LIKE much of Poole, the area around Hunger Hill would be almost unrecognisable to someone who had last seen it at the start of the 1960s.

Now, the locality is set for the latest in a series of major overhauls.

Hunger Hill is said to have been given its name in the 15th century, because of its desolate appearance and the difficulty of growing anything there.

In October 1964, with Poole changing rapidly, the Evening Echo reported that 110 graves at Hunger Hill were to be disturbed by roadworks after 100 years, with more to follow. There were 526 people buried at the cemetery there.

“With due decency and reverence, as a Poole Corporation spokesman put it, the 110 graves have been opened and the bones re-interred in a communal grave elsewhere in the burial ground,” the paper reported.

The ground had been consecrated in 1781 and the last burial had happened in 1875.

Now, 6,000 square yards of the burial ground were being annexed for use in the final phase of a new roundabout.

A short distance away, the Ladies Walking Field was due to give way to the Arndale Centre, while much of the High Street was also due to change almost beyond recognition.

But like most new road layouts, the Hunger Hill roundabout was to prove unable to keep up with the growth in car use in the coming decades.

In the 1980s, the Holes Bay Relief Road was built, using land reclaimed rom Poole Harbour, and a link road to Broadstone was laid on the former railway line. Plans were then drawn up to widen the Holes Bay route and install a new roundabout system at Hunger Hill and Sterte Road.

Dorset County Council, which was in charge of Poole’s highways at the time, said the £2.6million scheme would allow for 40 per cent more traffic in the coming 10 years.

But some dubbed the new layout an eyesore, and referred to its complex layout as “spaghetti junction”.

Poole’s traffic sub-committee chairman Cllr Brian Leverett said at the time: “The only way to relieve that roundabout is to have a replacement for Poole bridge. Are they saying there will be no new bridge until 2000?” (In fact, the town’s second bridge would not open until 2012.)

Work on the new arrangement got under way in 1994. Described in the Echo as a “city interchange-style road scheme”, it was now costing £2.8m of Department of Transport money.

That May, eight small human bones were unearthed by workmen and reinterred in a service conducted by the vicar of St James’ Church.

Not everyone was happy with the resulting scheme. Residents of Market Close complained in June 1995 that they had been left “trapped in a polluted island of traffic”.

TV and hi-fi shop Radio House, which had been a household name for many Poole residents since the 1930s, announced it was leaving its High Street location in favour of Lower Parkstone, citing congestion and business rates.

But the council argued that most road users had noticed an improvement.

However, in 2018, the Hunger Hill roundabout is being “reconfigured” as part of a £11.7m project to improve the road network the area of town now dubbed Townside.

These works are scheduled to take nine months – giving drivers plenty of time to reflect on how many years will go past before the roads need another upgrade.