A TALK will be given by a historian on a famous Bournemouth house which was demolished more than 20 years who. 

Alex McKinstry will be giving a talk to those wanting to learn more about Southbourne’s history and the Shell House, which was in Southbourne Overcliff Drive. 

Taking place at Pokesdown and Southbourne Library on Friday, September 8 at 10.30am, the talk will answer what the Shell House was and why it was demolished so suddenly and booking is not needed. 

The creator of the house, George Howard, worked to create a decorative garden from shells, rocks and broken pottery when it took shape in 1948. 

Bournemouth Echo:

George, who had been a hotelier and served in the army, the merchant navy and the police, made no money from visitors but raised many thousands of pounds for charity. 

Among its admirers over the years was the pop star Barry Manilow, who asked his chauffeur to stop so he could have a look around. Margaret Thatcher visited during the Bournemouth East by-election in 1977. 

By the 21st century, the house was often targeted by thieves and vandals until eventually, in February 2001, neighbours were woken at 7am by demolition workmen smashing the Shell House’s cement features and using a digger to clear the rubble.  

One neighbour said: “We’re shocked. No-one told us this was going to happen. 

“It’s such a shame. The shell house is a part of local history and a lot of people are going to be very disappointed to see it gone.”