Wimborne town crier Chris Brown and former mayor Anthony Oliver, MBE said “thank you and goodbye'” to the town’s tourist information staff on Saturday 30 November when the centre, in its present form, closed.
Chris and Anthony were responsible for launching a petition back in August to try and save the centre, but despite obtaining 5,136 signatures, it failed to alter the decision by the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership to streamline the service. The Partnership maintains the way visitors look for information is changing with more people using online sources. As part of the proposals, the tourist information centres in both Christchurch and Wimborne have been closed.
In Wimborne, the Priests House Museum has taken over the tourist information service and a manager will be funded by the Partnership for three years.
Anthony Oliver said, “It is a sad day and Chris and I would like to pay tribute to the staff and the East Dorset tourism officer Rachel Limb. All of them have done a wonderful job over many years. We just hope that the new set up, which will be ably run by manager Lindsay Lawrence, will carry on the good work of the former paid staff. We wish all the ladies best wishes for the future. We understand that two members of staff have re-located to the District Council whilst another has secured a job elsewhere.Three others, including Rachel Limb, are being made redundant.”
In Christchurch, the tourist information was today (Monday, 2 December) integrated with the Regent Centre next door in a similar arrangement to that in Wimborne.