The Town Mayor of Ferndown Cllr Mrs Jean Read had her Civic Day towards the end of the Mayoral year, so the Chain gang are pretty much familiar with each other by now, making the whole thing a lot of fun. On Tuesday 16th April we were invited to Ferndown to see their community centre – where we started with welcome teas and coffee, visited their youth centre as well as local special needs farm High Mead and had a lovely lunch at the Dudsbury Golf Club.
The rainy start to the day eventually dried up after lunch – but not before we had to get our wellies out to get off the coach onto the farm! What a super place with brilliant staff and volunteers – and loads of interesting animals.
This goat was very photogenic, I couldn’t resist. But there were so many interesting animals including chicks, pigs, ponies, donkeys and llamas – probably more too that we didn’t see. The farm also have a craft workshop and soon they hope to have a tea shop too. People can get involved in projects on the farm and come from all over – or you can just pop into buy some produce – find out more here.
After the farm we had a short tour of one of the largest industrial estates in Dorset and got a potted history of it from the BID Manager Kevin Poulton. There aren’t many Industrial Estate BIDs in the country so that was interesting in itself. We were hosted on site by famous brand name Caterpillar who have a marine site there. After a talk on the history of the company, we had a tour of the ‘shop floor’. It’s so interesting that such industry goes on behind closed doors. So many employment opportunities right on our doorstep – and they believe in apprenticeships!
After a super lunch at Dudsbury we headed off back to Ferndown to see their Youth facility which they took on after Dorset County Council closed it due to lack of funding. Ferndown Town Council have done a great job at replacing that funding and carrying on a much needed facility in the area – well done!