On Sunday 4th June the Civic Society provided a stand and a guided walk at this year’s Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair. Dressing-up in Victorian garb, the Chair and Vice Chair presented materials illustrating the contribution of Victorian architecture to the development of the town and to our current built heritage. Using posters about Crickmay Stark architects, an 1889 map of the town and a range of published books, Ian Gosling and Joe Doak discussed the Victorian building legacy with a steady stream of residents and visitors. The map proved to be a source of much interest with current and past residents seeking-out the location of their homes, as well as key Victorian buildings and facilities that have shaped the town ever since.

Many of the punters showed a keen interest in the town’s heritage and quite a few took away membership forms for the Society. It was impressive that a significant proportion of those who stopped to talk were from the younger generations, showing that the history of Dorchester and its buildings is a hot topic right across all age groups.

Ian led the afternoon walking tour whilst Joe was joined by Anthony Gannon at the DCS stand. About ten people toured with Ian, examining and discussing the rich legacy of Victorian buildings and architecture. Although this was a somewhat lower number than Ian’s previous tour for the Walking Festival, attendees benefited from a in-depth and personalised education of Victorian Dorchester.