YOU might recognise the interior of this church featured in a postcard from years gone by.

It's St Mary's Church in Weymouth town centre - a church many of us have visited or attended services in over the years.

Thanks to our friends in the Over 60 and Live in Weymouth and Portland group for sharing this postcard with us.

Valerie Leak recalls: "I remember having to do one of the readings at the school Christmas service back in the 60s, in St Mary's. I was so nervous I forgot to turn the pages on for the next reading - whoops!"

When it was built this church was sited in Melcombe Regis, not Weymouth, as it was situated on the south side of the river. In that time ecclesiastical life for Melcombe Regis was governed by Radipole.

The earliest evidence of religious life on that site in St Mary Street dates back to the year 1299 when there was a small Chantry Chapel on the present site where local fishermen went to pray, as they always did before going out to sea.

In 1605 a new church was built on the site of the original Chapel, but also enclosing additional land to form a church yard. George III worshipped regularly in this church during his visits to Weymouth from 1789 to 1805. Eventually this church in turn became too small and unsafe.

In 1815 the old Parish Church was demolished and the foundation stone for the third church was laid. On March 23, 1817 the church was opened for public worship by the Rev. Dr. England, Archdeacon of Dorset. In this Church George III continued to rent a Royal pew at the east end of the south gallery. In 1922 a restoration scheme was put in hand during which the churchyard was levelled for the north aisle to be rebuilt and electric light was also installed.

The present church is devoid of the original box pews and the pulpit has been removed to the south side of the chancel. Following the 1939-45 War the organ was rebuilt and Sir James Thornhill's picture of the Last Supper cleaned.

Then in 1973 a major re-ordering took place in which the north and south aisles were converted into separate rooms to be used for a range of other activities. St. Mary's has for more than 300 years been regarded as the Civic Church, and its civic and Royal associations throughout its history have been numerous.

There are some monuments and gravestones in and around the church, including John and Clara Vincent who died together at sea in 1914, Henry Skinner Prisk, who died aged 13 and nine months in 1817, John Ruddock, 41, from Bristol, who died of a long and painful lingering illness in 1819, William George Vawdrey, a physician to Dorset County Hospital for 32 years , who died in 1904 and Major General Thomas Phipp, who fought in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and died at 80 in 1847.