Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bloatermog The Knott Of Olives: Since my fairly recent and somewhat accidental foray into the world of Local Interest books, several names whom have flown the flag of writing about this wonderful County of Dorset, have emerged.
But those names have no websites, nor do they produce any satisfatory results from an Internet Search; and to say information about them is scant is an immense understatement. So, by mentioning their names here they should then in turn crop up on any future Searches, and thus at least have some sort of Internet 'Home.'
The absolute star who seems to be the pioneer of the Local Interest book, and began publishing when I was just out of nappies, is Olive Knott, who has lived at Sturminster Newton, and also the more local to me, Broadstone. Her reason for writing books with titles such as 'Down Dorset Way' (1954), 'More About Dorset' (also 1954), and 'Dorset Again' (1956) was the will to see the old stories, which had been told by her father, relations, and friends; and also the broad old and fast dying out Dorset dialect; preserved for future generations to enjoy and learn from.
Another local lady, from nearby Parkstone, Patricia Wilnecker, also felt the need to write and publish her childhood and wartime experiences in book form, so that those, too, would not be lost to future generations.
And whilst both of those names, nor indeed the general volume of Local Interest books available were known to me at the time my initial 'foray' began, these two very astute women certainly need their names in lights for their stirling work.
Whilst self-publishing was not available to Ms. Knott; who found publishers in Poole, Dorchester, and Castle Carey in Somerset; Ms. Wilnecker took the brave stance of either funding and self-publishing her booklets personally, or publishing them through a local history society press.
Put on the spot after offering my services to a local community magazine without even a thought toward what I might be writing, my initial impetus was to pen a few humourous poems and 800 or so word essays about what this village of Upton was like when I grew up, so that it would also not be lost to future generations.
As a child, like many of my peers, I had the foolhardy idea that nothing, or at least very little would ever change, and of course, it does and has; immensely. And even now, some of the people whom take their dog's along the Country Walk behind where I live, don't have a clue that it was once a railway line; hence the title of 'When Upton Had Trains.'
But this Blog has been written to ensure that both Olive Knott and Patricia Wilnecker have an Internet Home, and I hope this does the trick; even though they deserve a far more fitting accolade.
(Anyone wishing to make contact regarding Olive Knott or Pat Wilnecker's publications can do so via the address on )