I must have ambled down Gervis Place a thousand times. But to my shame this is the first time I have ever clocked the elegant red-brick building next to the towery dominance of Beales.

Which is sad because its double pediment with dramatic shell, its sweeping corbels and its 1887 date marked out in Art Nouveau figures are things of great beauty.

They are also very lucky to be here, as my guide, Hattie Miles explains.

“Beales suffered a very unlucky series of bombs in the Second World War which practically wiped the whole place out,” she says.

“There was an Ack-Ack gun on the roof and the men stayed fighting but a gas-main caught alight.”

Old Beales had to be demolished and replaced with the structure we see today but Hattie says: “Incredibly the building next door survived.”

Until she started her Walking Talks Hattie says she’d never noticed this building, now part of Beales, even during her long years as a photographer at the Daily Echo which meant she had to look again and again at almost everything in the town.

“Before I was a photographer I taught art and literacy and found that experience very useful in preparing my material for the walks,” she says.

“It’s amazing what you discover.”

Hattie has promised to show me stuff I didn’t know existed and so we move to the graveyard of St Peter’s with its 202-foot tower.

No one could miss that but plenty, says Hattie, miss the elegant little ceremonial cross next to the building, with its carvings of oak leaves and solemn depictions of Christ in the manger, complete with ox and ass, and his removal from the Cross.

Visitors may not miss the graves of Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra founder, Dan Godfrey, or his successor, Constantin Silvestri, but did they know that this illustrious orchestra, now the Bournemouth Symphony, has also been conducted by Holst, of Planet suite fame, AND Sir Edward Elgar? Or that the orchestra that bears the town’s name actually lives in Poole?

We walk towards the grave of the Shelley family, with its remains of assorted poets, philosophers, feminists and writers and past that of Lewis Tregonwell, Bournemouth’s founding father.

These tombs are up a gentle flight of 39 steps which, says Hattie, have absolutely nothing to do with the celebrated John Buchan novel.

“It’s because there are 39 Articles of Faith in the Book of Common Prayer used by the Church of England and the Reverend Alexander Morden Bennett, who was the first vicar of St Peter’s, thought that would be a nice thing to include.”

We move on to Westover Road to look at three seemingly prosaic buildings opposite the Pavilion Theatre.

Except that one (now The Odeon) is where The Beatles performed a week of sell-out concerts in 1963: “Police had to link arms to keep the fans from blocking the whole road,” says Hattie.

Another is the Premier Inn (formerly the Palace Court Hotel) where the iconic image for the With The Beatles album was photographed by Robert Freeman, and the third (now partly the Grosvenor Casino) is what was thought to be the UK’s first multi-storey car-park.

“I was told it was the first multi-storey car-park in the UK, built in the 1920s,” says Hattie.

“I was also told it was a bit of a disaster because the cars were so unmanouverable they used to crash into the pillars and each other.”

She’s still trying to get to the bottom of that, as she is with the stories behind many of the other places in the town.

She runs a series of Walking Talks on various subjects from the town’s literary past to its romantic heritage but says that she most enjoys composing special walks designed for groups and organisations.

“Whatever I’m doing I’m always amazed by what I discover that I just didn’t know before,” she adds.

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