Blogs > January 2017

January 2017

Panto time in Bridport? Oh yes it is!

31st January 2017

red riding hood


Red Riding Hood is on at the Electric Palace from this Wednesday to Saturday, 1st to 4th February.

I caught up with red Riding Hood herself - Amy Wheatley - from the Bridport Pantomime Players:



Posted by James at 2:17pm

A Wessex Word Winner!

31st January 2017

rose warren 768


Well done to Rose Warren from Weymouth, who won the last Wessex Word and picked up £190!

I went to see her and hand over her winnings, and find out what she was going to spend it on.

But I kept being interrupted...



Posted by James at 5:31am

More memories from Damers School

30th January 2017

Last week, we featured interviews and pictures with staff at Damers First School in Dorchester, who were after your memories of the school before they move to their new home in Poundbury.

Anthony Smith, known locally as Smudge, heard us talking about it on the Breakfast Show, and came in to share some of his memories of the school from the early 1960s.

He told me he's really looking forward to a reunion with old friends at the Open Day:


damers first school smudge 1

Here's Anthony in his Damers uniform!


damers first school smudge 2

The Damers football team lifting a trophy!  Pictured third from the left in the team line up is Steve Charles, a well known local musician who would later give his name to local charity The Steve Charles Help A Friend Fund


damers first school smudge 2

The football team in front of the famous mural - do you have a picture of it?


Anyone with memories, or who would like to attend the Open Day, can email


Posted by James at 6:32am

Can you share any memories of Damers School?

23rd January 2017

damers open day 768


This summer, Damers School in Dorchester is relocating to brand new premises in Poundbury.

But before they go, they want to celebrate the history of the current site in Damers Road, which has been their home since 1955.  They're looking for past pupils and teachers, and anyone who might be able to share any old school memorabilia.

In particular, they're after any photos of a mural that adorned the school walls until the 1980's...

Assistant Head Ellie Goodridge tells us more about the Open Day...


Corrine is now a teaching assistant, but was a pupil at the school back in the 1960's...


Anyone with information, pictures, or memories, or who would like to book into the Open Day, should email

Here are some of the memories discovered already:

damers open day

damers open day

damers open day

damers open day

damers open day


Posted by James at 5:25am

Maria's (adorable) birthday surprise!

22nd January 2017

It was a very happy birthday to Maria Greenwood from Wessex FM this week!

The longest serving member of our team, who presents the news on the Breakfast Show and is our News Editor, reached a milestone birthday!

You may also know Maria is lead singer with local band Hustle.

And with thanks to various members of Maria's family, we surprised her on air with a secret recording from her childhood!

It seems as though she was destined to be a singer...





Posted by James at 7:43pm

A sneak preview of Our House The Musical

17th January 2017

This week, students at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester present their latest production - Our House: The Madness Musical!

I was lucky enopugh to be treated to a sneak preview and also spoke to the two stars of the show on Wessex FM.




The show runs from 18th to 20th January 2017 at Thomas Hardye School - get your tickets from school reception!


Posted by James at 6:18am

Challenge One - 'Dread and Jaws'!

16th January 2017

weldmar shark 768


With just over a month to go until my first challenge, I’m doubting whether it was a good one to start with or not. ‘Dread and Jaws’ will see me swimming with sharks at Weymouth SEALIFE Adventure Park at 3.30pm on Saturday 18th February.

I will be joining one of the display team as we will enter the pool and join the sharks in their environment. Out of all my 10 challenges, this is the one that people are most shocked about, asking me ‘Are you really swimming with sharks?’. Equally I am asking myself the same question, and debating whether this was a good idea or not.

However, the team at Weymouth SEALIFE have informed me that I will be going into the tank shortly after the sharks have just been fed so, this reduces my risk of being served up as their dinner.

Because of our change of location (originally planned to be in London) it means that only I am able to swim with the sharks. However, I would love people to come along and support my first challenge or alternatively, show your support in the way of a donation at

I can hear the Jaws theme tune already in my head!


Posted by Matt Smith at 10:26am

VIDEO: More about the Colossal 10

6th January 2017


Posted by Matt Smith at 12:41pm

Why I'm doing the Colossal 10 - and how you can get involved!

4th January 2017


Throughout 2017 I am celebrating 10 years of working for the charity by taking on 10 challenges!  And I'm looking for people to join me for each challenge to help raise as much money as possible for Weldmar Hospicecare.

In my ten years at Weldmar Hospicecare I have seen the fantastic care that has been given to thousands of patients and their loved ones. In the past decade, the services available to the people of Dorset have evolved and become much more patient centred.

Like so many people, my family have benefitted by using the services of Weldmar. My aunt was cared for by the amazing staff both at home and within the hospice 17 years ago. Her illness affected the whole family, but Weldmar weren’t just there for her, but all of us too.

I see each and every day what a difference the hospice makes to so many families and how vital the services are that are provided across the county. However, working in fundraising, I know just how important the continued support from our local community is, to ensure these services can be provided throughout Dorset.

I have been extremely lucky to have worked with, and supported, so many people who have taken on challenges to raise money for Weldmar and in my tenth year, it is now my time to step up to the mark and I hope many people will join me too in helping to continue fund these services.
The 10 challenges range from being physically fit, being an adrenaline junky, facing fears and going the extra mile to raise as much money as possible for Weldmar Hospicecare.

I want you to join me and be part of the Colossal 10 Challenges!

Below are the 10 challenges that I am  completing and the opportunities you have to join me throughout 2017.

  • Dread and Jaws - Snorkelling with Sharks – February 2017
  • 100m Abseil down Spinnaker Tower – March 2017
  • Virgin Money London Marathon – April 2017
  • Skydiving – May 2017
  • 1 Mile Swim – June 2017
  • Wingwalking – July 2017
  • 3 Peaks Challenge – August 2017
  • Shop-to-shop Cycle Challenge – September 2017
  • Borneo Jungle Challenge – October 2017
  • 10 Hour Dance-a-thon – November 2017

Every penny raised through the Colossal 10 will be donated to Weldmar Hospicecare which will help fund our services throughout Dorset.

If I can get ten people to take on each of the ten challenges with him, all raising as much money as possible for the hospice, it really will make a massive difference and will help care for so many people.

Click here to get more information or sign up for any of the Colossal 10 challenges

Posted by Matt Smith at 2:54pm

A new home for the Dorset Knob Festival

4th January 2017

Happy New Year!

It was great to get 2017 underway with an exclusive announcement on the Breakfast Show, as we revealed the Dorset Knob Throwing & Food Festival has a new home.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event, and will be moving from Cattistock to Kingston Maurward College.


Dorset Knob Throwing


It's become more popular every year, and was in need of a bigger location with better infrastructure and access.

However, it will still be raising funds for the village of Cattistock, including the football and cricket clubs and village hall.

Wessex FM has always supported the event, and we'll be there throughout the day this year.

This year's event will be Sunday 30th April.


knob throwing festival logo

There'll be all the usual Dorset Knob games, such as the throwing and eating competitions, Pin The Knob On The Cerne Giant, and lots of food, drink, craft, and charity stalls.

We'll keep you up to date with all the news leading up to this year's Festival!

Dorset Tea are sponsors once again, and Moore's Biscuits will be donating all the Knobs!



Take a listen to my chat with Katherine Wright, Chair of the Dorset Knob Throwing & Food Festival, and James Parsons, Operations Manager from Kingston Maurward:


See you at the Knob Throwing Festival on April 30th!


Posted by James at 7:35am


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