Discover Westbourne

A Voyage of Discovery of Westbourne, Bournemouth

I was born in Northbourne, Bournemouth, in 1959. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I got to know much of the Bournemouth area very well, although no so much the Westbourne area. However, I do remember the Grand Cinema, later Bingo Hall. This must be one of the few independent such Bingo Halls remaining in the country. Many others have disappeared even in Bournemouth.

Westbourne Arcade

Long Exposure of Westbourne Arcade taken after dark © “Expat”

Work took me away at the end of the 1970s, although with my parents still living in town I was a frequent visitor. However, in January 2016, following my Father’s death 6 months earlier, my wife and I returned to care for my mother. Now temporarily living Westbourne, we are becoming very familiar with the area. I have always been interested in the history of towns and villages, so my curiosity of the area has been kindled. Looking around, I see a vibrant and eclectic mix of successful shops and businesses.

I have decided not just to do some research on my own for my own interest, but to start a blog. The idea is to post something I have found out on a daily basis. Some will be based on personal research (I shall be spending quite a bit of time in the library). Other posts will be as a result of talking to local shop keepers and business owners – getting their perspective, and finding out what they like about Westbourne.

As you can see from the above photograph, I am a keen photographer. This has fuelled my current interest. With the digital age, it is cheap and easy to capture images. My only regret is that I do not have very many from the 1960s and 1970s. It is so easy to take “now” for granted. We are familiar with what we have, and forget that in years to come people will be reminiscing about what we don’t appreciate now.

I don’t want this blog to be exclusive. I may be an “expat” who has returned, but my time here is only transitory. I would love for others to join in and contribute – maybe even take over when the time comes.

In the meantime, I will do my best to make this as interesting (and accurate!) as possible. I will enjoy the journey on my own, but it will be even better the more people that can journey with me.

Your humble scribe
The “Expat”

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