An online facebook group (SOWAP) Save Old Weymouth & Portland, are pressing for a full archaeological excavation before any future building work is done on the plum cash-cow that is the old Weymouth High Street site and also, the retaining of those few historical/archaeological features that managed to survive the outrageous and sickening redevelopment there of the late 1960's/early 1970s.
Almost an entire street of originally 17th century and earlier buildings were shamefully bulldozed into oblivion to satisfy the then philistine council's desire to have a new office block with a sea view to work in and rumours still abound today of dirty deals being done at the time with one Councillor allegedly getting the demolition contract. But now it seems that those old scars are reopened as hundreds of residents have signed the groups petition and left damning comments about what happened back then on the petition page along with one very clear message for the present council .. HERITAGE AND HISTORY MATTERS IN WEYMOUTH!
The site was to be rented to a developer but is now due to be sold off instead, a decision that will bring the council a much higher price, but will leave them with no control whatsoever over what is built there. And it is this that has set the alarm bells ringing amongst the history-loving residents and visitors of Weymouth...
... And so, this is just a small part of the history of this unique and very special street and area of Weymouth. An area which SOWAP have vowed to look after and to ensure it receives the respect it so richly deserves. We would also like to see a memorial stone placed there as part of the new development to mark, not only the fallen, but also the achievement of Colonel William Sydenham, Dorset's forgotten and unsung hero.
Though, possibly not unsung as Weymouth's own internationally renowned Celtic rockers, The Dolmen made an album in 2009 all about the amazing days of that cold month of February 370 years ago and you can check it out here. The Crabchurch Conspiracy.