Upton Millennium Project Times Remembered - Upton Past, Present & Future
"Looking at Upton today, it would be easy to think of it as part of the suburban sprawl of Poole, identified only by its new Clock Tower as 'somewhere different'. The contributors to the Upton Millennium Story, recalling their Upton lives, show that whilst Upton was only a small part of Lytchett Minster in former years, to them, Upton always had a separate identity, as 'somewhere different'."

How it Used to Be

Some people's interests in Upton include the far-reaching history, showing that Upton has very deep roots indeed.

"The early history of Upton is part of the same heritage as Corfe Mullen and Lytchett Minster, and there are many books which include Upton in that context, dating the area back from 8000BC to the Roman invasion of AD43."

"Some 2500 years ago the roads in Iron Age Dorset were tracks from the main ports on the coast and ran to the Celtic tribe strongholds of Badbury Rings and Bulbury Camp at Lytchett. These tracks predated the 2 Roman roads which bisect Upton, built after the AD43 Roman invasion."

"There is history beneath our feet, old smuggling routes from Lytchett Bay, the old Coaching Road to the west following the Saxon tracks through 'Lycet' or Grey Wood, and the 'Upton' of high ground."

"There has undoubtedly been a settlement at Upton for many hundreds of years. The name literally means 'the upper homestead', but not in the sense of being on high ground as most of it is only slightly above sea level to the north of Lytchett Bay. No, Upton has always been a place through which you passed en route for places beyond."

"There had undoubtedly been ancient tracks and waggon ways across the heath land but when the turnpike roads spread out from Poole in the late 18th century, one could say they put Upton on the map."

"When the turnpike coaching roads spread out from Poole in the late 18th century, the Poole Turnpike Trust (set up in 1756) improved the old track to Lytchett Matravers and Dorchester using Upton Lane. In the 1820's the Trust improved the road from Hamworthy to Blandford, cutting across the Dorchester Road to form Upton Cross. Upton Cross was the landmark for Upton, until recent years."

From the mid 19th century ...

"The railway also came early to Upton, in the 1840's, at the height of the frantic period of railway building known as 'railway mania'. The London South Western Railway was persuaded to build a line from Salisbury to Hamworthy, the nearest they could approach to Poole, and passing through Upton just east of the crossroads with hand-operated crossing gates. This became a very busy line because it eventually formed a through route to Poole and Weymouth. Generations of motorists were to curse that crossing gate when, in the 1950's and 1960's, it resulted in frequent traffic jams with cars stretching back for miles on both sides."

"The railway ran through Upton as part of the original line from Southampton to Dorchester, & via Hamworthy Junction to Poole (Hamworthy) the track was single line & opened in 1847. Upton is mentioned in railway books of that period."

Many people have memories connected to the roads; including how some roads were named.

"Palmerston Road is named after Lord Palmerston, a prominent Victorian politician of 150 years ago."

"Yarrells Lane was there. The next road (Border Road) was not there - there were no houses, just bog. Peters Close - nothing was built there. There was a field and we used to go and play in that field. That was part of the poultry farm. The next road, which is now Old Bound Road, was there. There were 2 old cottages by the Perkins. My auntie lived in one side, and on the other side there was a house that sort of stood back. It's still there, and some bungalows. Seacombe was the house and Muskerry was the bungalow."


Pine clump at the junction of
Sandy Lane and Yarrells Lane
"Talking about Yarrells Lane and houses in Sandy Lane, Sandy Lane was rough and there was a stream going across by the Spinney and you sometimes had a job to pass. It smelt horrible. In fact, in Sandy Lane, when you cycled from our house to where you go down the hill now, where you get to council houses, you then had to go over to the right hand side of the road because there was so much sand and you could not ride on it. Outside of our house there was a hydrant, and when it rained the sand would wash away, Pine clump at the junction of Sandy Lane and Yarrells Lane and night after night we had to go out because somebody had fallen off their bicycle there and the thing was sticking up in the air. We used to complain and they would come and build it up again but it went as soon as it rained. There were no street lights and you couldn't see - you only had the cycle light."

"There was no Beacon Park - it was just common ground all around there. No Moorland Way - that was just common ground. Sandy Lane was impassable. And sometimes we used to walk to church across a footpath, down Watery Lane."

"Before the street lights came in Upton, Sandy Lane was an unmade road and it was all pot holes and very difficult to negotiate. We used to leave home to go shopping with our Wellington boots on, go down Sandy Lane into Old Bound Road and when we got to the corner of Old Bound Road and Blandford Road, there was a house with a high hedge. You took off your Wellington boots and stowed them in the hedge and put on your shoes to go to Poole. (This was when we lived in Peters Close.) There were many pairs of boots left in the hedge and to my recollection, none disappeared. They were always there when you came back."

Many people remember the lay of the land being very different. In many cases, greenery gave way to developers.

"One could assume old Upton has been swamped by development and the past has not physically survived. However, although there have been many changes on the surface, there are strong reminders of the industry and enterprise of old Upton Families People, such as the Wyatts, Hollands, Palmers, Dacombes, Arnolds, Ballams and Hibbs, laid the foundation of its rural industries and local services."

"Another old man I remember was Gary Hibbs who was of course quite a big landowner and he had a farmhouse - I . should think somewhere near where the Triangle Shops are now actually - and I think he probably owned the land where there was a gun site up behind the Upton Oil Company, and of course the gun site was there during the war for the anti-aircraft guns."

"There used to be fruit bushes at the back of Palmer's Garage" "runnin' right down to Palmerston Road. All along there, where the houses were built. That was Palmer's, right out to Palmerston Road. At one time they did have a small stall there by the garage - 'course they used to sell fruit there."

"Where the Upton Hotel is, that was all fir trees and had a fence going all the way around there."

"Mr Hibbs, who owned much of the farming land around Upton, had his farm between the Triangle shops and the new Clock-tower."

"About 40 years ago, I was talking to a friend of my father's and he told me that a hundred years ago where I lived there used to be a gravel pit; so that would be back in mid 1800s. Just where the Labour Club is now and the houses behind it, there used to be a pond there and that one way road was the entrance to the brickyard."

"Sandy Lane, until the 1960's, was a dirt track with a number of houses; some of them have been demolished since, and now heathland is built over with housing estates. The residents saw the heath land change beyond recognition as the housing sprawl extended in Moorland Way in 1947 for BDH employee rented housing and local council houses."

"Upton has changed so much, there's no - how can I put it - camaraderie about it now Nobody wants to know anybody else. I do know a lot of people for the simple reason I've lived here all these years, but it has changed drastically. As I said before, sometimes for the better, sometimes not for the better. I know people have got to have places to live, but there's hardly any greenery left in Upton now Where old Beacon Park was, was fields. Where I am now, when it used to be the old gun site, we used to have to cut down through two fields to get onto Blandford Road. And when I had my children, I used to have to take the pram right down the back, right down to the Upton Oil Company, then up to the crossroads, and then down to the school, which was quite a long walk."


Upton Crossroads

Buildings have sprung up, and have since been pulled down. On some occasions, buildings just gave way to newer buildings. 8 9ab 11a ">

"On the subject of pubs, the Upton Hotel in its distinctive 1930's style of architecture is now the only hostelry in the village, but in the 19th century on the crossroads there stood a beer house, known as the Railway Tavern. It attracted a rough clientèle of travelling gypsies and fair people who camped near Marsh Lane, and whose fights finally lost the premises its licence. It then became the Coffee Tavern and later the Corner House, a typical village store selling everything and run for many years by a succession of families: the Bests, the Perkins and the Eades. Then in 1955 the old house was turned into a clinic and doctors' surgery, and Dr Chown moved across from Gablehurst where he had run his practise since 1950. Alongside was a small chapel-like building which served as Upton's first public library. Both were demolished in 1977 to be replaced by a new Public Library in 1978 and a smart new Health Centre the following year."

"There used to be a Brick Works in Upton. It was called The Upton Brick Works and it was situated in the Heights Road Area. There was also a dairy in the village round about Dacombe Drive, just before the garage opposite Factory Road. It was a big house."

"Frampton Terrace - the terraced row of cottages was built for the brickwork employees, in the period of the Victorian era, when a number of the houses still standing on Poole Road were built, using the red facing bricks from Upton Brickworks."

"Further on round from that was the Blacksmith's shop which was run by Courtney and a chap called Mac Sweeney. They used to have another cottage industry behind there. Someone started doing sort of wrought iron work, that was all linked to the forge, and I can picture now standing amongst the horses being shod. They were hot shod."

"Village smithy - this forge was next to the lane which ran to the brickworks, roughly where the library path is today. A pond with goldfish was along the lane. Mr Courtney ran the smithy for a number of years, and the smell of burning horse hooves mixed with the cattle smells prevalent at Upton Cross some 60 years ago."

"My first contact with Upton was back in 1941 when I was only 7 years of age because my father then came to Upton to work. He was too old then to be in the armed forces and he came to work with Jim Stacey. My father started the workshop at what is the Upton Garage."

"Bon Marche - just beyond the level crossing and opposite Palmers Garage, Bon Marche of Poole had a wooden building on the grass verge of Poole Road. They sold haberdashery, items such as needles and thread."

"At the end of the village towmds Poole, there was a little shop there, Dacombe's. Well, coming to the top of Dacombe's Lane there was a round wall. Well that's where Dacombe'd lived and they had a small shop, and they used to sell old-fashioned sweets and things like that. They used to sell a lot of coal. You went down a long path, into the shop."

"Mrs. Eade's Corner House was quite a big building at Upton Crossroads, down in where the health centre is today. On the side of the Corner House they had the library."

"In those days they had a little Post Office on the side with a little grille there - it never had a glass front, just a mesh wire that came down. Then she had the shop there - used to sell all the stuff people wanted."

"Ma Heckford's café down on the corner of Sea View Road - she was known all over the country because they used to all come there. It was a little old thatched cottage really."

"Along Dorchester Road was 1930's housing to Moorland Way, which was open heath land; then the white house, which was built 200 years ago at the top of Swann Hill. This building was the Swann Inn some 100 years ago. Some semi-detached houses were built by Wyatts for Mr Hibbs to rent out to Cordite factory employees."

"Mr Crook, he used to live in Toops Cottages, which are demolished now."

"The village church, St Dunstan's, was - one must admit - not a very prepossessing building, but it served the community well since it was built, about 1900. It appears in its early years to have served more as a school; as all the local senior citizens recall going there as children up to the age of six or seven before being transferred to the village school at Lytchett Minster. Upton now has its own infant and junior schools."

"I went to school in the church (the Old Church School, it was) - that was my first school."

Into the Present

"Upton was very much a place the traveller of past ages passed through, and therein lay the key to its character and appearance. The other factor which the geographers would tell us shaped its development was its proximity to Poole, to which Upton - although it remained a rural outpost well into the 20th century - supplied many services and commodities."

"Until recently (20 years) Upton was part of Lytchett Minster Parish, which included Organford and the Limberlost/Beacon Hill area. It is only in the last 50 years (within recent memory of many residents) that Upton has changed from a collection of farms, cottages and some 1930 development to what we see today."

Getting connected to the main systems.

"The first council houses were built on Poor Common, which became known as the Beacon Park Estate in the late 1940's and 1950's by Wyatts."

"Then under the 1979 District Plan it was proposed to extend the existing residential areas to both the north and the south, and the new private housing estates appeared, and Upton became a dormitory area for people who work in Poole and other nearby towns. Many are thus not 'natives' of Upton and perhaps are not aware of the past history of the village and its long resident members."

"It must have been early 1960 or 1961 when the sewers were eventually put in through Sandy Lane and down to the sewage farm. They weren't the first sewers in Upton. The first sewers in Upton were on the Moorland Way estate because of course that was built after the war and so they had to put them in, but for many people in Upton, they had a long wait after that estate was built until 1960. I came home on leave in 1960/61 to find that the promised sewers went along Sandy Lane, and that was fine, but they would not connect Peters Close. When Peters Close had been built the builder had to put pipes in for surface water drainage and pipes for a sewer. They said the Council gave the reason they wouldn't connect up the pipes was that those already there were blocked with sand and sewage and until we put it right, (because the road was not made up and was a private road) we would not get connected up. Through this we found that the builder had gone into liquidation, which did not help matters, and we had quite a fight on. I really started the ball moving because I spoke to somebody else who said I know a man who can and the next thing I knew there was somebody from the newspaper round, The Bournemouth Echo. We talked to them and he talked to the lady next door, who had a little boy born with some defect, and she had a terrible time with this baby. A gentleman from Wareham said 'Of course you won't catch anything from the smell' so we said that wherever there's a smell, there's germs. The top and bottom of it was that we fought the authorities and with the aid of the now dead Dowager Lady Lees, Sir Tom's mother, who fought for us at Council, we eventually got the sewers put in"

"Palmer's Garage - part of its business was in charging battery accumulators for radios. Not everyone had electricity and, if they had, a mains radio was very expensive compared to a battery one."

"The school then was heated with one of those big round tortoise stoves, and she used to make the cocoa on this big tortoise stove"

"Oil lamps for lighting were still used in Upton until after 1945 in some places."

"At the Coffee Tavern it was all oil lamps. In our house we never had the electric light in until after the war. Must've been gas in Upton. But you see, being the only house down the lane, it didn't pay them to put it down there at that time."

Progress has its effects on social life. The faster pace of life often means that we don't know each other so well any more.

"I have liked Upton all of my life and I wouldn't want to move out of it, but when I first came to Upton it was a village. By that, I mean that you could walk up and down the village 20 or 30 times a day and somebody knew you. Today, you could walk up and down 50/60 times a day and you always see strangers. The thing is everything seems to have changed. Some for the better, some not. For instance, everybody sort of knew you, and you could stop and have a gossip and things. There were things in the village, for instance the butchers on the corner, people used to go in there and you just didn't go in there and buy your meat, you used to have a real gossip and talk to the butcher, which was Mr. Cooper. He was ever such a nice man."

"I can walk from here to Upton and back, and not meet anyone I know. But in older days it was different - you always met somebody, and probably walk in with somebody going the same way as you, because most people walked or rode a bicycle in those days. But today, every body's in cars or motorcycles or whatever, you know, and you don't have any contact with people."


Corkers Cottage, Dorchester Road
"Now you can go over to the Legion and you might see a couple of people you know, but it's very rare you see anybody who was born the same time as you were born, the same age as you. See there's very few left now at my age [80]."

People move house so much these days, that there aren't many places where you can keep track of who lives around you.

"Chapels, Bakers, Percy Moody - I think that place is still there in Marsh End and Percy Moody had a house in there, then further up the road there were allotments. Cakes were first, then Chapel, Cecil Dowel, Bakers (he was an undertaker), then the next house was a big one with Childs where you go into Wyatts Builders now (I think Childs was an insurance man). Then you went on again to Shorts Hill that used to be a steep hill there above Moorland Way, quite steep and there were a lot of accidents and they took it off. You could see right through there. There was a place down there with a man called Corbin in a white thatched cottage on the left hand side and up at Egdon Court, there was the Curtis's (those houses are gone now)."

People are pulling together again to revive the 'local community' spirit.

"I was involved with the starting of Lytchett Minster and Upton Community Association and in setting up our first constitution, and I became Chairman for 5 or 6 years. We were at that time trying to find a site for the Community Centre to be built on. We had 4 main sites we were trying to consider, one after the other."

"Upton has everything you need. It's got the post office, got your community centre and your library, got Upton House to walk around in when you want to. It's fine and if you are disabled like me then you have everything at your fingertips here. We are very lucky to live here."

Pastimes have changed over the years.

"We used to watch the circus walk through, of course everybody went out in the road to see the elephants walking along, and the camels."

"We never had a wireless or nothing in those days. I suppose gramophones were only just coming in at that time." [1920's).

"The difference between now and when I was a boy is that as a boy of 7 years old in 1944, we could go anywhere without fear so we as Hamworthy boys would come up to Llewellin's Estate and Upton boys would come down to Llewellin's Estate and we would meet the Upton boys. The border of Upton Estate was the railway line that runs from Weymouth down through to Poole; Hamworthy is one side of that railway line and Upton the other. We were never barred from playing in Upton Llewellin estate because the children were not vandals like they are today. You did not destroy other people's property, consequently as a little boy of 7 years I was playing three miles away from home and had no fear. As a boy of 8 or 9 years I would go to Oakdale and on the way to Wareham with no fear and my parents were not afraid. Today I worry if my grandchildren have to walk from my house to their home."

Public transport has changed considerably, but Upton remains a central place.

"Upton 50 years ago was rural but not isolated. The brown Toops buses used the Blandford Road route to Upton from Bere Regis and supplemented the Upton-Poole-Alderney-Bear Cross bus service run by the Hants & Dorset Bus Company. Upton in those days was well served with transport services - by bus to Poole, Wareham and Bere Regis - by train from Hamworthy to Dorchester, Weymouth or via Upton to Wimborne, Ringwood, Salisbury or Southampton and London."

Mrs Childs Christmas Trip

"From Limberlost we had a choice of two bus services, one was the Hants & Dorset which was green and the other was the Bere Regis Bus company which had brown buses. Cars and buses were very few and far between during the time of my growing up at Limberlost even though there was a 'staggered' crossroads there."

"Then there was Mr. East who used to do the trains. Now he lived in a little bungalow opposite the butchers where the two houses are now, where the lights, the panda crossing is now near Butchers Lane." .

"They used to operate the railway gates in the little hut he had there, with a big wheel and a handle. Used to open them manually. And they used to shut, and there were 2 little side gates each side the road, which you could run through before the train got there, but just before the train got there they would shut those gates and you couldn't get through. So if you happened to get caught in between them, you had to stay there until the train went by."

"By the 1960's the Bournemouth to Weymouth rail route via Poole was used more, and the Upton line thankfully had only a couple of trains a day. It was finally closed in May 1964."

"The main difference between Upton then and now is the motor car."

Less traffic meant that the roads were safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

"A blue RAC hut stood on the verge and Mr Jack Humber directed traffic or attended the breakdowns. (1930's cars were not as reliable as today's.)"

"And Upton Cross, well I expect you'd call somewhere else Upton Cross. The RAC man conducting the traffic at Upton, and the AA man at Baker's Arms."

"There wasn't a lot of vehicles about in those days. And there was, about that time when the vehicles started getting on the road, there was'an RAC man who used to stand on the crossroads to direct the traffic. But you might get about 5 or 10 minutes between each vehicle that came along in those days." [1920s]

"I went to Lytchett school when I was 7. We had to walk there and walk back, but we never took any notice of it - it was just natural, you see. Well everybody walked. There might've been 1 or 2 privileged children that had a bicycle, but the majority of children walked."

"My brother, my friends and I played football in the road and always had time to pick the ball up and get out of the road if we saw a car coming in either direction"

People also have memories connected to changes in the landscape.

"There were no buildings. It was a beautiful view. There was bogmyrtle, the big white daisies, all kinds of plants. We could look out onto the Lytchett Bay then because there were no houses at the bottom then. Sandy Lane was a sandy lane full of springs. We used to stop our bikes and go over the handlebars because it was all sand. In the War, the American soldiers were billeted there. They were in Shore Lane, which was the main camp and very often there would be jeeps and cars at the bottom of the lane. We were always told not to say too much to them. I think my mum was afraid we might go too far away, but we were only young." "It was called the Parish of Lytchett and Upton. When I played on the football field behind Wyatts Yard. We went down Best Lane as it was called, which is the lane between Wyatts Yard and Charles' trees, and the recreation ground was in the back which is now Beacon Park, until they moved the football field over to the other side."

"At the back of Wyatts the builders, there was a field. It was not a very big field, but that was the recreation ground. Then the recreation ground moved over to where it is now, behind the British Legion."


Watts House

"There was the Upton Brick Company which was basically behind where the Heights estate is now and there was a massive pond where they dug out of the ground which is where the Upton Caravan Park is now and it was a tremendous pond with a lot of wildlife on it."

"Where I live now in Douglas Close at the top, the majority of it used to be called the Old Gun site. This being that there used to be Anti-aircraft guns up there during the war."

Buildings as they were and have become.

"Wandering around, one can still pick out the older houses that have survived from earlier this century when Upton was a rural community, though it never had the appearance of a traditional Dorset village."

"If you just picture Upton Crossroads, as I remember it as a boy, you had a transport café there, and Upton Oil Company started there because the Staceys that ran Upton Oil Company lived in one half of the block of houses that was on the comer of Poole Road and Blandford Road South, and they used to use the little store that's now used by Condons, for dispensing oil. We used to buy our paraffin there. Staceys ran that."

"The Comer House ... Built in 1830 on the site of the present library, this building had a chequered history. When the railway passed through Upton in 1847, the building became the 'Railway Tavern', it later became the 'Coffee Tavern' and then the 'Corner House' run as a shop by a succession of families. The Bests, the Perkins, and the Eade's. An annex served as meeting rooms, later a library, and subsequently as Upton's first proper surgery. The building was demolished and the health centre and library were built in the grounds, and opened in 1978."

"Where the library and the health centre is, I don't know whether anyone will remember, but there was a big house there and it used to be the doctors. When the doctors first took over there. It used to belong to a Mrs. Eade, and she lived there with her two sons and she had a café at the side - during the war she sold food in her shop. My mother got her rations there. It was a thatched cottage and it was like a little transport café. There was a lay-by at the front of it and all the lorries used to call in there and it was very, very popular."

"In 1978, the Health Centre opened with many facilities - 4 surgeries, large treatment room for the practise nurses, accommodation for district nurses, area health staff and health visitors. There is a picture of the Comer House in the Health Centre which was presented Mrs Charlotte Lockyer."

"Another thing, the Upton Oil Company wasn't there. Mr. Stacey used to have the garage where the marine place is, on the comer of the crossroads where you turn 'round from Dorchester Road into Blandford Road. That used to be Mr. Stacey's, and it used to be a garage where they sold petrol as well." (Now the site of the Millennium Clock Tower)

"Cross Roads Garage - one of the very first garages built to serve the new motorcar owners, when it became popular after 1920. This white painted building had 2 petrol pumps outside facing the crossroads. It has just been demolished in the year 2000 for a clock tower."

"Dornay Day - a factory unit and the first in what is now Factory Road."

"Post Office Stores - the Victorian building has been extended nearer to the road."

"To the left of the Post Office was another garage, and that was run by Mr Snook." [1920's]

"Mr Johns's factory was where the garage is today. The front of the building was the same. It was rumoured that it was originally built as a cinema, but never opened as one."

"Next to Mr Snook's garage, just after 1930 I think, they were building a house there, which is now the hairdresser's. But when it was built it was a butcher's shop. Mr Cooper, I believe."

"After the butchers was a saw mill where Upton Garage is now. And then there was the Post Office, which was only a tiny place then - it was more or less a house. There was only a tiny little Post Office and the rest of the shop they sold all groceries and everything. Then next to that was the church as you came up, but it wasn't where it is now, it was up the other side of the car park. There were no flats there then."

"St Dunstan's Church - the land on which it was built was donated by Lord Wimborne, whose family name was Guest, and who owned The Yarrells estate. The church was built in 1900 where the Upton Community Centre is today."

"St Dunstan's was replaced with a new building that embodies a community centre, using funds from the Turbary Trust which was set up when common land on Upton Heath was sold for the construction of the bypass in the early 1970's."

"The Upton Hotel was built in 1935, and still looks the same today. It is said that it stands on the old cricket pitch, which was made on the Yarrells Estate."

"Located opposite the Upton Hotel where the new flats have been named Gablehurst, was a substantial Victorian house, separated into flats. The 'Mont Dore' transport café section faced the Poole Road with a large car park for lorries. A wooden extension formed the café area, and Mr Cramp also used to do bed & breakfast. The building was demolished after 1950."

"Condons and the estate agents next door were a bike shop and vegetable shop, respectively."

"Where the library is there was a blacksmiths. Walking down the village you could see him shoeing the horses and the smell was lovely. And then there was the old school wt;Jere the church is now but there was another church there, and it was also used as a school. I didn't go there because it was an infant school. The school I went to used to be the freezer place opposite Palmerston Road." (Now used by a building company).

Before that it was a "Liberal Hall - the old Liberal Hall is over 1 00 years old. It was used during the 1939-45 war as an overspill classroom. Evacuee children from London and Southampton increased the number of pupils of all ages. The building was also used in the evening by the Air Cadets. It has been a freezer centre and electronics factory in recent years."

"There were 2 slaughterhouses in Upton. One was in what is now Palmerston Road, and that belonged to the Co-Op. The other slaughterhouse was where Upton Oil Company is now and belonged to Mr Ivor Wyatt."

"We had a shop in Moorland Way (it's Forbuoys now) but we did not stay there too long. We were the first ones to go into the shop at Moorland Way. We were only allowed sweets and cigarettes as we weren't allowed papers because the post office had them at the time, Harveys."

"The British Legion Hall was built by Wyatts in 1949 on land donated by Sir John Lees."

"It was in 1952 when the Guest Road school was built."

"Upton is spoilt now. When we were children there were few houses and just heather and gorse - you could see right across to the water. There's too many places built in. Upton is not so pretty as it was - used to be white houses with thatched roofs. There were poultry farms, Beckhams had a shop, all old fashioned. The problem is that people living in villages get sort of clannish and Upton was separate from this. We were very lucky in our young years to have been here and you know just up the road where there are all those bungalows to go up to the nursing home, that used to be a big pond. The little moorhens used to come out of there when we had fed all our chickens, walk across the road and come through the hedge and help themselves, and then they would toddle back again. You imagine that on Blandford Road today."

And while we're talking about roads...

"Along the Blandford Road after the 1914 - 18 war, houses were built between Hamworthy Junction and Upton Cross. Much of the 1930 development remains. The Blandford Road ran in a straight line from Upton Cross to Sturminster, past the Limberlost and Old Wareham Road junction which marked the end of Lytchett Minster parish. Only a few farms and old cottages existed on this road, no cemetery, bypass or flyover until recent years."


Poole Road near Ropers Lane
"The face of Upton changed with the housing developments since 1945, and whilst some buildings remain as a memory of the past, the days when everyone was known, and the speech was in a Dorset dialect are now past. Some of the old family names live on as street names, or by way of their descendants: Dacombe, Hibbs, Arnold, Ballam, Lees, Fancy, Roper, Palmer, Toop."

"The road to Fleets Bridge passed closer to Upton House until after the new bypass system was introduced."

"Sea View Road was always there. French's Farm was there, and my mother lived there. There were two little cottages opposite French's Farm."

"Next to that [butcher's shop] was the lane that we used to call 'The Cutting', to go down through and then there was the railway."

"Peters Close was named after the builders who were Rodney Hannam, Peter Minty and Peter Hedley. They were known as Rodney Peters so it became Peters Close. We then moved to Franklin Close in 1977 and I understand that Franklin Close is named after Frank and Lyn Wyatt, the builders of Upton. In the time that we have lived in Upton, we have had 2 very severe snow falls, one in 1962 when we were cut off from Poole and again in 1978 when everything stopped at the Bakers Arms roundabout, nothing got through to Dorset at all. The Marines collected the milk from way out in the country and brought it to Arnolds Dairy on the crossroads and the local people collected milk from there."

"We eventually negotiated a bungalow in Peters Close, Upton and we moved in February/March, 1959. We were told by the estate agent at the time that the properties were good, but nearby it wasn't a desirable area. Later on people used to say it was an area that people came to and then went on, like a staging post or something like that. The number of people that have done this that we know of have often finished up coming back again because it is a very friendly place. When we first moved in, Sandy Lane was just that, it was not made up and there was no lights anywhere in Upton, no street lighting, not even on the main roads. Moorland Way was made up and Dorchester Road was of course the main south coast trunk road, that was the A35. And the crossroads were quite a notorious crossroads, a bad spot for accidents in those days. No main sewage, no street lighting or anything. They have all come since we moved in and I remember we moved in 1959."

"Some of the old Upton lanes still exist in parts, but old rights of way are beneath concrete."

Looking To The Future

Times change, we hope for the better, but it would be sad to lose the memories of traditional livelihoods, even the hardships in running a household with many children and no 'facilities', faced by families before the two World Wars. By comparing our lives today with those described in this book we can make our own individual decision as to which era we would prefer to live in!

"My wife now gives talks about the button industry to groups like the Women's Institute and others. It is keeping the old craft alive which is good. She wrote a booklet some years ago which tells the history of the buttons and there is a copy in the British Library, which will ensure that the history is kept in perpetuity."

"Another talk my wife gives to the various organisations around Dorset is about wash day blues and she has quite a lot of the old washing equipment including the old galvanised wash tub, the scrubbing boards and utensils they called 'possers' which they used to swish the clothes around in the water. Also the different types of soaps they used. She has a lot of old clothes, linen and underwear and displayed a pair of split draws. One old boy who was watching the wash day blues talk, when she was talking about the underwear said "I remember they, girl". An old lady came afterwards and said "he'd no business to remember they, he's the only bachelor here!""

"My main concerns are about environmental issues and about youth and trying to make a better future; trying to see that the wrong things aren't done, like building the wrong type for the area, trying to control anything which I think is unsuitable. Quite difficult to decide what is right and what is wrong. So many pressures now on building new things but I think it has to be still controlled. One of the big problems we have at the moment is how to deal with the waste that we all produce, tremendous amount of waste by everybody. We have got a decision to make very shortly on how to deal with the waste in Dorset because the Waste Contract that is currently running terminates in 2004 and by that time we have to have some other waste disposal system up and running. Something I have been fighting for some time is not to have a large scale incinerator, but this is the way things are going. I do not believe they are very safe but it is very difficult to find alternative systems that are economical, we can afford and which are better. It's something which I am sure is going to take a lot of my time in the next few years. Let's hope we can come up with the right decisions."

"As far as the future of Upton is concerned, I cannot see it getting bigger. If it does enlarge the only way it can enlarge is basically to go the other side of the bypass, and I wouldn't like to see that because when we moved to Upton the beauty of it was that in five minutes we could be in the country. Although Upton has grown so much and is now classed as a town with Lytchett Minster, we can still be in the country in five minutes."

"People must be housed. Upton is a compromise - not too far from the beach, not too far from the country, not too far from the roads north, east and west, not too far from the ferry to Cherbourg and not too far from the railway stations or Bournemouth Airport. Upton is unrecognisable from the scene in 1950; what will it be like in another 50 years? The Roman roads buried under concrete, Lytchett Bay recovered from the sea and built on. The railway line from Weymouth diverted to skirt Lytchett Bay so enabling the railway bridge to be the mouth of a smart marina. The Poole Road closed from the roundabout to Upton House and a rear access road from the bypass serving the houses, allowing a pedestrian walk from Upton roundabout to Upton House with new shops along it. Perhaps even a bank! Every town should have at least one bank!"

"Talking to these senior citizens today, one feels the strong sense of fellowship and community spirit that existed among working people in rural areas in those bygone years. It is to be hoped that the new generation of Uptonians will, through their local activities and organisations, carry on their own version of that tradition."

14267 views - This page last updated: Thursday 12th November 2015 4.26 pm