The census of 1871 showed that there was a population of 212 people in 19 houses in the Boscombe Estate, and a further 70 people in 9 houses at Boscombe Spa.
During the ten years from 1870 Boscombe was expanding quite rapidly, and by the end of the decade the three separate areas of Boscombe Spa, the Boscombe Estate and the district around St. Clements, were becoming welded into a unity. Along Christchurch Road and towards Ashley Road villas were being built, whilst in the other direction, towards the Crescent , a commercial area was developing, Opposite the Palmerston Arms Gervis Terrace Place was being built, consisting of a number of shops with living accommodation over them. Next to the Palmerston were the Palmerston Gardens were the present Carnarvon Road stands.
THE CRESCENT (old)
THE CRESCENT (New)
Most of the development of Boscombe during the final quarter of the 19th century was effected through the establishment of building estates. On the northern side of Christchurch Road. from Knowle Road, part way up Boscombe Hill, as far as Warwick Road, at the border of Pokesdown. South of Christchurch Road and extending to the clifftop, there were two main estates, namely Boscombe Spa and the Shelley Estate.
Next to the Palmerston Arms (now Deacons) the Licensee opened a roller skating rink in 1873 in a circular building with a thatched roof. This had previously been Sir Percy Shelly's riding school: such riding schools were usually for the schooling of horses, and also for riding exercise in bad weather. Adjoining were lawns for bowling, crochet and tennis. The rink was open 4 days a week and skates could be hired for sixpence.
The magazine Vanity Fair, in writing of Bournemouth on 9th October 1875, referred to Boscombe saying, 'separated only by a small ravine from the last house in Bournemouth proper is another rising collection of villas surrounding an architecturally picturesque hotel of goodly size and accommodation. This infant place is known by the name of Boscombe Spa... Boscombe is a pretty little place somewhat bare at present'
Early in May 1876 the Dispensary scheme was launched. The purpose of the Dispensary was to assist the poorer people to obtain treatment and medicines by means of a weekly subscription.
In 1886 a small cottage hospital was opened in Staffordshire Road, Bournemouth, and for several years the Hospital committee gave serious consideration to the opening of a separate hospital for infectious diseases. In 1872 a formal decision was made to establish a 'branch hospital' for that purpose. Two plots of land in Shelly Road were purchased but when it became known that the site was for a 'fever' hospital there were numerous complaints from local residents, nevertheless the premises were built. A fresh storm of protest and spirited correspondence against the hospital in the local press resulted in the hospital being abandoned.
The committee then decided to sell the building. In January 1877 it was announced that the premises were to be the permanent home of the Dispensary, and were opened as the Boscombe, Pokesdown, and Springbourne Infirmary, with accommodation for twelve patients. This infirmary was the nucleus of Boscombe Hospital.
As Boscombe continued to grow it was felt that railway facilities were necessary to improve communications, and to that end a Deputation met the Directors of the London and South Western Railway in February 1877 to seek the opening of a station between Boscombe and Pokesdown. This may have been somewhere near the present Gloucester Road. A new road later named Parkwood Road, would open up communications between the proposed station and the rising districts of Southbourne, Tuckton and Wick. The Deputation was not successful and it was several years before a station was built.
A water tower was built in Palmerston Road in 1875; holding 160,000 gallons of water to improve the supply for Springbourne and Boscombe. Not long afterward Tower Road was made. In October 1877 an application for a Public House The Portman Arms in Ashley Road was made. In support of the application it was stated that Boscombe was a thickly populated place, whereas five years earlier there had been 52 houses, there were now 244, and it was estimated that the population had increased fourfold.
By the beginning of 1878 Laidlaw and Company had a town bus running from Boscombe to Poole Hill. In a notice in the local press on 12th January it was stated that the bus would leave Boscombe at 10, 11, 12, 3 and 4 0'clock and return from Poole Hill thirty minutes later. The fare was stated to be fourpence or sixpence according to distance.
next chapter The Eighties.
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