HERE'S an inspiring story about people in Dorset showing kindness to strangers after London was bombed in the Blitz.

We're beginning to hear tales of people helping their neighbours and delivering supplies to those who are self isolating in their homes because of the coronavirus crisis.

This Second World War flashback is the story of London 'bobby' C.E. Wilson, who was bombed out of his home in the capital in 1940.

As a result, his family was offered a home by Lady Drax in Charborough Park. Charborough Park near Sturminster Marshall, is the family home of South Dorset MP Richard Drax.

Mr Wilson had a rare weekend's leave to visit his family in Dorset.

He remembers: "As the blitz had put Waterloo out of action, main line trains left from Wimbledon, where I asked for a ticket to Bailey Gate.

"No such station, mate," said the weary clerk. But I insisted there was, despite a grumbling queue behind me. Eventually a dusty tome was found on the top shelf which proved I was right and a long uncomfortable journey began.

"It was 2 am when I arrived at Bailey Gate but only as a result of bribing the guard with my cheese ration in order to have the train stopped at that station. Of course, the station was closed and the gate locked.

"I climbed over and more by luck than judgement found the right way to the Park (where I had never been before) and the Lodge entrance. I walked through the park to the drone of bombers overhead, and came to the house, but knocking at various doors and ringing produced no results. Reaching the stables I saw a jug outside the door. Someone must live here, I thought to myself. A loud knock brought a shout of "Who is it?"

"A policeman," I yelled back little knowing that those two words resulted in all the local Home Guard being instantly alerted.

"A member of "Dad's Army" appeared, rifle at the ready and a length of electric cable in one hand. It turned out that invasion by the enemy meant he had to be informed by the local constable and it was his duty to blow up a nearby bridge - hence the cable-length.

"Fortunately Hitler's bombers failed to destroy the Park's imposing entrance gates, topped by animal statues. To me it was a haven of peace from the horrors of the blitz in war-time London, even if I did have to sacrifice my cheese to get there the first time."

*Thanks to Dorset the County Magazine 1970 for this extract.