Surprises on a meander round the old market cross in Sturminster


The centre of Stur is an often-overlooked and undervalued asset in the oldest part of town, says Pauline Batstone.

The Boutique is part of the Market Cross shopping area, and it’s a great place for browsing. In Beads with a Twist there’s always a new find, defintely the place for jewellery to go with your new outfit. There are few people who can walk past Daisy Delbridge’s

without turning to breathe in the beauty of the florist shop – why not step in and treat yourself? On the opposite corner, a potter around Agnes and Vera’s is a must – they are always a go-to if you’re hunting for an unusual gift.

Agnes & Vera (far right) is a great place for gift buying. Next door is Joshua’s coffee shop, the blue building is Is Shin takeaway, and the thatched building is the White Hart Alehouse – Image Courtenay Hitchcock

If you have a little longer, when was the last time you stopped by the museum? It’s a fascinating place, filled with stories and the history of the places you walk past every day.

On for some clothes shopping in Gallery One, and of course no book lover can resist stepping into the hidden bookshop round the corner. Don’t be deceived by the tiny window of Stour Bookshop, it’s a positive Tardis. It’s always best to finish up with a coffee – try Joshua’s or Sweet Pea (or something stronger in The White Hart Alehouse…)
For gentlemen there is also the opportunity for a spruce up at Oli Barbers or ladies step round to the car park side for a relaxing pamper at Enzos.

Sweet Pea is a perfect stop for refreshments, and the next building along is the tardis of Stour Books. Image Courtenay Hitchcock

The huge success of the two community charity shops means we can stage many exciting events this year, says Pauline Batstone. Some of the money raised from the sale of your pre- loved goods in The Emporium and The Boutique goes towards organising events for residents to enjoy and to bring new shoppers into town.

Far left is the black shop front of Beads with a Twist. In the middle is the Boutique, and then on the right is the always lovely florist’s shop Daisy Delbridge. Image Courtenay Hitchcock

This is what that diary of events is beginning to look like – and we will publish updates as events are confirmed.

Each first Saturday in the month
(providing the weather’s not forecast to be awful!) the car enthusiasts bring their pride and joy to admire and swap stories in the Station Road Car Park. Anyone can come along – we have cars and bikes from modern to vintage. It’s very informal, no attendance fee, parking is free and we’re a friendly welcoming bunch!

The public liability insurance is paid for by The Community Benefit Society.

On 1st March we plan to hold our first Pancake Day event; ‘Races in The Rec’ at 2p.m. – pancakes supplied, but bring your own frying pans!

Mothering Sunday is 27th March is a good reason to buy flowers, chocolates and gifts

Easter events:

Good Friday, 15th April, a service will be held at the Cross in the Market Place, possibly followed by Hot Cross Buns Easter Saturday, 16th April, The Mill will be milling Easter Sunday, 12 noon onwards. An Easter Egg Hunt around the town Easter Monday, 12 noon, an Easter Bonnet Parade from the Church Hall to the Railway Gardens.

7th May A Wedding Fair held around the businesses in the Town, more details to follow.

2nd to 5th June

The Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend – details are still being discussed by The Town Council and the Community Benefit Society so more details to follow, but;
• Thursday 2nd – Beacon

Lighting Railway Gardens • Friday to Sunday – The Exchange Real Ale and Cider

• Saturday 4th June – Car Enthusiasts Meet in Station Road Car Park
• Craft Market at The Exchange • Anonymous Travelling Market in Station Road and the

Market Place
• Garden Fair in The Railway Gardens
• Sunday 5th June – 12.00 to

3.00 p.m. The Big Lunch and Fancy Dress Parade in The Railway Gardens.

13th to 19th June

Sturminster Newton Literary Festival – includes various events including a Victorian Fete in
the Railway Gardens on the afternoon of Saturday 18th.

July 1st to 3rd – the Boogie Woogie Festival hope to be back

20th to 29th August – SturBuzz; it’s all about bees and sustainability and fun – with a fancy dress parade on Sunday 29th (your best bee costume)

And then of course it’s the Cheese Fair on the 10th and 11th of September, there may be something about the Queen’s Green Canopy in October, and then we are back to Christmas again… I’m feeling tired already!

Plans for old bank to be new business space supporting local producers and sellers

Tim Robins is leading on an idea to see if the former NatWest building can be reinvented as a shopping destination – bringing more people into the town to our shops and cafes. The proposal is to offer customer-facing, exhibition-style space, six days a week, for people just setting out in business, selling good quality items from the Blackmore Vale. Hopefully this will provide useful space and support to new businesses, and also create a changing, ever-more-interesting shopping experience for both residents and visitors to the town (if you are interested in more details on this, please contact


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