from Bertie Bowman, Hon. President, DLRA

A brief history from its founding in 1925 until 2021, almost 100 years. I have been a member for exactly half of this time. Right up to the 21st Century it was known as the Dorset Lake Association, Dorset Lake being an old name for Poole Harbour.

When founded there were no other Residents Associations in the vicinity, or not as we know them today. Branksome Park, Elms Estate and the Canford Cliffs Land Society were private estates looked after by Trustees appointed by the residents living on those estates.

The present published boundary of the area covered by DLRA extends as follows (and as indicated on the map):

DLRA area map
  • On the west and south sides from the railway line at Whitecliff, along the Harbour Shore (including Lilliput and Evening Hill) then across Banks Road to the sea side at Flaghead Chine (including Chaddesley Glen).
  • The eastern boundary then heads north along Haven Road and Canford Cliffs Road up to Spur Hill Avenue.
  • The north side is bordered by Birchwood Road, Wellington Road, Sandecoates Road, Durrant Road and Alton Road up to the railway line and then across to Whitecliff.

The Branksome Park Residents association (now the Branksome Park and Canford Cliffs Residents Association) was founded in 1956.

Back in 1974 our Association’s area covered Sandbanks, Chaddesley Glen, Lilliput, Whitecliff, Canford Cliffs (including Martello Park) and inland along the whole of Canford Cliffs Road and Penn Hill.

In 2009 the Sandbanks Association separated off from DLRA and 4 years ago this became the Sandbanks Community Group covering the peninsula up to Shore Road.

In 2012, on the advent of the Localism Bill, the area covered by DLRA had been reduced and its name changed to Lilliput and Neighbourhood Association (LANA). At the time it was thought that the setting up of Neighbourhood Forums would involve residents associations in considerable more responsibility. In 2018 the title reverted back to the Dorset Lake Residents Association.

I became a paid-up member of DLRA in 1974 and was appointed Assistant Secretary the following year. Then committee meetings were held in members’ homes until 1977, they moved to a stockbrokers’ office and an estate agents office in the shopping parade in Haven Road. By the 1990’s meetings were held at either the Sandbanks or Haven Hotels.

After becoming Secretary, Planning Officer and Chair in 2002, I was elected President for a 3-year term. I still retain an Honorary position within DLRA, despite having twice retired and having acted both as Chair for part of this time, then as I do now in my present role as Hon. President.

Bertie Bowman
Hon. President, DLRA
December 2021