Blackmore Vale

Front of the Red Brick Cafe, St Michael's Trading Estate, Bridport.

This dramatic image of one of St Michael’s most distinctive buildings – The Red Brick Café – was taken by Trevor Judd of the Pure Image Works. Trevor was one of a dozen photographers from the Dorset branch of the Royal Photographic Society aiming to capture some of the quirkiness of the St Michael’s Estate.

Trevor’s image was later chosen as the photo that best captured that quirkiness and will now be included in an official Society publication later this year.

Blackmore Vale Advert

This colourful ad, which appears in the latest issue of Blackmore Vale magazine, also aims to capture some of that quirkiness but also the diversity of the 92 businesses at St Michael’s.

By | 2024-04-12T14:38:16+00:00 April 9th, 2024|Estate news|

New Building has New Tenants

New Building has New Tenants

From the ravages of the 2018 fire, the Edwards Building has a new look and a new lease of life:

More than five years after the major fire that ravaged part of the Edwards Tower Building, the reinstated building is now home to five new businesses with two more to come. And in typical St Michael’s style, the building now houses an eclectic mix of fascinating and varied businesses:

Cheshire & Wain specialises in luxury products for pampered special cats. The first Cheshire & Wain designer cat collar was sold 10 years ago. Owner Sonja says the last decade has flown by like a pigeon being chased by a fast-moving feline. Cheshire & Wain have developed a quality range of cat products, collars, ID Tags, Catnip Toys, cat beds and rugs, all types of bowls and now Louis Wain prints. Plus, a variety of specialised gifts for all cat lovers themselves.

Sonja took the decision to relocate her business from the east end of London to Bridport just over a year ago and is now safely settled at St Michael’s.

Suzanna Hubbard specialises in illustrating books for the young in ink and mixed and digital media. She studied at The City & Guilds of London Art School and her clients now include: Radio Times, Homes & Gardens, Tatler, Food Illustrated, Gardeners World, Penguin, Orion Publishing, Pavilion Books, BBC Radio 4 & Kingfisher. Soon after graduation Suzanna published her first book The Lady Who Lived in a Car which was nominated for an Early Years Book Trust Award.

The Seaweed People The Seaweed People is a small business established to develop seaweed-based skincare and healthy snacks. Co- founded by Léna Feifrlikova and Freddie Hill, who are The Seaweed People, and who aim to shine a light on the healthy properties of seaweed, and how people can benefit from including it in their diet and skincare routine. The seaweed is wild harvested from the Dorset coastline, ensuring sustainable principles are strictly followed to allow for regrowth of harvested material. We source the seaweed from clean waters, so the quality remains high throughout the season.

Paul Blow has worked as graphic designer and editorial illustrator for more than 20 years with clients including The New York Times, Penguin, The Economist, Greenpeace and Pentagram. He also makes available some of his original works through the sale of limited edition signed prints.
His ability to illustrate an article or an editorial viewpoint with vivid and imaginative graphics has been proved time and again with an impressive range of clients.

One of Cheshire & Wain’s pampered cats

By | 2024-02-29T13:40:17+00:00 February 22nd, 2024|Estate news|

Andrew Goldberg @ Clocktower Music

Andrew Goldberg | Piano and Sitar

Variations for piano & sitar

Andrew Goldberg on Piano and Ricky Romain on Sitar, are joined by the legendary John Robertson on Guitar.

Many have already been mesmerised by the sympathetic and alchemical weavings of Goldberg Romain, as they create new musical experience, exploring the relationship between Piano and Sitar, as well as Western Classical and Indian Classical Music. This evening, they are throwing another maestro into the mix. John Robertson and his guitar.

What promises to be an exciting meeting and alchemy of three maestros and their instruments, this event is not to be missed. Book early as tickets are limited.

Thursday 16 November 2023

Doors 7pm / starts 7.30pm

Tickets £12.00 available from Bridport Tourist Information Centre 01308 424901 or online HERE

Clocktower Records, St Michaels Estate, Bridport DT6 3RR

Clocktower Records Present Andrew Goldberg
By | 2023-11-22T09:36:25+00:00 October 16th, 2023|Estate news, Past event|

Bruno and the Outrageous Methods of Presentation @ Clocktower Music

Bruno and the Outrageous Methods of Presentation + Special guests at Clocktower Records

4th November will see Bruno and the Outrageous Methods of Presentation play Clocktower Records, plus very special guests The Dudleys with disc jockeys Hugh and Damon. Doors open at 7pm, tickets available from Bridport TIC (Tourist Information Centre). Tel: 01308 424901.

By | 2023-11-22T09:36:18+00:00 October 16th, 2023|Estate news, Past event|

What does the future of the St Michael’s Estate look like?

What does the future of the St Michael’s Estate look like?

Ariel view of St Michael's Trading Estate, Bridport

Well finally as of July 2023 we can at last be confident it will look very much like the aerial impression here; our scheme for the regeneration and development of St Michael’s has just been approved for the third time by the Western area planning committee of Dorset Council.

The long list of plusses for which we have been banging the drum for 15 years has finally been accepted unanimously by councillors:

  • Regeneration which ensures long term social, economic, environmental survival
  • Conserving the historic rope and net making buildings that are the heart of the estate
  • Creation of a riverside walk linking the town through to West Bay
  • New public realm areas benefitting the community through shared spaces and walkways
  • Provision of much needed open market and affordable housing in a riverside setting
  • Delivery of that rare commodity: a mixed-use development on a brownfield site
  • Brand new modern commercial trading units in a traditional setting

All this won’t happen overnight; we still have several planning hoops to jump through and work is not likely to start for two years but there is now clear light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel.

Architect’s impression courtesy of Ferguson Mann Associates

By | 2023-10-04T08:53:59+00:00 July 18th, 2023|Estate news|

Blue plaques – St Michael’s pioneers

The Blue Plaque Unveilers: Professor Karen Hunt, chair of Bridport Museum Trustees; Councillor Ian Bark, then Mayor of Bridport and Amanda Streatfield, great grand daughters of William Saunders Edwards
Bridport Heritage Trail Plaque: Rope and net makingBridport Heritage Trail Plaque: William Saunders Edwards

St Michael’s Blue Plaques Bring Estate History Alive

Three commemorative blue plaques have been unveiled here at St Michael’s. It would of course be unusual to have one blue plaque on a trading estate let alone 3 but why have historic plaques on a trading estate at all?

St Michael’s has a proud track record of providing affordable commercial trading space to small businesses for 53 years. But we have always been conscious that the estate had an industrial life for hundreds of years before as a net and rope making factory employing hundreds of local people. We are also conscious of being the largest part of Bridport’s South West Quadrant conservation zone. The first plaque unveiled was to William Saunders Edwards and it was unveiled by his great granddaughter Amanda Streatfeild who still lives in the town. William broke the mould by taking nets from St Michael’s into the world of sport; lawn tennis- the All England Club and then to the Football Association for the first goal nets, then cricket nets, and of course almost every village hall in the country has a badminton net or two.

The second plaque to William Gale and his family was unveiled by His Worship the Mayor Councillor Ian Bark who said that just looking around St Michael’s it was obvious that this was once a thriving hub of industrial activity. ’These buildings still stand as a mark of respect to the entrepreneurs and workers who created and worked in them.” In unveiling the third plaque to commemorate the creation of Bridport Industries, Karen Hunt Chair of the Bridport Museum trustees, agreed with Councillor Bark that Bridport’s heritage is ‘not just about these buildings we see around but about the people who shaped them, worked in them and lived in the surrounding streets.’ We are proud to commemorate their contribution to St Michael’s and Bridport’s industrial past.

By | 2023-09-19T14:14:24+00:00 June 18th, 2023|Estate news|

Farewell to Gentleman Clive

Farewell to Gentleman Clive

Clive HaywardClive Hayward, who along with his brother and their father Norman senior, was responsible for creating the trading estate from the remains of a disused netmaking and rope making factory in 1968 sadly passed away in 2019.

The family almost single-handedly took down old buildings and built new replacements and have maintained the buildings now for more than 50 years. St Michael’s now has a unique reputation and character and Clive made an outstanding contribution through his commitment which continued right up to a few days prior to his passing. As Norman Hayward commented to the local press and at Clive’s service: “His dedication to the estate and its tenants over 30 years was the main reason it has somehow survived through many ups and downs, in particular the diverse mix of traders that has taken its reputation way beyond West Dorset.’

Some 40 tenants travelled from Bridport to pay their respects at the service in Poole on the 29th January. A flag continues to fly at half mast over the Tower Building on the estate.

By | 2023-10-04T08:54:16+00:00 January 15th, 2020|Estate news|