Dorset - Miscellaneous references, 1822

type: Beyond Scotland - Dorset

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Oil.—Messrs. Jesty & Baker, of Portland, have commenced a shaft in the oil shale at the back of H.M. Dockyard. It is understood that the operations are being conducted on behalf of the Shell Oil Company, with the permission of the Admirality. We understand that the shaft, which has reached 25ft in depth, is well into the oil-bearing shale, and that there every probability of success in the operations. It well-known that a bed of oil shale stretches from Portland under the sea to Kimmeridge, and thence through England to Norfolk, but at Portland the oil stratum is nearer the surface than anywhere else. Some years ago German firm solicited Admiralty consent trial borings at Portland, but this was refused.

The Western Gazette, 15th December 1922





Described as a distinguished Italian scientist, Dr. Marco Marconi (46), was acquitted at London Sessions on two charges of obtaining money by false pretences. jury stopped the case while he was giving evidence. For the prosecution, Mr. Frederick Levy said that Dr. Marconi stayed at a West. End hotel, and he gave three cheques for £4 13s, £2, and £3, which were returned, as his account was overdrawn. Dr. Marconi said he was Doctor of Science. For two years had been in this country conducting experiments in extracting oil from coal and shale rock. He entered into an agreement with the Dorset Shale Petrol Syndicate to exploit his invention, and he received £200 in cash and was entitled to 1,000 £1 shares. Dr. Marconi then appeared before Sir Herbert Wilberforce, the deputy-chairman, the Second Court for sentence, he having pleaded guilty last Sessions to an offence under the Aliens Order. Detective-Sergeant said Dr. Marconi had wife and child in Italy, and his wife was anxious to trace him. He owed various people total of £136 16s. Sir Herbert said he would impose fine of £10 and make an order recommending Dr. Marconi for deportation, but would release him on his own bail, provided he reported weekly to the Aliens Officer.

The Western Gazette; 4th May 1934



Sir, —It is reported that a Company is being formed to work the vein of Kimmeridge shale running E. and W. from Portesham to Kimmeridge, and roughly parallel the railway line between Portesham and Weymouth. Also that another Company proposes to start brick works, either between Waddon and Portesham, or close to Corton. The site of the works would doubtless be close workings between Portesham and Waddon. Several years ago an attempt was made to work this shale and extract oil from it, it ended in failure owing the thinness of the vein and the large amount of sulphur it contained.

The effect of these works (if erected) with their ugly buildings and smoky chimneys will be to destroy the beautiful views sea, across Fleet, from the Hardy monument and the Ridgeway, and I sincerely hope all lovers of rural Dorset and picturesque coastline will use every endeavours to stop these proposed blots on landscape.

Yours faithfully.

E. G. TROYTE-BULLOCK, Zeals House, Wilts.

The Western Gazette; 4th January 1935