Title: Mill Street, Dorchester - Thomas Hardy's Mixen Lane
Author: David J. Forrester
RRP: £6.99
Sale Price: £4.99

Publication date: 9 November 2015
Format: 212 x 152 mm
Number of pages: 88 pp
Illustrations: 84
Maps: 1
ISBN: 9781906651-305

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‘Beware, keep away, don’t you dare go there!’ It’s 1950 and you wouldn’t expect part of Fordington in the county town of Dorchester to be ‘out of bounds’. However, Mill Street had a reputation. And despite many changes for the better, this reputation was not easy to shake off. ...
In this book I hope to transport you back to the beginning of the twentieth century to let you experience, through the memories of those who lived in Mill Street, what life was like in a not very advantaged part of Dorchester, where to a certain extent you were judged by what had gone before. To myself and other like-minded people, it is important that this part of our local history is recorded, before it is lost forever down the mill stream.


Buildings below Holloway Row collapsing into the Mill stream.                         The original Mission and Men's Club


Foreword by Terry Hearing
The History of Mill Street
The Mill Street Mission
The Mill Street Housing Society
That’s the Way it Was
Daily Life
Mill Street Memories
List of Residents in 1950
Author’s Note
The Mill Street Memories Project
Map of Mill Street and surroundings c 1840


The Edwards - Mission founders


That’s the Way it Was ...
Much of what you read in the rest of the book is based on the memories of people born between 1917 and 1940. A working group was formed to contact and record the stories that Mill Street folk had to tell. Interestingly, there were significant similarities despite the considerable age differences.
    One fact quickly became apparent – anyone born and brought up in Mill Street had the total and utter acceptance of ‘that was the way it was’. No hard feelings, no thoughts of what might have been – that was their lot and they accepted it. It is amazing how often a sentence is finished with the words ‘but they were happy times, we didn’t mind, we just got on with it’.

          ‘We wasn’t jealous of anybody, because they never had anything either, did they?’
          ‘I feel that life in Mill Street was good, as good as you could have got anywhere.’
          ‘I remember the sweet factory, there was that wonderful smell that drifted over the fence.’        


     Marching past the Methodist Chapel (left), on Kings Road

     Tea at Sunday School

Mill Street, with Churchill's Mill in the background

 The New Mission


David Forrester lives in Charlton Down and is the author of Fordington Remembered. He says: I have found writing up these stories a most sad and moving experience. To think that I lived only a few hundred yards away from where all this was happening. I had no idea that this was going on, virtually under our noses. I recently visited Mill Street with my wife Ros on a lovely afternoon – it is now a clean, quiet and attractive area to live, within easy walking distance of the town. If only Alfred Edwards could see it now. Edwards and Moule, my Fordington heroes! It was all worthwhile.’

Mill Street Memories Group, with David 4th from the right.


‘Walk through Mill Street today and be amazed at the contrast with the revealed recent past of less than a couple of generations ago. This book is indeed a most valuable contribution to our Social History.’
Terry Hearing, local author and historian


Mill Street Housing Society

Dorset County Museum and Rev Moule


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