From time to time we like to refer back to the best local history books on the area.

The Bumper Book of Weymouth by Maureen Attwooll is one of our favourites.

It's a treasury of all things relating to Weymouth's history and here, we're taking a dip into some of its interesting pictures and the stories behind them.

Arranged in a straightforward A-Z format, it is illustrated throughout with pictures old and new. Here you will find the people, the buildings, the celebrations, the tragedies, the entertainments and the occasionally bizarre events which feature in Weymouth's centuries-old story.

Here are samples of some of the entries in this fascinating book.

Dorset Echo:

JERSEY TAVERN, 21 St Thomas Street, Weymouth. A former pub on this site was known as the Cross Keys Inn. It was rebuilt by Eldridge Pope in 1890 as the Jersey Hotel, changing its name to Jersey Tavern in 1979. It was converted to a cafe in 2000.

Dorset Echo:

GREAT GALE OF 1824 On the night of November 22 1824, a storm which had been blowing all day rose in the darkness of the early hours to become a destructive hurricane which has gone down in history as the 'Great Gale'.

It caused damage all along the coasts of Hampshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

In the local area Portland suffered severely, when the force of the sea knocked down houses close to Chesil Beach and drowned more than 20 people.

At Fleet the little parish church was almost totally destroyed. In Weymouth, the waves demolished most of the Esplanade and seawater, sand and gravel filled the basements of houses along the seafront. The piers were damaged and boats swept from their moorings floated down the town's main streets.

At 'The Narrows' sea and backwater joined across the roadway and swept a man to his death.

In the days following the storm the tides threw up the bodies of those lost at sea in this huge and terrifying storm.

Dorset Echo:

WEYMOUTH HARBOUR TRAMWAY This is a favourite and timely memory, given that the very last trace of this railway is currently being removed.

The direct link from the railway station to the pier opened in October 1865, and was horsedrawn in its early years. The first steam loco was used on the line in 1878, but it was two years before engines were in regular service. Goods-only for more than twenty years, it was 1889 before the line carried passengers. Various improvements to the Tramway have included widening at Ferry's Corner and extensions which took the line to the landing stage on the pier. Diesels began to displace steam in 1962 and electrification of the Weymouth-Waterloo line in 1988 brought about the demise of the Tramway.

Dorset Echo:

SHOWNIGHT (of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century)

A tremendous occasion in Weymouth when, five or six days before Christmas, all the shops 'dressed up' for the crowds who turned out to feast their eyes on the festive wares displayed outside and in the shop windows. Shopkeepers stayed open until midnight. Butchers hung up sides of beef, lamb and mutton, sucking pigs and bladders of lard, boars heads and pigs trotters, fat geese and ducks; grocers displayed Dorset's Blue Vinney cheese; fishmongers' slabs had to be constantly doused with water; confectioners showed huge iced Christmas cakes; clockwork toys tumbled and performed their automated routines in toyshops. Oil lamps, holly, paper chains and mistletoe added to the atmosphere.

The First World War saw the decline of the tradition but there was a revival of a Christmas shopping night in the 1980s.

Dorset Echo:

HIGH WEST STREET in Weymouth probably took its name to distinguish it from West Street in Melcombe on the opposite side of the harbour. Rather confusingly, old Weymouth borough deeds refer to 'High Street, also known as West Street, also known as High West Street'.

*The Bumper Book of Weymouth by Maureen Attwooll (2006) is published by Dorset Books.