A NEW book from the Daily Echo provides a unique way of seeing how much Dorset has changed over almost 70 years.

Dorset From the Air is a collection of photographs recording the area from 1950 to the present day.

The book is introduced by Stephen Bath, who has provided a number of the colour photographs.

“I have been flying light aircraft over Dorset for 40 years and taking aerial photographs of its most spectacular locations, particularly my home town of Christchurch, with its beautiful harbour and rivers and famous Priory,” he writes.

In the early pages of the book, you will see urban areas of Dorset that have changed massively. The skyline around Poole Quay is still dominated by the twin chimneys of the town’s power station, while in Bournemouth the Hants and Dorset bus station is a town centre landmark. Meanwhile, Wallisdown Road is just being developed for industry.

In the following pages, readers see Dorset change dramatically.

In Poole, the book records the vanishing of Ladies’ Walking Field to make way for the Arndale Centre, as well as the railway lines and colliers on Poole Quay and the Pitwines gasworks.

In Bournemouth, we see homes being demolished to make way for the Wessex Way as a town centre bypass.

New developments we watch springing up include the Hampshire Centre (itself since replaced by Castlepoint), Poole Hospital, Barclays House and in Christchurch, Pontins holiday camp and the family favourite Tucktonia.

There are photos of the BIC taking shape, the redevelopment of Bournemouth’s Pier Approach, and the arrival of Tower Park’s leisure attractions.

But the book does not only record the man-made environment. It also includes spectacular shots of such natural sights as Poole and Weymouth harbours, Mudeford spit and Lulworth Cove.

The book ranges from the New Forest to Highcliffe and features the work of more than a dozen former and current Daily Echo photographers. It was compiled by the Echo’s Michelle Luther, who chose from many hundreds of photos.

  • Dorset From the Air is a large, 118-page paperback which costs only £5.95 from a variety of bookshops and newsagents and the Daily Echo office in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth. Click here for a full list of stockists