Parish History

History of the Parish and Diocese

Diocese of Salisbury

The Diocese of Salisbury is a Church of England diocese in the south of England. The diocese covers Dorset and most of Wiltshire (excepting Swindon and a part of north Wiltshire) and is a constituent diocese of the Province of Canterbury. The diocese is led by the Bishop of Salisbury (Nick Holtam) and the diocesan synod. Salisbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the diocese.

The history of the diocese started in 705 AD when the Diocese of Sherborne was created. The first Bishop of Sherborne was Saint Aldhelm. However, the old Diocese of Sherborne covered quite a different area from that covered by the modern diocese. In 909, the Diocese of Ramsbury was carved out of the north-western portion of the Diocese of Winchester. In 1058, Herman, Bishop of Ramsbury, was elected as Bishop of Sherborne, and the two sees were combined under his personal oversight. This combination was more like the shape of the modern diocese, but with the addition of most of Berkshire. After the Norman Conquest, in 1078, Saint Osmund was appointed to the combined dioceses of Sherborne and Ramsbury, and moved the see to the castle at Salisbury. The original, Norman foundation was built on what is now known as Old Sarum, a hill to the north of the modern city. In 1220, Bishop Richard Poore began the construction of the grand cathedral on what has now become the centre of Salisbury. In 1836 Dorset was added to the Diocese whilst Berkshire was removed. It has remained unchanged since that time.

In 1925 a suffragan bishop was appointed to assist the Bishop of Salisbury; owing to its historical importance, this bishop was titled the Bishop of Sherborne. In 1974 an additional suffragan was appointed, titled the Bishop of Ramsbury.

Until 2010 the bishops operated under an "episcopal area" scheme established in 1981, with each suffragan bishop having a formal geographical area of responsibility, and being known as "area bishops". The Bishop of Ramsbury had oversight of the diocese's Parishes in Wiltshire, while the Bishop of Sherborne had oversight of the diocese's Parishes in Dorset.

This scheme was replaced to reflect the increased working across the whole diocese by all three bishops. The two suffragans may now legally function anywhere in the diocese, and the Bishop of Salisbury may delegate any of his functions to them.

The diocese is also divided into four archdeaconries, two for each county. These are further subdivided into deaneries and Parishes. St John's resides in the Deanery of Poole.

History of Broadstone "Village"

Broadstone today lies within the northern boundary of the Borough of Poole. The history of Poole is long and complex - going well back beyond the Roman occupation.

Ancient Parishes and churches are to be found in the locality, particularly, Canford Magna (whose church is of Saxon foundation) and Wimborne Minster.

There appears to be no conclusive evidence as to where the name Broadstone originated, but the name is reputed to come from the number of "broad stones" which were laid across the Blackwater stream for people to cross over without getting their feet wet. This stream flows in the valley between Clarendon Road and Springdale Road and the stones were located close to the Brookdale Farm. The names of many roads in the Parish reflect the network of streams and springs that flow from the Corfe Hills - these are now built over and the water runs through culverts, although flooding still occurs in some areas during periods of heavy rain.

Broadstone was first recorded as a village in 1765. The Roman road from Hamworthy was close to the present village and was the boundary of Canford Magna Parish, but now it is the border between Broadstone and Corfe Mullen.

In 1840 the first house of any real size was built, close to the pond. It was known as 'Broadstone Farm'. A railway track was laid past the farm in 1847.

In 1872 the first railway station was built followed by the Railway Hotel in 1889. The railway was eventually closed in 1966 - a victim of the "Beeching Axe". However, in the intervening years, the railway led to the development of industry, amenities and residential areas - Broadstone was a railway junction on the Somerset and Dorset line and there was access directly to London Waterloo.

Until the end of the Nineteenth Century, vast areas around Poole Harbour were agricultural and heathlands. In the early 1900s, two local men decided to convert part of their holding into a lavender farm - lavender perfume was extremely popular at this time. The lavender oil produced was turned into perfume in a local factory. Slowly the business declined and the factory became the headquarters of the Broadstone Athletic Club until it burnt down in 1935.

Before the passing of the Education Act in 1870, Broadstone had little in the way of a school. There was a little 'dame' school in a cottage. In 1871 this building was given to the village and became Broadstone School - it was used as a school, during the week and as a chapel on Sundays. It is still in use as Broadstone's First School today. The school bell, presented to the school by Sir Henry Austen Layard, an archaeologist, is over 3000 years old!

Broadstone has known a host of famous and unusual residents. Most famous was Alfred Russell Wallace, the biologist, who with Charles Darwin, was co-discoverer of the theory of evolution. He is buried at Broadstone and his grave marked by a fossilized tree from South America. Wallace Road in Broadstone is named after him.

As a boy, the actor Richard Todd resided in the village and the Dutch playwright, Jan Fabricus, lived at Caesar's Camp, a house on Broadstone Heights. Although little known in this country, he was one of Holland's most famous authors.

Broadstone was also the family home of the Hibberds. Stuart Hibberd was the BBC's first Chief Announcer in the days when radio was the dominating media. His was the cultured voice of Britain and he will be remembered for his announcement when King George V was dying. "the King's life is moving swiftly to a close".

History of St.John's Parish

In 1888 the church was built, thanks to the generosity of Canon Dawson Damer, the then Vicar of Canford who gave the land and built the chancel, Lord Wimborne, who gave the money to build the rest of the Church and Mrs. Dawson Damer, the wife of the Vicar of Canford, who gave the Parsonage and garden.

The Church was dedicated on St. John the Baptist's Day, 24th June, 1888 by Bishop Wordsworth. The first Curate in Charge was Rev. E. C. Hawkes whose salary was £90 a year. Mrs. Dawson Damer died in February 1905.She had been a most generous benefactor to the Church and left a further £10,000 in her will. The next major event was the creation of Broadstone as a Parish in its own right in 1906. By now the population had risen to 2000 approximately. The present parish boundaries can be seen on the attached map.

For a long period there was also a 'tin tabernacle' Mission Church on the corner of York Road and Mission Road. There are people who remember this building with affection and tell of the 'division' in the Parish where St.John's was regarded as the Church for those at the top area of the community and there was an invisible line below which newcomers in the new housing developments were expected to attend the mission church. A Curate's house now stands on the site.

A daughter Church was built on the Waterloo Estate, but this has now been demolished and replaced in 1994 by Phase One of an ecumenical building that is used mainly by the Waterloo Christian Fellowship, but owned jointly by St.John's and the Methodists and the URC churches in Broadstone. This Centre is administered by a board of trustees, each of which represents the supporting denominations.

The Parish in the 20th Century

A number of changes to the building have taken place over the years, a north aisle being added in 1909 and various items being given to the Church by generous donors, quite often in remembrance of relatives who had died, particularly in the Great War. In more recent times a generous and anonymous donation allowed the building of a parish office and a ramp and toilet for the disabled.

The Church and its parishioners had to deal with changes during the Great War; either the troops encamped in the neighbourhood, the calling up of large numbers of men for war service or, sadly, the news of deaths from the front, the sea or hospitals where wounded men had died. There is a west window, dedicated to the dead of the Great War, installed soon after 1920. In the chancel hang two boards commemorating the dead of both World Wars. It is the custom of the Vicar to read the names of all these deceased on Remembrance Sunday

War Memorials - extracts from the Parish magazines in 1921

The Memorial Window Committee met last month and considered the question of a memorial in the Church with the names of all the men of the Parish who died in the Great War. The Artist who painted the Memorial Window was approached and asked for an estimate. He quoted prices for brass, pewter and wood, and the Committee decided on an oak tablet with the names carved upon it and coloured or gilt. Mr. Martin Travers says, " I usually do tablets of this description in painted and gilt wood, as they thus look rich and give colour to a building, and cost no more, if as much as metal ones.

The objection is raised that they are less durable, but painted wood has lasted in our old Churches for five hundred years and more, and the only damage they have suffered is wilful. As to fire; there would probably be time to take a wooden tablet down, whereas a metal one screwed into the wall stands little chance, buckling hopelessly when it gets hot and has water thrown over it." He estimates the cost at £33.

The Committee discussed what names should go upon the list, and decided to act upon this principle, namely to include those who had actually resided in Broadstone, together with the husbands, brothers and sons of inhabitants, but no relatives more remote than these. We hope that nobody will be offended at this decision of the Committee, as naturally they must make a rule of some sort, in order to treat everybody alike. The order for the Tablet will not be given until it is seen whether subscriptions are coming in well, as an indication that the Memorial is really wanted by the people of the Parish. Subscriptions will not be canvassed for.

June 1921

A design for the Memorial tablet has been received from Mr Martin Travers, and will be considered by the Committee as soon as is possible. It is hoped to put the work in hand without delay, now that the greater part of the money has been received.

September 1921

The War Memorial Tablet was dedicated by the Vicar on Sunday August 21st at 6.30pm.
The tablet is the work of Martin Travers, of Fulham, who designed and executed the memorial window in the church last year. The tablet is enclosed in an antique gold frame with the names of the fallen heroes painted in gold on a black ground. The inscription and names are as follows:-

"To the glory of God and in grateful memory of the men in this parish who gave their lives in the service of their country:-

NAMES OF THE MEN
John Robert Allen 1883 - 1914
Sidney C Allen 1882 - 1914
Wilfred Albert Bascombe 1897 - 1916
Arthur Willie Beament 1882 - 1917
Ernest Edward Beaney 1893 - 1918
Denys John Bressey 1898 – 1917
Francis Samuel Brown 1880 - 1918
Harold Henry Brown
George Carter 1898 - 1917
John Laws Carter 1896 - 1918
Robert Cassidy M.M. 1892 - 1918
Cyril William Coles 1892 - 1916
Douglas Eric John Cooper 1894 - 1916
Albert Edward Dyer 1888 – 1917
Herbert Elsworth 1887 - 1916
Arthur Charles Fall 1889 - 1918
Victor Frederick John Fry 1895 - 1915
Victor William Henry Gillingham 1892 – 1918
Stanley Griffin 1893 – 1917
Albert Richard Hart 1888 - 1917
Edward Clifford Frank Hart 1891 - 1916
Thomas Hoare 1884 – 1916
George Minchin Hume 1897 - 1915
Edmund Morton Mansel-Pleydell 1887 – 1915
Hamilton De Beauvoir Nelson
Alfred James Newman 1889 - 1916
Francis Louis Northway 1874 - 1914
Edward C Pike 1889 – 1915
Albert Reginald Mark Pond 1898 – 1918
John William Pyper Died 1915
Percy Walter Rendle 1885 - 1918
Charles Maxwell Stevens Died 1917
Charles James Trowbridge 1900-1918
Noel Veder Wallis 1882 - 1917
Harold White 1892 - 1917
Thomas I Ward Wilson Mc 1883 - 1916
Turle Barber Wilson 1891 - 1918
Hugh Francis Wyldbore-Smith 1869 - 1919
Killed In Action 1939 – 1945
Carl Christian Andreasen 1917 – 1942
R J Bascombe
Dennis Alfred James Brown 1921 - 1939
Charles Arthur Cotterill 1915 – 1942
Charles J Crumpler 1915 – 1945
D Davies
Reginald Clare Hastings D'oyly Died 1941
Thomas Smith Freeston 1918 – 1944
William John Fletcher Jarmain 1911 – 1944
John Robert James Norman Jay 1905 – 1940
Sidney Kearley 1908 - 1943
W. B. Mclellan
Ernest Sydney Frank Mccomish 1915 – 1941
Reginald William Charles Mccomish 1908 – 1942
Frank William John Myles Died 1941
J Nelson
William Phillips
Francis Palmer Samborne 1913 - 1943
J. Samborne 1919 – 1940
James Walter Tom Strange 1917 - 1939
Wilfred Julian Tyndale-Biscoe Died 1944
J Waterman
Richard Brinsley Watkins 1921 – 1943
Killed By Enemy Action 1939 – 1945
Ellen Margaretta Bankes
John Spencer Coates
Flora Oliphant Coates
Gwendoline Vera Hatcher Nee Cobb
E G Smith
Reginald Albert Dash Sparkes

Below are the words "Jesu Mercy" with the cross of St George on a silver ground.

War Memorial Tablet (£33 required).

Contributions received for the tablet were as follows :
Balance from Window Fund £1 1s. 6d.;
Sale of old glass, £1 ;
Mr. Northway, £3;
Anon., 3/-;
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, 10/-;
Mr. Pugh, 10/-;
Mrs. Wyldbore Smith, £1.
Mrs Hart and family 10/-;
Mr A Kilburn £1;
Mr And Mrs Gush £10/- ;
Mrs Cassidy 10/- ;
Anon 10/- ;
Mr & Mrs. Kilburn £5 ;
Vicar 10/- ;
Anon 10/- ;
Mrs F Brown 5/- ;
Mr & Mrs A Willis 10/6 ;
Mr & Mrs Trowbridge 10/- ;
Mrs Wallis 2/6 ;
Mrs Wyldbore-Smith [2nd donation] £1 ;
Miss White 10/- ;
Miss D White 10/-;
Miss Watkins 10/- ;
Nurse Griffin 5/- ;
Anon 10/- ;
Cadet H D Wyldbore-Smith R N 10/- ;
Anon 10/- ;
Anon 2/6 ;
Miss Kathleen Wyldbore-Smith 10/- ;
Mrs Wyldbore-Smith [3rd donation] £1 ;
Mr Gribbell £1. 1s ;
Miss Oakley 10/- ;
Mr & Mrs Carter and family 10/- ;
Mr & Mrs A Newman and family £1. 1s ;
Miss Sybil Wyldbore-Smith 10/- ;
Mr WH Scutt 5/- ;
Mrs Wallis [2nd donation] 2/6 ;
Total £30. 7s. 6d.