Fond Memories of Goathorn’s ‘Duke’ - Benjamin Pond - Longshoreman

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Fond Memories of Goathorn’s ‘Duke’


Editor’s Postbag
Bournemouth Evening Echo             Saturday March 13, 1982

Sir – Many of your readers will have seen the announcement in your paper of the death of Ben Pond who was well known for many years in the Poole and Studland area and also one time river keeper at Throop.

Some of his boyhood days were spent by the Stour at Throop, and he lived in Charminster Road where his father had retired to after many years in business in Andover and was also an ex-mayor of that town.

Ben was jokingly called “The Duke Of Goathorn” at one time when he lived alone on Goathorn on the shores of Poole Harbour. He had a very wide knowlege of the Poole – Sandbanks area, and of tides, channels etc.

After his marriage he lived with his wife on a houseboat at Poole. His wife was a cousin of Ralph Wightman, the well known son of Dorset.

He spent some years at Throop as river keeper before the experts changed the river’s course to bypass the Mill.

Children could then paddle and play at Pigshoot in safety. One could walk up the bank from Pigshoot towards the Mill below Throop House with ease. Now this path is washed away. The weed in the river was cut, and cleared annually by the Malmesbury Estate.

I suppose it would not be too much to claim that Ben Pond had forgotten more about the river than the modern experts know. He is also remembered for his lively and amusing articles which appeared in the Dorset County magazine from time to time.

Together with the late Cecil Biles, and Dicky Parsons, Ben is remembered with nostalgia for an era now gone for ever, a time of more gentle and pleasant memories of the Stour at Throop.

A. L. Fry
Holdenhurst, Throop

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