We arrived in Weymouth in time for a brilliant sunset. The photo is from our bedroom window.
Drew drove down from Southampton after work, arriving around 8.30, so it was a late dinner. You don't need to know about my hunting and gathering in the dark and consequent misadventure at the Lidle inconvenience store. It's the kind of store that you might have seen in a British TV show where an armed robbery takes place, and an innocent customer rounds the shelves to be shot.
I've broad shoulders, so I withstood the criticism of my purchases, and we checked the maps to identify every supermarket in Weymouth and its location in relation to our apartment. They will each be put to the test in the course of the next week.
We made a reservation at the Rockfish restaurant for a birthday lunch and spent the morning walking the main street of the old town and the glorious waterfront promenade. A picture's worth a thousand words, so go to the Photo album to see what it looks like.
The place name dates back to at least 934 when it was first listed as Waimouthe. Literally the place name means "mouth of the River Wey," an ancient English river name of unknown origin and meaning.
Apparently the Romans were here some 2,000 years ago and there are the remains of their road heading north. If you look at a map, you can see the entrance into the harbour and therefore the river is from the east. While a seawall has been built to protect it, in the early days it would have been reasonably easy to access in bad weather.
The Northern side of the river would have provided protection from the weather, so the Romans and locals built the town on the southern and western sides of the river. That's Weymouth. The Northern side of the river was called Melcombe and later Melcombe Regis when patronized by royalty, and the Esplanade was created and lined with Georgian and Regency buildings. Today it's this side that has all the old shopping streets and restaurants. Our apartment is just over the harbour bridge. We are within 100 m of living on the right side of the town. Kinda like Buda and Pest, although in this case, the name Melcombe Regis is only used as "an area of Whymouth"
O.K., I'll admit that this ferret found that he wasn't going down rabbit holes so much as "Mole Holes" Cheryl needs to put some castor oil or mothballs around these holes as they don't go far and are very tight fitting. And … they don't go anywhere. No origin of the name Melcombe, not much information other than that the Black Death probably came to England via this port, it was a major staging post during WW2 and Sir Christopher Wren decided that the adjoining Portland was a source for stone to build his architectural marvels.
On our walk about town and the Esplanade, we came across a memorial for ANZACs
From the BBCs Stephen Stafford: The Australia and New Zealand Army Corp (Anzac) suffered some of the worst losses of Allied forces during World War One, with tens of thousands of injured troops finding themselves billeted to the Dorset coast to recuperate.
Following the ill-fated Gallipoli landings in the Dardanelles, thousands of wounded Anzacs were evacuated to England. Weymouth was soon identified as an ideal site for their recuperation.
The influx of antipodean soldiers had an enduring impact on the resort which was affectionately dubbed "Wey-Aussie" by its wartime visitors.
The first hutted camp, complete with cook house, shower block, gymnasium and orthopaedic recovery unit was set up at Monte Video in Chickerell, near the site of the Granby Industrial estate today.
My Great Uncle Harold Crawford possibly visited at the end of the war when he went from Palestine and the Light Horse to England to visit hospitals and practice "orthopedics", which became his specialty in Brisbane.
Anyway, we had a leisurely stroll around town, a long, long lunch at "Rockfish" and another stroll out to the breakwater. By this time, it was getting dark (4:30), so we returned to "Sailors Watch" and an evening of cards. We introduced Lee to "Up and Down the River" and "Uno".