Did you know that it was a 19th century Portland worthy, Hiram Otter, who gave the name Hallelujah Bay to a cove at West Weares?

A giant of a man in his physique, his sincerity and in his ability to tell old stories which fascinated his listeners, he embraced the ethos of the Salvation Army with all his strength from the day it was introduced to the island.

The Portland Corps of the Salvation Army came into being with the arrival of two zealous ladies, a Mrs Crammond and a Mrs Pacey, who first preached in Easton Square in March, 1885, and continued to hold their meetings there for enthusiastic gatherings of which it seems that Hiram was the most enthusiastic.

Dorset Echo:

19th century Portland worthy Hiram Otter

He carried his passion even further down, to West Weares, in fact - where, according to historian Stuart Morris, Hiram, a quarryman, used his immense strength to cut a pathway through the undergrowth to the cove.

He may have had a few helpers for this task and once it was completed he daubed biblical scripts and words of praise on the rocks along his pathway and no doubt led others in sincere songs and prayers at the cove which he felt deserved the name of Hallelujah Bay.

In this, he created his own memorial and, although the path is overgrown and a certain amount of agility is needed to reach the cove, it is possible to reach the spot where Hiram, wearing his Salvation Army hat and carrying his umbrella, established his Hallelujah Bay.