From 1974 to 1992 I worked at the old Victorian hospital at Boscombe. Today the site is given over to social housing. The other main employer in the area, the Danish Bacon Company, had closed a few years before the hospital. One of the results was that the Boscombe shopping center became increasingly run down. Some of the larger stores like Marks and Spencer and Safeway moved out and the Charity shops moved in. A small park became the home of drunks and drug addicts.
Now the council has decided to spend some money on the area. The seafront is being upgraded with the first artificial surfing reef in Europe. This should make Boscombe an attraction for surfers. A large amount of building is taking place with luxury apartments close to the beach and refurbishment of the pier.
This morning we went for a walk on the beach (it is 5 minutes from here by car). It was a completely cloudless day with the temperature in the sixties. The beach was deserted and we had a clear view of the Isle of Wight as well as the Isle of Purbeck. We walked back through a delightful garden to Shelley Park, which is being developed also. These are the grounds of Shelley House, once the home of Sir Percy Shelley, son of Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley.