Unity Logo

Unity (temporarily) online only

Issue: #218

The Unity team very much regret that we cannot publish a print edition of the magazine during the coronavirus crisis. Fortunately Unity has a website and we can keep the magazine going for the community online. We shall be publishing at www.unitymagazine.co.uk for the foreseeable future. We will also be placing stories on the Town Website at  www.sturminster-newton.org.uk Please spread the word that people can read and download Unity online. It is our firm intention to return to print as soon as we safely can, bearing in mind that, though we are all young in spirit, many of the Unity team are in those categories of people most at risk. Unity is normally full of reports from groups, organisations, and schools on their activities and forthcoming events. Although that is not possible now, our May issue has articles from many of our contributors. They have responded to the call to ‘think outside the box’ and have provided entertaining, ideas-packed and/or helpful stories. We are grateful to you all. Please keep the copy coming in – we don’t know how long this could last. We are aware that local businesses, charities, and entertainment and sports venues will be suffering at the moment. These include many of our regular advertisers and information providers. We are doing our best to accommodate anyone wishing to advertise in Unity during this time with ‘holidays’ and special deals. As contributors have pointed out, these are strange times indeed, but here in North Dorset we are blessed with open spaces, stunning countryside and a strong community spirit. In the pages of Unity you will see initiatives being taken to help self-isolating and vulnerable folk, not least by Cllr Carole Jones, Age Concern and the schools. There are many elderly people in the community, being cared for either at home or in local residential homes. The area is also home to carers and people working for the NHS and support services. On Thursday nights the streets echo to the sound of clapping, rattling saucepans and general hallooing in appreciation of everyone in the caring and support services. Our bins are being emptied, our post is being delivered and our town kept clean and colourful with flowers. There are many individuals who deserve our gratitude. We at Unity wish our community safe and well. The crisis will pass. The Editor Caption to image: Seven-year-old Harriette Palmer-Smyth outside her house in Marnhull chalks a ‘Thank You’ rainbow to the NHS – she followed it up with an exercise trail for her neighbours…   May issue available online now June issue available online from Monday 25th May July issue available online from Monday 29th June

Contacting your surgery

Issue: #218

At the time of going to press, we encourage all…

Alan Hannah

Issue: #218

Sad news has reached Sturminster of the death of Alan…

Final fashion show

Issue: #218

The Friends of Blandford Hospital managed to hold their final…


We are now on phase two of dealing with the virus with cases in the UK gradually reducing and those in Dorset reported to be at the lower end of the scale. The lockdown is shifting toward a release of activity. Hopefully our local economy can gradually reawaken without too much damage, especially to our already challenged retailers. There have been reports of fantastic community spirit across the town and villages with an outbreak of care for others rarely seen in our modern world. I am sure I speak for all recipients of support and help when I say a big thank you to all involved.


Jacqui Wragg has produced a fascinating history of an often undiscovered part of Town, Dover Street and its connections to the Cordwainer’s of old. Click Here to read more


VOLUNTEER help for those of you who are self isolating because of medical vulnerability and unable to shop or fetch and carry stuff during this crisis can be reached by calling 01258 447058 or by email on [email protected] More details of this service can be obtained by clicking here

Did you know?

Sturminster Newton is situated at a historic fording point on the Stour. The ford was replaced in the 16th century with a six-arch stone bridge. A 19th-century plaque affixed to the stonework states that anyone damaging the bridge would be transported to Australia as a felon.

Thomas Hardy lived in Sturminster Newton from 1876 to 1878 after he married Emma Gifford. He said that his home was ‘idyllic’ and described his years there as being among the happiest of his life. The house is now a private home.

Sturminster Mill dates from the 17th century but a mill was in the same spot in the Domesday survey. It’s one of several that have dominated the banks of the Stour over the centuries. It was once a place for hiding contraband liquor and is now a working tourist attraction.

The recently revived White Hart is an old coaching Inn with a  date of 1708 on its front wall Although it may be even older. In 1729 a fire tore through Sturminster leaving two buildings standing, the White Hart and St Mary’s Church. The Inn is reputedly haunted. One ghost is a woman in victorian clothing who walks the ground floor and bar area, some say cleaning! now under new management it has quickly established itself as a friendly and very traditional public house with music and food.

A fifteenth century medieval bridge with six arches guards the southern entrance to Sturminster. Half way across it bears the threat of ‘Transportation for life’ for anyone who vandalises it. The ancient bridge has stood the test of time more recently surviving numerous car crashes into its ancient walls. Thomas Hardy famously wrote about the bridge in his poem “On Sturminster Bridge”

Who’s Who in Sturminster Newton

Wondering who the best person to contact is? We’ve put together a comprehensive list of contact details for numerous going ons around the town.

Find out Who’s Who

Hearts of Stur

Sturminster Newton at a glance

A snapshot out our latest events, businesses and attractions.

Quick facts about our town

Sturminster highlights

Oxfords Bakery, run by fourth generation baker Steve Oxford, uses equipment dating back to the early 1900s. Its a traditional artisan bakery, with a very modern owner, and a town highlight.

Hansons is one of the largest craft and fabric warehouses in the South of England. With over 20 000 rolls of fabric, as well as sewing machines, wools, patterns and a myriad of craft utensils, its no surprise it attracts loyal customers from far and wide.

Or visit Harts of Stur – owned and run by Philip Hart and now nearly 100 years old. It’s a cookware specialist but sells everything you ever need for your home. From tiny picture screws to Christmas lights, coffee pots and wellington boots. Its a local treasure.

Our Partners

This site is brought to you Sturminster Newton Community Benefit Society  supported by Our Partners:
Sturminster Newton-Home 9Sturminster Newton-Home 10Sturminster Newton-Home 11Sturminster Newton-Home 12Sturminster Newton-Home 13Sturminster Newton-Home 14Sturminster Newton-Home 15Sturminster Newton-Home 16Sturminster Newton-Home 17Sturminster Newton-Home 18Sturminster Newton-Home 19Sturminster Newton-Home 20Sturminster Newton-Home 21