Full marks to Weymouth’s Mayor Cllr Graham Winter for realising what a unique and varied history our town has.

Some of us have been saying for years that we, as a tourist town are missing out on the other side of the coin.

Yes of course we need the summer beach type tourism to make ends meet, but … there is another type of tourism that isn’t reliant on the summer weather and will bring in revenue the whole year round, if presented properly. Heritage tourism.

Weymouth has The Black Death, the Armada, our enthralling English Civil War story (The Crabchurch Conspiracy) George III to name but four strands with which to snare a more discerning type of visitor, not only in the summer, but all year round.

And yes, our Mayor is right when he says that we need to take stock of the pitiful state of our listed buildings before disaster strikes them.

He may remember that a couple of years ago, a former councillor colleague of his, James Farquharson, did all the hard work in presenting the then WPBC with a gilt-edged opportunity to tick every single heritage box that the Mayor mentions, when taking up Historic England’s HAZ scheme.

(Heritage Action Zone) which, if I understand it correctly, would have given Weymouth expert help and guidance with bringing its stock of listed buildings up to scratch by holding the owners of such places responsible and some great ideas on how to turn our old buildings and history into viable tourism options. I also seem to recall that there were grants available too.

But … WPBC just sat on their hands and did nothing whatsoever until the time to respond had run out and the chance was lost.

Perhaps it’s possible to re-apply to become an HAZ ? Can the Mayor find out ?

And finally, if he is serious about our wonderful town’s history and making it work for us, how about supporting an archaeological excavation of the old WPBC site, the former Weymouth High Street, BEFORE the developers move in and destroy the absolutely priceless and unique historical knowledge contained under its car park. No lesser person than the County Archaeologist, has put in writing that it needs to be done because “it is the very last site in Weymouth where we can learn about our origins and development as one of England’s oldest ports.”

We can’t tell Weymouth’s historical story, unless we know how it begins.


Walpole Street, Weymouth