On arranging this Dorset wedding planning engagement shoot with Sarah & Ben, we were a little undecided as to the location to use. We had initially thought of Corfe Castle, but Sarah had thought that although scenic, it wasn’t a location that they visited and had no particular meaning to them. Well fair point I thought, thats what its meant to be about – using a location that you feel relaxed in or that ‘means’ something to you as a couple.
So Corfe was off, but we had a short list of locations to work from. Sarah had said that they were going to take out their camper van for a spin, so I flippantly suggested that we meet in the Durdle Door car park, that they could get the kettle on for a brew and we would discuss where we go from there. Well, little did I know that they would take me literally, for when I pulled up there the two of them were with cups of tea in hand! What a wonderful reception and a smashing cup of tea 🙂
After capturing the awaiting reception, with cups of tea in hand, we went for a spin in the Dorset countryside that led us to the village of Tyneham. Sarah & Ben had explained that the village had some derelict buildings that may prove interesting for photos. Upon arriving at the village’s approach road, the penny dropped, this was the village that I had heard a lot about. The story of this Ghost village is both intriguing and unique. The village and 7,500 acres of surrounding heathland and chalk downland around the Purbeck Hills, were commandeered just before Christmas 1943 by the then War Office (now MoD) for use as firing ranges for training troops. 252 people were displaced, the last person leaving a notice on the church door:
“Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.”
This measure was supposed to be temporary for the duration of World War II, but in 1948 the Army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land and it has remained in use for military training ever since. Now visitors can access the village at weekends, walk across the many footpaths and explore the old School house and Church that are still standing and used as museums.
The village proved to be a fantastic success asa scene setter for our pictures. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed spending time with Sarah & Ben, talking more about their wedding preparations and how things were developing. Upon leaving the village we even had time to visit the wedding reception, a friends local farm where they will errect a marquee – it sounds like it will be a wonderful celebration that I very much look forward to. All the best guys !!