Archive of Historical Material kindly provided by Mrs. Georgie Northover:

Douglas Northover, born in 1917 from fishing/farmworking/net braiding stock, comes from a family of Northovers that records show have been in West Dorset since the 16th. Century. He was educated at Bridport Grammar School before training in horticulture. In World War II, he joined the Dorset Regiment, served in Italy and Germany where he was wounded, and then experienced life in a Prisoner-of-War camp in Germany. Georgie (née Bloomfield) was a Londoner from Highgate working for the Admiralty. After the war, she and some friends decided to help with the potato harvest and, as they couldn't agree where to go, stuck a pin in the map which just happened to land on "Burton Bradstock". She first met Douglas in 'The Dove' where he was singing an Italian song with a Dorset accent! Although he tried working in London in municipal parks, Douglas couldn't stay away from Burton and so, they married and Georgie moved to Burton, where Douglas carried on as a landscape gardener in the Bride Valley. Along the way, Douglas took an interest in writing poetry and digging into local history. His book of poems "This Gentle Place" is listed in the Books & Publications section and, among other things, he wrote the dictionary of the Old Burtoners' language" - see below. Georgie, apart from typing much of Douglas' work, wrote historical notes on Burton Bradstock (see below) and an article entitled "The Legend of Red Bottom" published in the Dorset Year Book in 1991 the year that Douglas died (again, see below).

The village has gained an invaluable insight into the history and life of Burton Bradstock, thanks to Douglas and Georgie.

Ken Pett - February 2001

Douglas and Georgie in 1974

Douglas and Georgie in 1974

1. Recordings:


NB all recordings are in in MP3 format and may take a short time to load.

Click on the icon if you need an MP3 player MP3 player

2. Interview:

Georgie in conversation with David Powell 2001 (NB This MP3 file may take a minute or two to download)

3. Other Unpublished Poems by Douglas Northover


The Vale of the Bride

St: Mary's Church Burton Bradstock

The following kindly provided by Sheila Bullock - one poem is for her husband, Denis on his retirement.

The Cider Flood

Ode to Burton Long Since Gone

Poem For Dennis' Birthday & EarlyRetirement, 10th July,1990

4. Articles:

»"The Language of Old Burton" by Douglas Northover 1989. An article, containing a full dictionary of Old Burtoners' Language, published by the Journal of "Lore & Language" (1989) with an introduction by Martin Lovelace, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, who discusses the similarities in language between locals from Burtoner Bradstock and Newfoundland.

»Extract from Kelly's Dorsetshire Directory, June 1895 (unfortunately a tiny part of the text is missing) Gives details of who did what in village - a snapshot of life in 1895

»List of local smugglers and their sentences from the quarter sessions 1816 to 1839 - note the bottom comment!

»"The Legend of Red Bottom" by Georgie Northover. A fascinating story of a massacre in Burton about 1,000 years ago.

»Historical notes on Burton Bradstock compiled by Georgie Northover, which includes descriptions of the main houses of the village.

»Words of the Camp Song of the Loyal Volunteers of Burton Bradstock (Napoleonic Wars). [See more detail in the description of Grove House in article listed above] This was found on a folio sheet of paper with a watermark dated 1801 among papers belonging to Midshipman R F Roberts. Roberts served with Nelson at Trafalgar.

»An article on the "Old Fish Wives" of Burton Bradstock by Douglas Northover, written for a fellow villager, a Mr. Balcombe who was to give a talk on the subject. Approx. 1975

5. Photographs:

Views of the village of historical interest including:

»Burton Bradstock's decorations in Mill Street (note the factory chimney long since taken down) to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 1887

»View of the village from Long Hill, 1890's

»Photo of a water-colour by Helen Allingham 1896 of a cottage in the village, occupied at the time by "Duke" Symes

»Five Elms Green, Burton Bradstock 1920's. Joe Hawkins on a milk float. Fish jute's cart under the trees.

»'The Hive' circa 1910 - there was rather more cliff there then.....



»Brothers Benjy (or Bengie) & Tommy Swaffield sitting either side of an unknown visitor outside the 'Three Horseshoes' circa 1930

»Simon Brown with yoke on Burton Beach, 1925. Believed to be the last yoke in use in the village.

»Village school children (with most names - anyone know the others?), 1925

»Schoolgirls in village school playground, 1957

»Mrs. Thorner (Benjie's sister) and Mabel Hussey in 1930 outside Benjie's cottage

»Great Aunt Lucy Northover and Anne Thorner (date not known) with a Swifter

Ephram Hussey - Lived with his sister, Mabel at Shadrach. Worked at the Mere. 1950's - Poem by Douglas

A number of photos of US Army troops in Burton Bradstock during World War II


The sea and fishing

»A number of photographs of fishing off Hive Beach with Lerritt boats and Seine nets (1907 to 1980's)

A wine jug that legend says was taken from the captured Armada Ship "San Salvador" in July, 1588 by a British Sailor from Burton Bradstock named Symes - now in the Dorchester Museum

Silver Jubilee Carnival 7 June 1977 - obviously a good time was had by all!


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