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Sunday, 6 April 2008

Monsterous Cat - Recollections of the life of Robert Young in Sturminster Newton in the early 19th Century.

Organised by the Sturminster Newton Museum & Mill Society and William Barnes Society to commemorate the centenary of the death of local Robert Young alias Rabin Hill.

On Thursday, April 10th, a talk will be given by Dr. Alan Chedzoy coinciding with his new publication. To be held in the Bow Room, The Exchange, Sturminster Newton at 7.30pm. Tickets £4 for Adults, £3 Members payable at the door.

On Friday, April 11th, A celebratory evening to commemorate the life of Robert Young, with music, poetry and dance by the Hambledon Hop Step Band at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton 7.30pm start. Excerpts of his work will be read by members of the Sturminster Newton Mill and Museum Society and friends. To be held in the Stour hall, The Exchange, Sturminster Newton at 7.30pm. Tickets: Adults £6 payable at the door or £5 in advance from the Museum Shop. £5 Society members, 50p children.

Robert Young who died in 1908 at the age of 97, was a another great dialect poet and chronicler who live most of his life in Sturminster and although not as well known as William Barnes and Thomas Hardy, he contributed a vast amount in his writings giving a great historic record of the times.

Interesting to note that in his 1907 manuscript 'Reminiscences of Sturminster Newton'. Robin Young recorded perhaps the earliest account of a mysterious big cat-like creature to be sighted in Dorset.
"a story was often told them of a wild and savage monstrous cat which haunted the remains of the old castle and was often seen on Newton Hill. Such horrid tales were told of this monsterous cat, with eyes as big as tea saucers, that many children were afraid to pass that way, and not only children but grown up people would be so afraid that they would walk on the main road below the hill to avoid the creature."
N.B. Available this April, 'Early Years by Robert Young: Recollections of Life in Sturminster Newton in the early 19th Century' is edited and with an introduction by Dr. Alan Chedzoy. This publication will be obtainable from the Sturminster Newton Museum, Dorset County Museum and other outlets.

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