Verwood town centre
|Population:||14,820 (2009 est.)|
Verwood is a small town in Dorset, whose eastern edge runs up against the Hampshire border. Verwood is found 15 miles north of Bournemouth and 19 miles north of Poole. The civil parish corresponds to the chapelry in the ancient parish of Cranborne.
Verwood was originally recorded as Beau Bois in 1288, and it was not until 1329 that it got the name Verwood, which developed from Fairwood or The Fayrewood.
The East Dorset Pottery Industry, known collectively as "Verwood Pottery" thrived from earliest time on the clay soils of the neighbourhood and with ample firing material close at hand. The major production was of domestic earthenware although finer and more unusual pieces have been found from earlier times. In the latter days ornamental and novelty items were produced
Until the end of their useful life, the methods of manufacture had not varied from Roman times, all the processes being carried out with no mechanisation or electrification. For example, the clay was always trodden by foot and not mixed in a pug mill. The wheel was turned by an assistant with a pole or handle. The kilns were wood fired. As such the Crossroads Pottery, then the last remaining in the area, attracted national and local newspaper attention in the early to mid-20th century.
The industry was not confined to a local sales base. Hawkers, or "higglers" took the wares for sale over a wide area of southern England. It was also exported abroad, especially to Newfoundland which had a thriving trade with the nearby port of Poole.
Shopping and facilities
A country market which is open from 10:00 to 11:30 is held each Friday in the Memorial Hall. The market sells locally produced seasonal vegetables and fruit, plants and cut flowers, homemade cakes and jams and craft items.
The town has two shopping areas. One in the town centre, and the second being at Pennine Way.
The Hub is a community facility which opened in April 2007. The Hub houses the 300 seat Merryfield Theatre, a 100-seat hall and a number of other smaller rooms. These facilities are used for films, plays, concerts and many other activities and the rooms can be hired by various organisations. In the centre of the Hub is a bistro area, surrounded by art displays and various exhibitions.
- Verwood Carnival takes place on the last Saturday in June
- The Rustic Fayre on August Bank Holiday Monday
- Flameburst the last Saturday in October.
Sports and recreation
- Rugby: Verwood Rugby Union Football Club, whose pitch is at Potterne Park and the club house in the town centre.
- Football: Verwood Town FC, founded in 1920 and based at Potterne Park
Media and culture
Verwood Concert Brass is a successful lower section brass band, and winner of regional competitions. They perform in many concerts in the local area including several performances at the Hub.
Forest FM 92.3 is a community radio station, broadcast from Verwood for listeners based in Dorset. It hosts Europe's longest-running Beatles themed Radio Show ('BeatlesandBeyond') on its regular schedules.
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