance from your boss as to how you promote the company you work for online, and if you are a boss, please show your staff how to play it or you might be penalised for your employees saying nice things about you! It’s nice to plug something you believe in, but if anyone is paying you in any way to have that opinion, make sure you make that clear. There’s always something new which makes us busy in our world……and that’s just how we like it!

I hope your month is as mad as a March Hare, until next time……



Tickets are ‘Hot Property’ for Awards

The finalists have been announced and with just weeks to go, tickets for the very first Dorset Property and Architecture Awards are selling well. Endorsing the high profile nature of property in the County, the event on Wednesday February 9th 2011, has attracted TV property expert, Phil Spencer, to host proceedings for the evening.

This is a sector which is often the gauge of economic up or downturn, so attracts plenty of interest.  Property in Dorset has always been a subject of much debate on a national and international level.

Tickets are priced at £50 per head and include a sparkling drinks reception sponsored by PH Warr and a three-course Dorset supper with wine. Cheques should be made payable to Dorset Property & Architecture Awards and sent to Planning Solutions, Russell House, Oxford Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 8EX. For more information go to or call 01202 707558.

The finalists are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Best Architectural Practice:

Anders Roberts & Associates

Broadway Malyan

David James Architects


HGP Architects

Ingenium Archial Ltd

Morgan Carey

Philip Proctor & Associates

Quantum Group

Terence O’Rourke

The Architects Design Group

Trinity Architects

Western Design

Williams Lester


Best Conversion or Extension

Anders Roberts & Associates – The Exchange Building, Hinton Road, Bournemouth

ASN Capital – Badorgan Road, Bournemouth

Graemar Group/Tesco – Westbourne Methodist Church, Bournemouth

G Warren/Harriplan – Breeze, 1 Charminster Road, Bournemouth

Morgan Carey – The Goods Shed, Wareham

Western Design – Pump House, Spetisbury

Williams Lester – 1 Bury Road, Poole

Best New Commercial or Mixed Use Development

Barratt/HGP Architects – Honeycombe Chine, Bournemouth

Christchurch Harbour Hotels Ltd/Broadway Malyan – Christchurch Harbour Hotels

DWP – St Clements Road, Bournemouth

Graemar Group/Tesco – Westbourne Methodist Church

Williams Lester/Brightwater – Studland Dene, Bournemouth

Best New Community Project

Dorset County Council/Surestart – Children’s Centre, Swanage

Ingenium Archial Ltd/Borough of Poole – Hamworthy Community Library

Philip Proctor & Associates – The Exchange, Sturminster Newton

Terence O’Rourke/Dorset County Council – Milldown Primary School, Blandford

Best New Residential Development

Anders Roberts & Associates – 21 Buccleugh Road, Poole

David James Architects/Banner Homes – Crichel Mount Road, Poole

Philip Proctor – Grosvenor House, Shaftesbury

Quantum Group – Aspire, Alton Road, Poole

Quantum Group – Bailie Park, Poole

Terence O’Rourke – 29a Western Avenue, Poole

Best Eco or Environmental Project

David James Architects/Towncourt Homes – Canford Crescent, Poole

Dorset County Council/Surestart – Children’s Centre, Swanage

Western Design/Portus Homes – Partridge Walk, Poole

Zeroc Holdings – St John’s Way, Poundbury

Best Estate or Letting Agent

Dave Wells Properties (Letting Agent) – Bournemouth

Edwards Estate Agents – Ferndown

Move on Rentals – Parkstone, Poole

Realty Property Solutions – Parkstone

Richard Godsell Estate Agents – Southbourne, Bournemouth

Slades Estate Agents – Bransgore

Slades Estate Agents & Letting – Christchurch

Slades Estate Agents – Highcliffe

Slades Estate Agents & Letting – Southbourne

YouHome Estate & Letting Agents – Bournemouth

Best Rural Development

Morgan Carey – Burngate Stone Carving Centre

Waitrose/John Lewis /Morgan Carey – The Cricket Pavilion, Wimborne

Williams Lester/Wilton Homes – Chantry Farm, Gillingham

We look forward to welcoming you on the night!

New Year wishes mistaken for UFO’s


Skylanterns over Shaftesbury

It has been reported in the Blackmore Vale this week that mysterious flying objects were sighted over Shaftesbury on several occasions between Christmas and the New Year.

Local residents spied  upside-down horseshoe shapes glowing with a fiery orange light, floating silently from east to west across the  dark sky.  Sadly it is not other worldly beings trying to contact us, the unidentified flying objects are sky candles or sky lanterns.

After the chimes at midnight, WestBeach diners lit up the night sky, with these stunning skycandles. Each party were able to write their New Year’s wish or resolution on the side of their mini hot air balloon before sending their wishes sailing across the Bournemouth seafront skyline.

Following WestBeach’s example, I purchased some myself and my friends and I sent our wishes soaring up into the Cotwolds sky. A wonderful way to welcome in the New Year.

Strangely, we found one of the spent skycandles at the recycling site on New Years day. Kind of takes the shine off, don’t you think…maybe the person it belonged to had already broken their resolution…and the resolution is ready to be recycled for next year…

Check skycandles out at