A philanthropist who helped provide new homes to replace Dorchester’s Victorian slums has been commemorated with a Blue Plaque.

Mill Street, Fordington was where the poorest families lived in crumbling cob cottages and tenements with few comforts – no piped water and outside toilets often shared by many different residents.

Blue-plaqueIn the 1960s the council’s slum clearance works swept away the old street pattern with its alleyways, streets and a square for a different road layout with new houses and flats. The tenants were moved away.

Alfred Harman Edwards set up the Mill Street Mission in 1905 and it became a centre of community life. He was also determined to improve the living conditions of the poor and in 1931 he started the Mill Street Housing Society to provide affordable homes with bathrooms.

Edwards Court, where the plaque has been placed, is situated in Mill Street near to the site of the Mill Street Mission, which was demolished to make way for new housing.

On the walk by the mill stream towards the town, the project funded two information boards to tell passers-by a little of the history of the area.

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