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Hair from Napoleon's head to be sold at auction

Cottees of Wareham in Dorset have stumbled upon a single hair from Napoleon Bonaparte the Great Emperor’s head.

Whether it was pinched when he was held in confinement on Saint Helena during the last six years of his life is a matter of conjecture but this is an extraordinary find.

The vendor’s family had stored the hair in a chest of drawers for many years before it fell in to auctioneer John Condie’s hands.

The hair is held down with red wax and includes a note stating that the contents of the small fold of paper are " A single hair of Napoleon Bonaparte's head, 29th August 1816" and another stating "Obtained 5 May 1821" - the date of his death.

It's estimated at £100 --£200 and will be offered for sale on Tuesday 9 June.

Thousands of cigarettes found in layby

These cigarettes were recovered from a layby near Wareham Credit: Dorset Police

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward after almost 34,000 cigarettes were recovered from a layby near Wareham.

The haul, which was reported to police by a dog walker at 9.10am on Thursday, was collected by officers and will be referred to HM Revenue and Customs for further investigation.

The consignment was found in a layby along the A35 at Bloxworth, near Wareham.

No arrests have been made.

“I would like to speak to anyone who may have information regarding where the cigarettes may have come from. Anyone who may have found other packets in unusual circumstances should hand them to police. Further tests are required to determine the contents of the cigarettes so I would also urge anyone who may have been offered packets of cigarettes cheaply to report this to police as their consumption may be harmful.”

– Police Sergeant Paul James, of Purbeck police


Fire breaks out at landfill site

Crews are still at the scene at the Trigon landfill site in Wareham Credit: Dorset Fire and Rescue

A surface fire broke out at Trigon landfill site, Bere Lane, Wareham, Dorset, yesterday at 1830.

Six tenders from Dorset Fire and Rescue Services worked alongside Viridor site personnel to extinguish the fire and the Environment Agency were in attendance.

The fire is now effectively extinguished, and the team will work throughout the day to manage hotspots, entering into a 72-hour fire watch this evening.

Customers have been notified that the site may remain closed for the remainder of the week, and have been advised of alternative service provision.

Crews are still at the scene at the Trigon landfill site in Wareham Credit: Dorset Fire and Rescue

“Our tactical plan for dealing with the landfill fire was very successful. Fire fighters used aggressive tactics including the use of water bowsers and high volume pumps that, combined with site staff using heavy machinery to smother the fire, has worked really well."

– Dorset Fire Service Group Manager Andy Fox
Crews are still at the scene at the Trigon landfill site in Wareham Credit: Dorset Fire and Rescue

“Thanks to the Viridor team and emergency services that worked hard through the night, and to colleagues around the company who offered assistance. A full investigation into the cause of this incident is underway.”

– Ian Morrish, Landfill Energy Director
Crews are still at the scene at the Trigon landfill site in Wareham Credit: Dorset Fire and Rescue

PICTURES: Devastation caused by heath fire in Dorset

Vegetation and trees have been left scorched after a fire at an area of heath in Dorset.

Ten fire engines attended the fire at the Bovington Training Area at Bovington Heath on Saturday afternoon.

The fire reached more than 19 acres of land Credit: Dorset Fire and Rescue Service

The fire lasted for more than four hours and covered more than 19 acres of land. So far the cause of the fire is unknown.

Credit: Dorset Fire and Rescue Service


Five people arrested in planned operation in Dorset

Five people were arrested following a planned operation in Wareham yesterday morning.

Officers from Dorset Police carried out the early morning operation at an address in Bere Road, Coldharbour, supported by colleagues from the Department for Work and Pensions and the RSPCA.

Two men aged 24 and 63 and two women aged 33 and 60, all from Wareham, were arrested on suspicion of fraud. A 38-year-old man from Poole was arrested on suspicion of drug offences.

All four have been released on police.

A number of animals were taken away by the RSPCA and are being looked after by the charity, including dogs, birds and cockerels.

This was a well-planned and executed operation, which has resulted in five arrests and shows excellent working relations with Dorset Police and its partner agencies.”

– Detective Inspector Marcus Hester

100 stone prize pumpkin

When a farmer from Dorset planted a small seed back in April, little did he dream of the monster that it would grow into.

Mark Baggs' prize pumpkin eventually tipped the scales at 1,520lbs - that's 689 kilograms, and over 100 stone!

Over the weekend, at a pumpkin festival near Southampton, it was officially declared as the heaviest pumpkin ever grown in this country. Martin Dowse went to see it.

Giant pumpkin squashes the competition

This giant pumpkin is a UK record breaker Credit: Sarah Hinds/Thompson and Morgan

A Dorset gardener has grown the UK's heaviest pumpkin.

Mark Baggs from Wareham managed to grow a pumpkin which weighed in at 1,520lb (689kg).

Due to its size the giant pumpkin had to be transported by a trailer Credit: Sarah Hinds/Thompson and Morgan

At a weigh-in at the weekend, Mark's pumpkin tipped the scales and beat the previous record by 16lb (7.3kg).

The record for the world's heaviest pumpkin was set on 15 October 2011 in Ontario, Canada with one weighing in at 1,818lb and 5oz (824.86kg).

Appeal after car hits workman

A driver hit a barrier and hit a barrier which knocked a 35-year-old workmen into a ditch and the driver failed to stop.

The incident happened around 10.20am on Thursday 12th September along East Street in Wareham.

Several employees from a water company were carrying out emergency repairs by the roadside when a vehicle is believed to have lost control and struck a protective barrier.

The barrier then hit a 35-year-old Swanage man who was digging and knocked him into a three foot ditch.

The vehicle failed to stop and drove off.

I am appealing for anyone with information about this incident to contact Dorset Police urgently.

We believe the offending vehicle was a dark coloured people carrier, possibly a red Citroen, and it may have damage to the front passenger side wing.

I am confident the driver will be aware a collision occurred at the scene before they drove off and I would urge them to do the right thing and speak with the police. Fortunately the victim only suffered minor bruising in the incident and wasn’t seriously hurt.”

– Jon McCarthy, Sergeant from Wareham Police
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