Local Information (Civil) Blandford Forum
The following historical notes are taken from the Official Guide to the Borough of Blandford Forum, and are reproduced by kind permission of the Town Clerk.
The derivation of the name Blandford is obscure, but Forum was the Roman equivalent of the English market place. There was a market here in 1218 when the town was styled a burgh, and in 1305 Blandford Forum had two representatives in Parliament. Incorporation as a free borough came on 15th November 1605, and with the Reform Act of 1834 the last Bailiff became the first Mayor. With the reorganisation of local government (1 April 1974) the ‘Borough’ status was given up and the authority became a Town Council with a Mayor and 16 councillors who administer the Parish of Blandford Forum. The office of Town Clerk was retained.
The town’s Georgian character derives from the Fire. Blandford had four serious fires in three centuries, but the fifth which started on 4th June 1731 was devastating and the entire town was burnt. Four hundred houses and the parish church went, with thirteen lives and all records including the Borough Charter.
The town was largely rebuilt by the brothers John and William Bastard. In five years the brothers had rebuilt the church for £3,200. Quaintly placed at the churchyard corner is a classic shrine dated 1760, whose inscription begins ‘In remembrance of God’s dreadful visitation by fire’.
Agriculture is the chief industry around Blandford, and agricultural engineering employs a fair number of townspeople. Beer is Blandford’s biggest single product, the Badger Brewery employing almost 300 persons and supplying 240 houses displaying the Badger Trade Mark.
Industries are once more being established in the town and the Industrial Estate is now very much in evidence, and many aspects of light industry represented. It is, of course, still growing.
Blandford Forum Town Council
The Blandford Forum Town Council consists of 16 Councillors, Town Clerk and staff and is responsible forthe administration of Blandford Forum.
The Town Council office is situated in Church Lane opposite the RBL Legion House. The opening hours of the Town Council office is Monday to Friday 0930-1230 hrsTel: 01258 45450
The Town Council has a Facebook Page at Blandford Forum Town Council
The Town Council has a web page at:www.blandfordforum-tc.gov.uk
Local Authority. North Dorset District Council.
Address: ‘Nordon’, Salisbury Road, Blandford.Tel: 01258 454111.
The Council consists of a Chairman and 32 councillors and is responsible for the administration of approximately 250 square miles of North Dorset (including the towns of Blandford Forum, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton, with the former rural districts of some 70 parishes) with a total population of 66,700. The Post Office of modern Georgian design is in the Tabernacle. Branches of severalbanks are in the Market Place.
The Job Centre Plus and the Department of Work &Pensions share offices at 50 East Street.
Dorset County Library is situated in the Tabernacle.Tel: 01258 452075. Besides providing excellentreference and reading facilities, the Library providesinformation regarding local societies and organisations,and a diary in which is shown forthcoming events and attractions. Local exhibitions are frequently held in the Library. Times of opening are as follows:
Mon 1000-1830 hrs
Tue 0930-1700 hrs
Thurs 0930-1830 hrs
Fri 0930-1300 hrs
Sat 0930-1600 hrs
A mobile library service visits Blandford Camp fortnightlyon Mondays between 1145-1215 hrs at the Cinema.
Buses from Blandford Forum provide connecting services covering other towns in the area. Local coach hire services are also available. Taxi services are plentiful. The Tourist Office is situated in the Ham Car Park. This provides a wealth of information about Dorset and the adjacent centres.
Markets are held in the Market Place on Thursdays andSaturdays.