Bournemouth Through Time front coverBy John Christopher
Published by Amberley Publishing in 2010

Review by Sylvia Minns

This colourful paper back is a lovely up to date history of the town of Bournemouth.

Bournemouth, a relatively young town, is just 200 years old and there is a good introduction of how the town progressed from just before Victorian times, through the Victorian times, the Art Deco era, the 1930s and up to today.

Most pages have colourful photographs, postcards and illustrations – many comparing an earlier example with a representation of today giving a then and now account. Many of these include the piers, beaches, cliffs and beach huts and transport including buses, steamers and trains.

There are also photographs of and references to, some of the better known buildings such as the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery – once the family home of Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes that houses their magnificent collection of art and artefacts. The building is still an art gallery and museum today. Also the Town Hall which was originally a The Mont Dore Hotel and Spa and the local Art Deco building that housed the local newspaper offices and printing presses. The printing presses are now redundant and no longer clatter but the local news is still brought to the readers from the same building but using modern electronic systems that print in nearby Southampton. There are also references to town centre shops such as Woolworths (the company now no longer trading) Boots the Chemists, and Beales, the family department store, founded in 1881 and still operating today.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and this book easily endorses this. The book is an interesting pictorial history of Bournemouth – a Victorian seaside town on the South Coast!

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