In 2010/2011 Poole Bay Rotary Club did a project to map the rights of way in Old Town. People were curious as to how some of the Alleys on the Quay got their names, some research was done and 3 names stood out in the C17th that could perhaps have lent their surnames to three of the Alleys:
Admiral Sir Thomas Button
Captain John Bennett RN
Royal Governor Woodes Rogers
The lives of these three mariners are well documented and span the period we wanted to study (1580-1730). This was a very important and formative era in the development of Poole. We decided to re-visit Poole’s maritime history then through the lens of their extraordinary lifetimes and experiences.
Thus was the Pirates, Castaways & Codfish project developed, in partnership with Poole Museum. In 2017 the project won funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rotary and Bournemouth University. Many thanks to everyone who plays the National Lottery and helped to make the project possible.
The year-long project was facilitated by Rotarians together with local historians and volunteers. Many other organisations with wide-ranging interest were also engaged during the year and made contributions of their own to our work.
The project met all of the objectives by its end in August 2018. Many outputs describing our findings were created and displayed during the work and subsequently. These included a blog for the information uncovered, a project video and a booklet and timeline for the 150 year period.
More has happened since then, particularly in the interpretation of some of the material we found, through storytelling and short pieces of drama. We will continue to share what we find out with as many people as we can.