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Wimborne residents angered by Daily Mail comments

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

Wimborne residents at the back of The Minster - one of the jewel’s in the town’s crown - with the offending article.

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PEOPLE in Wimborne were less than flattering description of the town by The Daily Mail.

The business community has been quick to react to reporter Steve Doughty’s article in the Daily Mail last week in which he described Wimborne as “not the prettiest of towns nor the wealthiest.”

Estate agency Barnard Marcus had compiled a list of the most married and most divorced districts using statistics derived from the 2011 national census. East Dorset came top of the table with six out of ten adults in Wimborne being married.

Chairman of Wimborne Minster Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Eileen Worth added: “We are proud of our historic market town. It’s a delight to walk round our amazing selection of shops, restaurants and pretty green places. Or just relax and watch the ducks and swans from the riverbank. Plus, there’s always something going on such as the folk festival, our food festivals and other outdoor events. And that’s apart from other venues such as our famous Model Town, Tivoli Theatre, our museum, market and community centre.”

BID director Martin Tidd added: “I, along with a lot of other people in the town felt angry as we see it as an untruth. As residents and business people in the town, we might be biased, but it is one of the most desirable places to live in Dorset, probably because it offers the perfect balance of commercial activity and communal charm.”

Last year the town scooped a gold and was declared winner in the Small town Category in the Britain in Bloom awards.

Judges praised the town’s attractions and commented that the themed approach to floral features created a wow factor.

Ex mayor and former Wimborne In Bloom chairman Anthony Oliver said:“ I don’t know how Mr Doughty came to this conclusion. It’s a lovely town set in the midst of beautiful countryside yet close to the sea.”

At the end of last year the Prime Minister, paid an unofficial visit, enjoying coffee in the Tickled Pig and visiting local shops after the town was recommended to him. In addition Michael Portillo featured the town on a recent Antiques Road Trip.

David Plumtree, chief executive of Barnard Marcus was complimentary about east Dorset. He said: “This rural idyll is an especially attractive place to live because of its romantic landscape, sitting between the New Forest to the west and the Dorset coast to the south.”

This isn’t the first time that statistics relating to Wimborne have hit the national news.

Four years ago it was found that Wimborne had the highest life expectancy in the country with 87 per cent of women and 75 per cent of men expected to live to the age of 75.

On the other side of the coin, nine of the top divorce hotspots are seaside towns and districts, with just one being in Dorset.

Weymouth and Portland ranks fifth in the country with 14.7 per cent of the population being divorced.

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  • Aardvark Conservation  |  February 22 2013, 10:40AM

    There is an air of attraction upon the veneer of the past of the town, and indeed many towns across the country. This, sadly cannot hold a town together forever and the eighties seemed to lett the rot set in at any cost. Now there is little hope for our town centres. I see Blandford, Shaftesbury, Gillingham and Wincanton all being/becoming the same dull and sad, emptying centre of a community. Yes, Wimborne sadly is next. What is missing? A soul. Life. A sense of community. A sense of civic pride. 'Civic' profiteers certainly don't seem to be getting the bigger picture as the superstores move closely by and continue to erode each town of the stuffing - which makes it a good place to be, a good place to live and stay together, with each other AND with the town. In Wimborne, the Tivoli has, for far too long - maybe the past fourty years - been achingly wanting and needing a re-newing of the interior decor, design and acoustics. It is an awful venue to play at and sit and listen to the tin-cup acoustics. The towns estates are fractured into many different sub-districts which are themselves losing shops and garages and post offices and pubs. I don't need to go on. When are the people going to wake up and walk around their towns and say to themselves 'This is not my beautiful town'? - and then do something about it.