Bere Regis Village Entry in the BBC 1986 Domesday Project


In 1986 the BBC launched an ambitious project to record a snapshot of everyday life across the UK for future generations. A million volunteers took part. The Country was split into blocks. Our Village was in Block GB-384000-93000. Read our entire Entry below...


Photographs of the Village in 1986


Written Accounts by Villagers in 1986

Description of Bere Regis

It is a medium-sized village lying at
the junction of the roads to Poole and
to Bovington. A bypass goes round it
from Poole to Dorchester and buses
pass through.A brook called Bere
Stream runs through the village and a
lot of watercress is grown by it.The
cress from the beds is cut and sent
away to market.The village is in a dip
between Black Hill and Woodbury
Hill.These hills are covered by woods
and heath.There are five shops,a
garage,two pubs,an ancient church and
a first school. Some houses are old
and thatched but there are new houses
on an estate.There is no gas in the
village so people use electricity,
oil, wood and coal. There are quite a
lot of clubs. All round the village
are farms.

School View

Looking north from the school mound
in the middle of the playground is the
village. Traffic on two roads meets in
the middle. On a slope is the church
among big trees . In the distance
is a big house with more trees round
it.Near the roads are smaller houses
and the watercress beds.The bypass
goes behind the village.On the slope
of Woodbury Hill are jersey and
friesian cows in the fields and woods
on the top of the hill.The road runs
along the bottom.To the east is the
river running through fields where
cows graze.The watercress train goes
backwards and forwards from one farm
to the other beside the river.On
the slope are ploughed fields.To the
south is a large farm and the Purbeck
Hills behind.Next to the playground is
a close of semi-detached houses and
behind the school is Black Hill.


The New Estate

The new estate was built about eight
years ago.There are semi-detached
houses,bungalows and flats with
central heating,gardens and showers.
Some houses are privately owned.There
is an old Peoples Home with flats or
bed sitting rooms and the Wardens
flat.In the middle there is a Car Park
with toilets,where buses and lorries
park.A play park has a slide,swings,
climbing frames etc.The doctor's
surgery is used by everyone in the
village.There are a lot of children
living on the estate.Twenty-two of
them are at the school.It is quite
quiet and we can ride our bikes there
and there are lights until midnight.


Clubs & other Groups

There are many clubs and other
groups for the people in the
village.There is a mother and
toddler group.The young children can
go to a swimming club.The young boys
can go to cubs.The young boys and
girls can both go to Tuesday Club and
Sunday School.Older children can join
the fishing club,youth club,Scouts and
bell ringers.Clubs in the village for
women only are Mothers Union, Wives'
Group,Women's Institute and Floral
Group. At Bere Regis First School
there is a Keep Fit Class for women
every Wednesday.There is the British
Legion,the Sports and social Club
to which many of the men in the
village belong.There is a football and
cricket team made up from the men in
Bere Regis.



In the course of the year there are
many different events. The following
happen once a year.
There is a church garden party.There
is a carnivil.There is a Bloxworth
Fete at Bloxworth house. At Bere
Regis church there is a concert Mr
England takes it. At Bere Regis First
School there is a sports day.At
Bloxworth House there is a large fete
to raise money for the village of
Bloxworth.There is a Harvest supper
each Autumn.All the different clubs
and groups hold jumble sales or coffee
mornings or car boot sales or such
like to raise funds.This year the
school parent teacher association is
organising an enormous firework
display and bonfire evening for the


The Story of the Village

There was a village here in Saxon
times.The village grew because it was
on an important crossroads.During the
Middle Ages it was quite important.
King John built a palace on Court
Green. He often came here.The manor of
Bere Regis was big and the Turberville
family were lords of the manor. There
were a lot of fires in the village
because the straw roofs burnt
quickly.So many people used to come to
Woodbury Hill Fair that there was
trouble and fighting and the village
got a bad name.The population of the
village reached a peak of nearly 1500
people in the 19th century.After a
decline it is now rapidly approaching
that total again with the increase in


Woodbury Hill & Fair

Over 2000 years ago,Iron Age tribes
built a fort on Woodbury Hill.A long
time after an Anchoret's Chapel was
built there.There was a very deep well
next to it.Legend says that a golden
tablet was once hidden there.Sick
people believed that if they drank the
water on September 21st they would be
healed.The story goes that a traveller
who sold cloth was caught in a storm
and dried his cloth by the well on
that day.He sold his cloth and so came
back the next year.So the fair grew
up.Three hundred years ago it was one
of the biggest fairs in the south.It
lasted 5 days.The last fair was held
in 1951.The 1st day of the fair was
called Wholesale day the 2nd day was
Gentlefolk's day the 3rd day was
Allfolks day the 4th day was Sheepfair
day and the last day was Pack and
Penny day.


The Church

There is a church of St.John the
Baptist in the centre of the
village.It is very interesting because
of its roof and windows.The roof is
500 years old. It has carvings of
apostles and a large head of cardinal
Morton who had it built.The stained
glass windows have the life of Jesus
on them.The main west window is about
John the Baptist.They were put in 100
years ago.There are some interesting
Norman carvings on the pillars.One
is of a man with toothache and two are
of men with head aches.



There are two places of worship in
the village.One is the Congregational
Chapel and the other is the Church
of England Church.There is a disused
Methodist chapel in the middle of the
village which is now used as a
builders store.In the school 14
children go to the Congregational
chapel,18 children go to the
Church of England Church and 54
children attend neither. However 66
children were baptised into one or the
other faith.Mr Burke comes up to the
school each week to talk to us.He is
from the Church.Now and again Mr
Healey comes to our class assembly.He
is from the Chapel.


Village Life

We like living in Bere Regis because
it is in the county-side with plenty
of wild-life and fresh air with no
town smells. There is fresh food ,
fruit,milk and vegetables. There are
clubs and most of the amenities and
it is a friendly place.There is not a
lot of heavy traffic and it is a good
place to play, with places to walk
dogs ride ponies and climb trees. Most
children have Grandparents or aunties
near. There is a good choice of
houses, modern, council and old,
thatched ones.What we dont like is
that there are not enough shops or
buses or work for our Dads. Some have
to go a long way every day and get
stuck in traffic jams and get home
late.We would like more fetes. Most of
us would not like to move.Some would
prefer a town if their friends could
come too.


Anthony's Farm

The name of Anthony's farm is
But lands farm.The name of
Anthony's mum and dad is Mr and Mrs
Hole.There are two men on the
farm.There are 230 cows on the
farm.There is one dairy lady.The cows
are all friesians.16 cows can be
milked by machine at a time.There are
110 acres of barley, 70 acres of
wheat, 20 acres of oats which is sent
to the mill.Grass is grown for
grazing,hay and silage and maize and
turnips for the cows to eat.The farm
has 2 barns , one dairy and one
cornstore .The machinery is one
loader,2 ploughs, 2 rollers,2 trailers
and one square baler.The farm has its
own combine.The size of the farm is
450 acres and it produces 2000 litres
of milk a day.There are 6 tractors
which are used for all sorts of jobs.



This is a survey of the different
kinds of transport used by the
children in our school.
We asked 90 children.78 children
have been in a car, 64 families
owned a car.Many children have been on
a bicycle , most families owned a
bicycle.few people have ridden on a
motorbike.Some familes own a
motorbike.Some people have ridden a
horse,one or two people own a
horse.There is a large coach firm
which started in the village.It is
called Bere Regis Coaches. In fifty
years it has grown into a firm with
over one hundred coaches. Some are
still kept in the village.Now its
operations are nationwide and it
carries the name of Bere Regis a very
long way from the village.


A Mum's Day

Mum gets up at 7 o'clock.She puts the
kettle on and has a cup of coffee and
then she goes upstairs to get washed
and dressed.Then she wakes up Anthony
and myself.After that she goes back
downstairs to make our drink and
sandwiches and tidies up and makes the
beds.After Mum sees Anthony and myself
off to school she drives to Poole
where she works.Mum finishes work at
half past three at Plessey's and
drives home.Then she goes to the shops
to get what she needs for the dinner.
After Mum has cooked the meal she
tidies the kitchen. Then we all watch
T.V. for a bit and then Mum puts me to
bed.She comes back downstairs to watch
T.V. then when she goes to bed she
reads a book. Nicola
My Mum gets up at 6 o'clock and milks
the cows and goes to work in
Dorchester at 8.30 until 5.Caroline.


A Dad's Day

My Daddy works on a farm.At
4.30a.m he wakes up and at 5.30 he
starts to milk the cows.After he has
done the milking he feeds the heifers
with hay and staw and cake.Then he
goes to see the dry cows to see if
any of then have calf.Then he comes
home for breakfast .Then when he
has had breakfast he goes back to
another farm and does some tractor
work at 1o'clock he comes home for
dinner.After dinner he goes on and
looks at some more cattle then he goes
and milk the cows again then he
returns home for his tea at
7o'clock.And after tea Daddy falls to
sleep and Mummy starts moaning.


A Boy's Day

I get up at around 8 clock.I get
dressed and wash my hands and face and
brush my teeth.I go down stair and
have my breakfast.then when I ve had
breakfast I blow the husks out of my
bugies grain change his water and
have a glass of milk.Then I go to
school by car or if the car wouient
start I have to walk.When I get to
school I get out my pencilc case and
reading book and do some reading
Then we get on with some maths or
english work and after a while we
swop round and do the other one.At 12
o'clock we have lunch and at half
past 3 i go home.When i get home i
watch T.V.At 6 o'clock we have
tea.After tea i have a bath and go to
bed.Charlie Greenfield.


A Girl's Day

In the morning when I wake up I stay
in bed and knit.When it is seven o
clock I get out of bed get dressed and
brush my hair then I have my
breakfast.At a quarter to nine I go to
school by car and at nine o clock I
start my work.Before the second
playtime I have my milk and half past
ten I go out to play.When we come back
we do more work until 12 o'clock, then
its dinner time.After play I have my
puffer and go back into class and we
do activities and a story.At 3.30 we
go home.When I am home I go outside
until 5 o'clock then I watch
television.At six o'clock I have tea
and go back outside until bedtime at



The family that owns the watercress
beds employs the most people and three
of the children in our class have mums
that work there.The Post office
employs 2 people,Seymours shop 5,the
garage 3,the butcher 3,the antique
shop and cafe 4,the upholsterer
2.Anthony House the carpenter
sometimes employs helpers and the
electrician,Michael Eastment,
occasionally has someone to help
him.There are 2 hairdressers.Griffin
and Barnes builders employ secretaries
and labourers.The pubs,the Royal Oak
and the Drax Arms,employ people and
firemen work at the Fire Station.The
Surgery employs 6,our school employs
13 people:teachers,dinner ladies,
helper, secretaries and cleaners.13
work on Paul's dad's farm and others
on the pig farm and at Doddings.The
caravan site employs people in summer.



In our gardens we see lots of birds
like wrens,robins,sparrows,
blackbirds and bluetits.Up Black and
Woodbury hills there are pheasants and
birds of prey like kestrels and
buzzards.Housemartins get mud from the
river and catch insects,herons fish
there.In the woods there are night
animals like foxes,owls and badgers.
There are adders,smooth snakes,lizards
and grass snakes.Rabbits,hares and
deer live on the hills and lots of
insects too including Speckled wood
butterflies.Down at the brook a sort
of blackfly called the dreaded
Blandford bomber bites people.There
are holly,oak and hazel,squirrels eat
the nuts.Primroses and bluebells grow
in the woods and watercress in the
stream.We see Tortoiseshell,Painted
Lady and Red Admiral butterflies in
our gardens and bats fly around.


Changes this Century

There used to be a lot of traffic
going through the village.Then a
by-pass was built four years ago. It
was to stop noise and vibration
through west street.There is not so
much traffic now.North street has been
blocked at the end by a fence.There is
a new surgery it has moved from Roke
road to Manor Farm Road and is very
nice.There is an old peoples home
which was built when the council
estate was built it is called
Turberville Court.There are two new
antique shops and one coffee
shop.Beamisters has closed down so
has the hairdressing salon.There is no
Woodbury Fair,street market and there
are no more fairs in the recreational


The Future

We think that tractors will be more
powerful and faster at thier work.
We think less people will be ill
because there will be more technology
and there will be more pipes
under-ground fitted by gasmen.
Transport will be cheaper and so will
petrol,and we think that the
population of the world will get
bigger by the minute.Schools will be
full of computers and not so many
teachers.There will not be so many
rain forests and rare animals will
only be seen in captivity.Many people
will go into space and visit the moon,
Mars, Pluto and our galaxy.Telephones
will have little gaps in the middle
for televisions.


Comparison Maps between 1986 & 2011


Return to the Main Village Homepage


© Bere Regis Village Website 2011 - Site by Chola Design