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Verwood is a small town on the River Crane north of Bournemouthmarker in East Dorset, Englandmarker close to the New Forestmarker.

History

Lying on heathland, Verwood (historically Fayrewood or The Fair Wood) did not exist as a village in its own right until the mid nineteenth century, but there have been inhabitants from medieval times. Brick making and pottery brought people into the area and Verwood separated from Cranbornemarker. Despite its utilitarian nature, examples of Verwood pottery are now considered collectable for their historical importance. The Verwood Heathland Heritage Centrewas opened in 2003 on the original site of the last pottery to close in 1953. Verwood was served by a branch line railway till the mid 1960s (a victim of the Beeching cuts), but the growing popularity of the area, being close to the New Forest and The Solentmarker, saw the village continue to grow, and saw rapid expansion from the late 70s onwards. The town's Historical Society aims to ensure the preservation of the history of Verwood in oral, written, photographic and tangible form.There has been a 290% population increase over the past 35 years, the latest figure (2005 mid year estimate) for the civil parish (including Three Legged Crossmarker) is 13,680.

Verwood was also once the residence of Buster Merryfield, who played the role of Uncle Albert on the Britishmarker Sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. Buster died as a result of a brain tumour in Poolemarker on 23 June 1999

Facilities

The Verwood Community Association manages both the Verwood Leisure Centre, which provides a wide range of sport, health and fitness facilities to suit all ages, and Potterne Park, which provides the community with of sporting provision including Rugby, Football, Tennis, Netball, Cricket and a Skate Park. There is also a bowls club (green bowls)

A Country Market which is open from 10:00 to 11:30 is held each Friday in the Memorial Hall. The market sells locally produced seasonal vegetables and fruit, plants and cut flowers, home-made cakes and jams and craft items.

Verwood is home to The Hub, a community facility which opened in April 2007. The Hub houses the 300 seat Merryfield Theatre, a 100 seat hall and a number of other smaller rooms. These facilities are used for films, plays, concerts and many other activities and the rooms can be hired by various organisations. In the centre of The Hub is a bistro area, surrounded by art displays and various exhibitions.

The town is also home to Verwood Concert Brass, a successful lower section brass band. The band became West of England 4th Section champions in 2005 and 2006. This resulted in two trips to the National Brass Band Finals of Great Britain in Harrogate where they finished 6th and 7th respectively.

In September 2008 the band were placed second at the 3rd Section National Finals after winning the Area championship in March.

From 2009 the band will compete in the 2nd Section. They perform in many concerts in the local area including several performances at The Hub.

Railway Station

Verwood railway station was situated directly next to The Albion Inn (previously known as The Albion Hotel) and was closed in 1964. The tunnel still remains in the beer garden of The Albion Inn. The area has been replaced by the Albion Way housing estate.

Transport

Currently, the only mode of public transport in Verwood are buses provided by the Wilts & Dorset bus company. The services that run are the 36, the 36A and the 37

Famous residents

Buster Merryfield - Actor

Sean O'Driscoll - Football manager

Matt Tubbs - Football player

Darren Kenny - Paralympic Cyclist

Twin Towns





References

External links

Schools

Sport and Leisure

Churches




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