For a sleepy village, Puddletown has hit the headlines many a time over the last few decades. We look back at the events that caused a stir.

  • Traffic around Puddletown was diverted in December 1984 after highly corrosive hydrochloric acid was spilled across the road.

Villages in nearby houses were warned to shut their doors and windows in case of toxic fumes.

The Echo reported: "The acid leaked from a drum which split open when the load shifted on the lorry. Police set up diversions as firemen wearing special protective clothing and breathing apparatus washed down the road. No one was affected."

The police were also warning motorists who had driven past to check their cars immediately, as the corrosive acid could quickly erode tyres.

  • An announcement in August 1987 revealed that the King's Arms Hotel in Puddletown would be demolished and replaced with 10 homes and a doctor's surgery.

Councillor Don Smith remarked: "It's bound to be better than the rather hideous building that it will replace."

Four years later, the Echo reported the opening of the new surgery. West Dorset District Council chairman Michael Pengelly was pictured trying out the new facilities.

  • A Puddletown pub also hit the headlines in 1989, when the Blue Vinny reopened as the Hunting Lodge.

The new name was said to "recall its earlier association with the hunt which used to meet there regularly." The change came after new owners took over the pub six months previously.

After spending 24 years in the army, Don Grant bought the pub with his wife, Pam. The Echo reported: "Standing at just 5ft 2in, Don reckons he is one of the smallest landlords in Britain."

Yet the Hunting Lodge wasn't to last long, and to this day the much-loved pub remains the Blue Vinny.

  • In December 1994, Puddletown's popular salon, known as Camelot Hair Fashions, vowed that their move to more spacious premises would not mean losing the personal touch.

Business owner Mrs Fiona Pidgeon was reported saying: "We consider a welcoming and friendly atmosphere with each client being treated as an individual as being most important, and this will continue at our new salon."

Fiona had been running Camelot for four years, having worked at prestigious institutions such as Andre Bernard in London, Steiner in Birmingham and Richard Henry in Southampton.

Camelot Hair Fashions moved from New Street to The Green to ensure the increasing number of customers would be able to enjoy a spacious and relaxed salon experience.

  • Business was also booming in 1994 for the long-established Citroen dealer in Puddletown.

Olds garage was reported to have achieved an exceptional double "first", with the service department receiving a silver award from its customers. This was followed by an award for Pursuit of Excellence, recognising that the garage had achieved the improvements which clients had suggested earlier that year.

Service manager David Middleton and his wife celebrated with a weekend in Geneva, while members of staff received magnums of champagne.

  • St Mary's First School welcomed Jonathon Dimbleby and his team in 1999 as part of Any Questions? for Radio 4.

Patrick Moore, MP Ken Livingstone, British Airways chief Keith Kerr and journalist Anne McElvoy were asked to come up with a solution to the Kosova crisis, as well as offer views on tail fins on BA planes introduced by Mr Kerr.

Bob Holman, a businessman from Affpuddle, also asked the stars: "If you were to be reincarnated and could come back as any 20th century politician, who would you come back as?"

Mr Kerr gave the answer of Martin Luther King, while Mr Livingstone said he would return as Winston Churchill.

Jonathon Dimbleby hosted Any Questions? - which sees personalities from politics, media and elsewhere answer questions from the public - between 1987 and 2019.

  • Good news for Puddletown's young cricketers came in 2002 when the village was awarded an artificial Flix Pitch for their Rec headquarters.

The all-weather surface was a runners-up prize in a competition organised by NatWest Bank, which required team members to write in no more than 30 words why they enjoyed playing cricket.

The team's coach, Chris Spiller, was reported saying: "The judges were obviously impressed by their answers and the Flix Pitch will certainly help promote the game in Puddletown."