THE Dorset Echo’s unique new book blending Dorset past and present has officially been launched.

And booksellers confidently expect Dorset Then & Now to be among its best-sellers this Christmas.

Dorset Then & Now features 160 pages in which vintage pictures of the area are reproduced alongside photos of the same scenes today.

The cover – and selected pages inside – feature old photographs blended with new ones to give a fascinating look at how the area has changed.

The book is based on hundreds of photos sourced from the Echo’s own library and collections from museums and archives.

Echo photographers took new pictures of the same spots, going to great lengths to find the nearest possible vantage point to the one used by the original photographers.

From the massive transformation of Poole’s town centre to unspoilt rural scenes, the book is a fascinating tour of miles and decades.

Toby Granville, group editor of the Daily Echo Bournemouth and the Dorset Echo, said: “With hundreds of fascinating photographs showing how the area has changed over the years, Dorset Then & Now is set to be on the Christmas list of anyone who loves the county.

“We think people will love going through the photos and seeing how their own part of Dorset has changed over the years.”

The book was launched at Waterstones Castlepoint yesterday.

James Heddington, store manage, said it was already going down well with customers.

He said: “As usual, it’s very good book.

“A lot of customers, as soon as they see it, they know it’s going to be a good book.

“It’s one of our best sellers now after only a week. It will be one of our biggest books this Christmas.

“It wouldn’t be Christmas without an Echo book.”

  • Dorset Then & Now is available for £14.95 from Dorset Echo offices in Weymouth, Dorchester and Bridport and from the following shops: WH Smith, Weymouth; Waterstones in Dorchester and Bridport; Dorset County Museum, Dorchester; and Chalbury Wines, Preston; Farwells, Wareham; Swanage Bookshop; It can also be ordered for £20.25 including postage from, where you can browse a gallery of photos from the book.