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Poole Road, Branksome
Branksome shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|District||Borough of Poole|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Branksome is a suburb of Poole in Dorset, England. The area consists of mainly residential properties but also has a small commercial area. It borders Parkstone, another small Poole suburb, to the west and north, Branksome Park (a more affluent forested area) to the south and Westbourne (a suburb of Bournemouth, Poole's conurbation neighbour) to the east. Until the early part of the 20th century Branksome had its own council, the Branksome Urban District Council. This council's former headquarters was made into an Elderly Persons' dwelling in 1987 and called Bob Hann House after Robert George Hann, Mayor of Poole 1968/69, who was Chairman of the Poole Borough Housing Committee from 1973 until his death in 1986.
Until the late 19th century the area was mainly unbuilt heath and woodlands. With the development and growth of nearby Bournemouth and later Poole the area became popular as a place to live, mainly because the area was relatively undeveloped but yet was within commuting distance between Poole and Bournemouth. With the development of the railways, Branksome continued to grow, served by the new Victorian line between Wimborne, Poole and Bournemouth. Branksome railway station which still serves the area today helped encourage a massive growth in the early 20th century. Most of the houses in Branksome today are from the Edwardian period and before the Second World War. The area became an official suburb of Poole in the 1960s and by the 1980s almost all open areas of Branksome were built upon. The area however still has some heathland towards the Wallisdown and Canford Heath areas, as well as a large and popular park known as the Branksome Recreation Ground, which is home to Parkstone Cricket Club. Branksome merges with the area known as Branksome Park, an area of more expensive properties.
The area has a small commercial and shopping area based around the old Poole clay and pottery works (until the mid 20th century, served by its own railway line). The area has several large shops focusing on DIY, electronics and furniture such as Homebase, Comet and in the 1980s & 1990s the commercial retail park also had a large Texas Homecare store that was in direct competition with Homebase at the time. There is also a Tesco supermarket as well as smaller local shops which front Ashley Road and Westbourne Road. Branksome is home to 1 of 18 Bowlplex "bowling alley/total entertainment centres" in the UK. A new John Lewis store named John Lewis at Home opened in Branksome on 22 October 2009 and replaced the now defunct Court's Furniture Store. The £6 million development is one-third of the size of a normal John Lewis department store and is the first of a new experimental format for the retailer focusing exclusively on homeware.
- Finch, Julia (21 October 2009). "John Lewis targets home comforts with new Poole store". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
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