LOCAL elections saw the Conservatives secure a majority in the newly established Dorset Council. Almost 300 candidates fought for a total of 82 seats, with a turnout of 37.9%. The Tories won 43 seats, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 29. The new council was established in April when Weymouth and Portland, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and West Dorset were replaced by a single unitary authority.

AN EPISODE of E4's Don't Tell the Bride was filmed at Castle Cove Beach in Weymouth. The production company came under fire for the amount of plastic pollution, including nylon confetti, that was left in the area, which was complained about by the Friends of Castle Cove Beach. Questions were also raised about whether the crew had permission to film on the beach. The production company went on to issue an apology for the 'upset caused to the community.'

FOOTBALLING legend David Beckham was spotted in Weymouth and Portland with his son, Brooklyn. The former England captain, who was visiting the town on his 44th birthday, was reported to be filming a commercial for his skincare brand. No stranger to the area, Beckham and Brooklyn were spotted in Weymouth Harbour back in 2015, as they boarded a fishing boat alongside film director Guy Ritchie.


THE Crab House Café in Weymouth won Restaurant of the Year at the British Restaurant Awards in London. The seafront eatery faced tough competition from the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Ikoyi, but came out top in the public vote. The Crab House Café also won Best Hospitality Team at the national awards, which is a leading ceremony celebrating restaurants, chefs and the culinary service in the UK.

THOUSANDS of Thomas Hardy fans flooded to Dorchester for the Victorian street fair held in honour of the author's birthday. Crowds were entertained by traditional and folk music, alongside performances by drama groups, maypole dancers, and even a man on a Penny Farthing. Wreaths were also laid at the statues of Hardy and fellow Dorset poet William Barnes, a close friend a mentor of the author.

DORSET residents, including Dorset County Hospital CEO Patricia Miller and member of Youth Parliament Anna Rose Barker, were honoured by the Queen. Anna, 28, a former student at Thomas Hardye School from Sydling St Nicholas, was also chairman of the Dorset Youth Council and won a Third Sector Award in 2017 for the role. She received an MBE for services to young people. Patricia, who was appointed chief executive in 2014, is one among only a handful of black, Asian and minority ethnicity NHS CEOs. She was awarded an MBE for services to the NHS.

A BOY from Weymouth won three gold medals at the National Dwarf Sports Games. Lorcan Lennon-Patience, aged four, received his awards from paralympian Ellie Simmonds, which also included two bronze medals. Lorcan is a pupil at at Beechcroft St Paul's Primary School and was taking part in the annual competition for the fourth time, organised by the Dwarf Sports Association for people with restricted growth. He participated in the 10-metre running race, throwing the tennis ball and Frisbee, new age curling, balance bike time trials, football, hockey and swimming.

WEYMOUTH and Portland town councils declared a climate emergency following pressure from campaign group Extinction Rebellion. Recognising the pressures facing the globe and that they must play their part in reducing their impact on the environment, the councils joined a growing list of local authorities which will be calling on the government to take urgent action. Amongst their pledged actions, the councils will strive to make its activities net-zero carbon by 2030 or earlier if possible.


TWO sharks weighing more than 500lbs each were caught seven miles off the coast of Portland by anglers Adam Carter and Matt Mizen. The animals were a pair of porbeagles, a relative of the Great White. Along with blue sharks, porbeagles are the most common species of shark found in British waters. Sightings and catches of them are thought to be on the increase. The two sharks caught by Adam and Matt were later safely released back into the waters.

MORE than 50 jobs were put at risk with the announcement of the closure of Dorchester's Marks and Spencer. It was later confirmed that the store will shut in February 2020, with all employees to be offered redeployment. A petition in support of the branch, started by Sandra Jordan of Jordans Jewellers, attracted more than 5,000 signatures, and a protest was held to demonstrate opposition to the plans.

ONE of the world's largest sailing superyachts, the Black Pearl, arrived in Portland Harbour for a two-day stopover to replenish onboard stocks. The privately-owned luxury vessel was visiting the area following its recent win at the World Superyacht Awards, where it scooped the Best Sailing Yacht accolade. The hybrid ship runs on alternative energy sources, and her sails produce energy thanks to solar panels built within the fabric.

THE Museum of the Moon landed in Dorset with exhibitions and events taking place in Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester.

JEREMY Corbyn vowed to "turn the south west red" in a speech at the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. As one of the main speakers at the event, Jeremy said there were no no-go areas for the Labour Party.

WEYMOUTH and Portland held its first ever Pride event, with performances from The Sundaes, Big Brovaz and JLS star Aston Merrygold. Rainbow-clad revellers flocked to the main arena at Radipole Park, with some guests travelling hundreds of miles to be part of the celebration.


IT was announced that the Jurassic Skyline Tower would be removed from Weymouth followed a decrease in visitors. The 53m-high (174ft) rotating viewing platform opened in June 2012 ahead of the London Olympics sailing events held in Portland Harbour. The attraction, which was operated by Merlin Entertainments, had welcomed almost 750,000 visitors in the eight years since its launch.

HUNDREDS of people travelled from London to Weymouth on a LNER Class A4 steam locomotive. The train, known as the Union of South Africa, had been built in 1937. It hauled a special excursion train from London Victoria, bringing visitors to the coast for a few hours before departing back to the capital at 4.35pm. The Dorset Coast Express rail tour, one of a number of steam-hauled excursions to Weymouth in the summer, was organised by the Railway Touring Company.

MORE than £8,000 was raised as part of Weymouth Lifeboat Week as the RNLI station celebrated its 150th anniversary. An impressive line-up of events featured a parade and blessing of the lifeboats, while a plaque was placed outside the lifeboat station by the Mayor of Weymouth, Graham Winter, to commemorate the milestone.

TRIBUTES were paid to local radio journalist Justin Gladdis, who passed away at the age of 47. Justin, from Bournemouth, had worked for the Dorchester-based radio station Wessex FM for four years as a journalist and newsreader. Mr Gladdis was also 'the voice' of St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, having worked as the PA announcer for 18 consecutive seasons.

VOLUNTEERS turned out in their hundreds to restore the Cerne Abbas Giant, which stands on a hill above the village. A total of 17 tonnes of chalk was used to refresh the outline of the icon in a year that also marks a century since the National Trust assumed ownership of the landmark. The origins of the giant are shrouded in mystery, with local folklore suggesting it aids fertility.