The Diamond Jubilee kicks off in Dorset with a visit from the Queen. Her Majesty tours Sherborne and tells a delighted corgi owner: “I’ve got three of my own.”

* Travellers set up a new camp in Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens car park.

* There is widespread flooding around the River Stour as rain continues to obliterate the summer.

* The Tony Hancock Society plays host to some very special guests at its annual gathering at the Queen’s Hotel in Bournemouth: actress June Whitfield and Hancock writers Alan Simpson and Ray Galton.

* The Emily Longley murder trial continues with accused, Elliot Turner, claiming: “I admit that I said I would kill her.”

He is found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum tariff of at least 16 years.

His parents, Leigh and Anita, are found guilty of perverting the course of justice by destroying a confession note from Elliot.

Judge Mrs Justice Dobbs tell him: “Your arrogance during your relationship with Emily Longley, during your time on remand and even throughout this trial, is breathtaking.”

* A For Sale sign goes up outside the four-bedroomed house in Bournemouth’s Huntly Road, which used to belong to drug baron Craig Blake. He has been ordered to repay £792,000.

* The memorial to Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging is unveiled. Based on an idea from Kinson Primary School pupils, the tribute consists of three planes flying vertically. Fans of the flying team are delighted when they make a pitstop to refuel at Bourne-mouth Airport, their first visit to the town since the airshow tragedy.

* Tributes are paid to former Poole Pirates star, Lee Richardson, who dies in Poland, age 33, following a track crash. Pirates’ chief Matt Ford says: “He was a true professional and a gentleman.”

* Parents weep and some face giving up their jobs after their children fail to secure places at the Bournemouth primary schools of their choice, and are instead given places in under-subscribed schools miles away.

* There is standing room only at the funeral of popular teenage sailor Michael Walker, who died in an accident as he cycled along Poole’s Holes Bay Road.

* Former crackhouse landlord Darren Bradley is named Bournemouth’s Volunteer of the Year for his ceaseless work with vulnerable people. “This award means so much,” he says.

* Christchurch railway station celebrates its 150th anniversary l Speedway star Darcy Ward speaks of his relief at being found not guilty of sexual assault on a 17-year-old girl. He had denied the charge.

* Ferndown woman Ruth Davis claims she has seen the face of God in her food mixing bowl.


Verwood’s new mayor becomes the youngest ever in Dorset – Simon Gibson takes office at the tender age of 23.

* The rain may be bucketing down but nothing dampens Diamond Jubilee fever as thousands flock to the quayside party in Christchurch while yet more thousands attend events, concerts tea and street parties throughout the county. Travellers celebrate by moving their vehicles onto the Whitecliff Recreation Ground within days of it being declared a Queen Elizabeth II Field in Trust.

* Former head of the Romany Rights Association, Basil Burton of Dugdell Close, Ferndown, is found guilty of three counts of sexual offences against young girls in separate incidents during the mid-1960s and the early 2000s. He had denied the charges, is spared jail and given a suspended prison sentence.

* Workers Chris Lloyd and Billy Harwood have a narrow escape when an oak tree crashes onto their van as they wait at traffic lights in Ferndown. Gales and floods bedevil the rest of the county as the horrendous summer weather continues.

* It’s dubbed the picture of shame; the image drawn by a 10-year-old boy, of the scenes of violence and drug-taking he witnesses regularly from his bedroom window overlooking the area around St Clements Church in Boscombe.

* Harry Redknapp quits his job as manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

* Police launch a murder investigation after the body of a man is discovered in woods near Lytchett Matravers. Three men are later charged with killing Boscombe man Geoffrey Reed and are due to stand trial next year.

* Christine Lake from Poole sees her three sons and two grandsons all together for the first time in eight years... the men are all serving in the armed forces.

“I am immensely proud of them,” she says.

* Warnings are issued after teacher killer Jamie Frater goes on the run from Leyhill Open Prison. Frater stabbed teacher Geoffrey du Rose to death in 1993. He later turns himself in.

* Seven beautiful Ferraris roll up to the Chewton Glen Hotel as part of Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans’s annual Children in Need Magnificent Seven road-trip.

* Killer Elliot Turner launches an appeal against his conviction and sentence for the murder of Emily Longley.

* Drivers are confused by the new layout as the revamped Canford Bottom junction is finally opened.


A study reveals that Bournemouth’s West Howe is amongst Britain’s most deprived areas, with 37 per cent of residents living below the poverty line.

* A row breaks out over the Olympic torch after it’s revealed that out of 132 bearers, only 80 live in Dorset; but thousands turn out to watch its progress across the county.

* Firefighters rush to the rescue – of a pigeon trapped in netting in Bournemouth’s Post Office Road.

* The parents of Emily Longley killer Elliot Turner are jailed for 27 months each, for attempting to cover up their son’s crime.

* The summer’s torrential rain brings more misery and chaos to Dorset. Police close the A348 at Longham after the Stour bursts its banks. Elsewhere, Julian’s Road in Wimborne is shut and Wareham’s North Street is flooded.

* Excited youngsters cheer Princess Anne as she turns up to inspect the facilities at the Victoria Education Centre in Branksome.

* A massive sculpture of a peregrine falcon is unveiled in the garden of the Russell-Cotes museum.

* A murder probe is launched after a headless body is discovered at a flat in the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth. The dead man is named as student Sergio Retamar Marquez who was working in the town. His flat-mate, Karl Addo is arrested and bailed l The tiny village of Shapwick pays tribute to its own Olympic hero, Charles Bennett, who made history by breaking the 1,500 metre record in parish in 1900. Villagers hold eight, one-mile races in his honour and are themselves honoured to receive a visit from heroic war veteran Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson.

* On July 22 visitors to Bournemouth are mystified by a large, round, yellow object in the sky – after three months of non-stop rain, the sun comes out!

* It’s dubbed a rabbit disaster as 88 blighted bunnies are seized by the RSPCA from a semi-detached house in Dorset. It takes officials five hours to rescue the ailing creatures.

* On the hottest day of the year thousands turn out to the New Forest show to glimpse the Queen on the last official day of her Diamond Jubilee tour.

* Police launch a manhunt after a North London man is found dead in Boscombe’s Rou-melia Lane. He is named as Reece James Menzies.

* Police investigate the death of Portuguese man Angelo Maurilio Rodrigues, 45, whose body is found in a flat in Coleman Road, off Moore Avenue West Howe.


AUGUST gets off to a sparkling start as Dorset’s William Fox-Pitt celebrates his Team GB silver medal in the Event category at the Olympics at the riding venue in Greenwich Park.

Over at the Royal Artillery Barracks Dorset marksman Peter Wilson goes one better, shooting his way to an Olympic gold medal in the Double Trap event.

But on the water at Weymouth, all honours go to ‘Big’ Ben Ainslie who becomes the greatest sailing Olympian of all time, gaining his fourth gold.

The Olympic crowds are delighted by an appearance from The Duchess of Cambridge, while Lymington restaurateur Rob Smith celebrates by painting one of the town’s post boxes gold, in honour of Ainslie. “Everything about Ben is Lymington,” he declares.

* Over in Boscombe, dad Norman Messer apologises for his son, Reece, who is investigated for making malicious comments to diver Tom Daley on Twitter.

* Terrified Parkstone mum Stacey Way is horrified to discover a boa constrictor in her bathroom.

“I thought it was a mouldy banana my toddler had shoved down the side of the water pipe,” she says.

* A Banksy-style graffiti zebra appears on a wall in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens... but it’s a fake.

“It was probably executed by a bored GCSE art student,” says expert Richard Howard-Griffin.

* Bomb disposal experts are called to a site in Bronte Avenue, Christchurch, to deal with an unexploded World War II device.

* Karl Addo is charged with the murder of Spanish student Sergio Retamar Marquez, who died on July 17 at an address in Bournemouth’s Lansdowne Road.

* Seahorses are being bred at Bournemouth’s Oceanarium and the Pimms giant deck-chair – all 27-feet of it – lands on Bournemouth beach.

* Bad weather causes the cancellation of Poole’s Upbeat Festival and Wimborne’s Folk Festival is axed due, say organisers, to lack of commercial support. A campaign is launched to save it 

* Bella the Labrador survives a 100-foot cliff fall – then trots back to the Swanage holiday home where she is staying with owner Chris Sexton.

* Schoolboy Charlie Naysmith discovers rare ambergris – essentially whale vomit – prized by the cosmetics industry, while walking on Hengistbury Head. The greasy lump is worth around £10,000.

* Three men are charged with the murder of Reece James Menzies in Roumelia Lane, Boscombe.

* After attending the official unveiling of the Jon Egging memorial on the East Cliff, the Red Arrows fly again, kicking off a four-day, Bournemouth air Festival spectacular.