Dark Dorset Online Scrapbook is an archive of current and past events relating to local history, folklore and mysteries that can be discovered in the English county of Dorset.

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Thursday, 31 July 2008

A home of our own

Dorset Wildlife Trust has been placing nest boxes' on the sea bed in Kimmeridge Bay to encourage cuttlefish to set up home.

Cuttlefish, which are relatives of squid and octopus, have been declining in recent years according to fishermen and divers. This is thought to be due to heavy fishing affecting them when they come inshore to breed.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 31st July 2008

Crime author’s day in court

Best-selling author Jeffery Deaver visited Dorchester and addressed the 150 eager fans seated in the Old Crown Court.

The American crime author came to publicise his new thriller The Broken Window and to celebrate the National Year of Reading.

Fans listened to Mr Deaver talk about the characters in his book whilst sat in the old judge's chair in the court.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 31st July 2008

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A celebration of literary heritage

The Thomas Hardy Conference kicked off with an evening of poetry and readings to celebrate the literary talent in Dorchester.

More than 150 delegates from all over the world gathered at the Thomas Hardye School for a buffet dinner and an evening of special readings.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 30th July 2008

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Postcard views that address our history

Dorset has changed hugely in the last 150 years, and photographers from The Francis Frith Collection were there to record much of that change.

More than 150 years ago the pioneering Victorian photographer Francis Frith set up his photographic company with the intention of photographing all the cities, towns and villages of Britain.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 29th July 2008

Monday, 28 July 2008

Meter reader is faced with bees

Bees gave a meter man an unusual problem when he came round to read the gas at Diane Williams' home off Putton Lane, Chickerell.

Diane said: "He hadn't been here long when he was back to say there were bees making honey in the meter box.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 28th July 2008

Saturday, 26 July 2008

NEW VIDEO POSTED - Treacle Eater Clog 25th Anniversary tour

Highlights of the Treacle Eater Clog 25th anniversary tour, dancing at the Royal Oak Pub in Cerne Abbas and opposite the Royal Hotel at Weymouth sea front. Celebrating with Treacle Eater, are the scratch side - Motley, Mr Wilkins Shilling from Bath, Lodestone Border from Dartmoor, and all the way from Cornwall the cotswold side Cornish Morris. A great selection of traditional English Folk Dancing.

Hardy book launch by GP

A doctor who has had a lifelong passion for Thomas Hardy is launching his book as part of the Thomas Hardy Conference.

Tony Fincham from Kent will launch his book, Hardy The Physician, on Monday, July 28 at Waterstone's book shop in Dorchester at 6.30pm.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 26th July 2008

Friday, 25 July 2008

Museum buys Romney portraits

Dorset County Museum has completed its purchase of three special paintings. (see previous blog entry)

Cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and donations saved three George Romney portraits earlier this year.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 25th July 2008

Spectacular Jousting Shows & Medieval Village

From 23rd July to 25th August (Sun to Fri). The Lulworth Knights return for battle with thundering steeds, clashing lances and awesome horsemanship.

Absorb the thrilling atmosphere of horses, heraldry, flags and fanfare as the chivalrous knights perform breathtaking stunts, incredible equestrian expertise and skilful swordsmanship in their fearless jousting tournament. Join in the drama and excitement with cheers and roars of encouragement to bring your favourite Knights to glory.

Meet the effervescent Fiery Jack as he wows the crowds with his juggling shows & discover life from times gone by as you wander through the medieval village.

Event included in normal admission price. Under 4’s free, Family saver tickets available.

For more info call 0845 4501054 or visit www.lulworth.com

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Phil Harding awarded honorary degree

Phil Harding is to be awarded an honorary degree by Southampton University. The award, the honorary degree of Doctor of the University, will be conferred at a ceremony at the University on Thursday 24 July and is for outstanding personal achievement in the field of archaeology.

Phil said ‘This is a great honour. I am delighted to have my archaeological achievements recognized by the university. As a man whose heart is in Wessex, I am particularly pleased that it’s Southampton that have given this to me.’

Sue Davies, Chief Executive of Wessex Archaeology, commented ‘I am thrilled for Phil. This award is thoroughly deserved.’

The university’s citation along with details of the other distinguished honorary graduates who include a Baroness, a Dame, an Admiral and Knights of the Realm, are available at the University of Southampton Media Centre.

Source: Wessex Archaeology News

Do you want to believe?

The truth is out there...

In the wake of moon-walking astronaut Edgar Mitchell claiming that aliens exist, and with a new X-Files film released next Friday, it seems our fascination with little green men and related paraphernalia refuses to go away.

Indeed, web traffic figures across Dorset and Hampshire reveal the story with the most "hits" in June this year was about a strange black triangle-shaped UFO which hovered for days over Southampton.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 24th July 2008

Dorset's own X-Files
  • On Sunday, July 6, 1989, Paul and Debbie Clare saw a small spherical object in the sky when driving through Blandford Forum. It was too big for a helium balloon, metallic grey in colour with no lights. The UFO travelled parallel to the car at the same speed for a few minutes when it suddenly disappeared at high speed.
  • Last August, five people reported seeing a UFO near Lyme Regis. The mystery object had a "pulsating incandescent light rather than a beam, was making strange movements and seemed to be getting lighter and darker".
  • In the same month six witnesses saw two red/orange objects over Bulbarrow Hill. They were moving slowly together and seemed quite large. One became really bright and then it seemed to pour out an orange light underneath. Then it climbed up again and both just vanished.
  • In June 2006 a crop circle appeared at Waterditch Farm near Christchurch. An enthusiast reported: "The formation is approximately 150 feet in diameter with three centre circles each around 30 feet in diameter and surrounded by larger semicircles. "There is also a very thin ring less than a foot wide that circles the whole formation."

Town centre bee swarm

Crowds were drawn in Dorchester town centre yesterday as yet another swarm of bees arrived.

Shoppers watched as the swarm took up residence on a lamppost in South Street.

Dorchester beekeeper Glenn Ashcroft helped coax the bees into a box and move them on to a more suitable home.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 24th July 2008

Memories of a misspent childhood

The boys who were roaming around Weymouth's abandoned Nothe Fort 50 years ago have answered a call from staff to come forward and help with a film about its colourful history.

The historic site suffered widespread vandalism during the 1960s and 1970s when teenagers explored tunnels and rooms vacated by the military.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 24th July 2008

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Fortean Times - Unconvention 2008

Two days of talks, performances, workshops, exhibits, stalls and screenings hosted by Fortean Times magazine and devoted to the world of unexplained mysteries and strange phenomena

Already confirmed:

Gail-Nina Anderson, Jan Bondeson, David Clark, Mike Dash, Jonathan Downes, Patrick Huyghe, Kittie Klaw, Theo Paijmans, Mark Pilkington & John Lundberg, Andy Roberts and Ian Simmons

Many more speakers still to be confirmed...

For more information click here

Packed week to toast Hardy

The Thomas Hardy conference is hosting a week of activities including live music, poetry and a rare auction of paintings and memorabilia.

The conference runs from this Saturday until Saturday August 2 and poet Bernard O'Donoghue will opening the conference with a reading at the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester.

He was also be handing out a cheque for £3,000 to the winner of the Thomas Hardy Society's poetry competition.

A special auction on Friday, August 1, will take place after the conference dinner by Duke's Auctioneer Gary Batt.

He will be taking silent bids for 12 items ranging from Mike Bowman paintings of Thomas Hardy to original Hardy play theatre programmes and memorabilia.

There will be 13 coach excursions throughout the week with expert guides on board. Expert speakers from around the country and overseas will be giving lectures and talks on Thomas Hardy.

In the evenings there will be live music by the Yetties, Tim Laycock and the New Scorpion Band. On Thursday July 31 there will be cider tasting at Dorchester Town Hall before the Yetties' concert.

Tickets for the opening night are £5 and tickets for the other activities are available from the society.

For more information and tickets visit www.hardysociety.org or call 01305 837331.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 23rd July 2008

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Tradition born in a school for boys

In 1978 an after-school club was formed at what was then Thomas Hardye School for Boys - and one of the activities was morris dancing.

Exactly how is a dim memory to those involved but from those roots at the after-school club, Frome Valley Morris was born.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 22nd July 2008

Monday, 21 July 2008

Poole's Mysterious Heat

It was reported in the News of the World 21st July 1996, that an unusual blast of heat was experienced by Laraine Davis from Poole, as she opened her back door on a cold night to retrieve washing from her line.

“It was like opening an oven door when your face is too close to it. It was eerie and silent as well. The hair rose on the back of my neck.”

Days later Laraine heard from her neighbour that the contents of there greenhouse had been incinerated - yet the structure itself was untouched. She said.

“the heat was so fierce it destroyed tools. Only two lumps of molten plastic - once a garden table and a wheelbarrow - proved there had been anything in there at all. The glass was not cracked and shrubs alongside were untouched. Even a small fire would have lit up the area and been visible to us all. But no one saw anything.”

Extract taken from
'Dark Dorset Tales of Mystery, Wonder and Terror' by Robert J. Newland and Mark J. North.

Round island walk set to be back on the map

Walkers will soon be able to make a complete circuit of Portland for the first time in 20 years.

The South West Coast path runs all round the island but has one part which is blocked to the public.

In the mid-1980s the Royal Navy closed the section at Portland Port, fencing the route off and welding the gates shut above Castletown.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 21st July 2008

Sir David’s butterfly plea

Sir David Attenborough has described Dorset as a "potential butterfly paradise."

Speaking at the launch of Save Our Butterflies Week, Sir David said South Wessex and the Purbeck Downs were among 20 British locations where populations could thrive.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 21st July 2008

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Goosberry Fayre comes of age

Portland Gooseberry Fayre comes of age on Saturday, July 26, and it will be opened at 11am by Sylvia Webster, who was instrumental in starting the event 18 years ago.

The Fayre Prince and Princess competitions and the baby show will follow the opening and all the fun of the fayre will include children's rides, a dog display, belly dancers and the chance to see a fire engine and talk to the firefighters.

Secretary Sue Coleman said: "We have more stalls than ever plus a raffle with good prizes and we are hoping that more people than ever will come along to celebrate Gooseberry Fayre's 18th birthday."

The event is held each year at Bob Gooseberry's field in Weston Road. Call Ms Coleman on 861495

Source: Dorset Echo Sunday 20th July 2008

More than just bonekickers...

In 2006, Dorset was hit by civil conflict. The Hampshirians began breaking away to declare themselves an independent republic, urging Hampshirians living in the east of the county to join them.

However, Dorset resisted and fighting soon led to ethnic cleansing. People were forced out of their villages, houses were burned to the ground and people were reported missing.

Sound familiar? Probably not, as this was the fictional scenario facing forensic archaeology students when they took part in a mock mass grave dig at Holton Heath.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Sunday 20th July 2008

Friday, 18 July 2008

Dorset Flag: Dorset Cross in the final running....!

The Dorset Cross or St. Wite Cross Flag has been selected as a candidate for the final four, of the Dorset Flag competition organised by the Dorset County Council.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Flag Blog

Dead dolphin found dumped in garden

Two Royal Navy engineers discovered a dead dolphin in their garden.

Gary Harvey and Mike Elliott woke up to find the dead marine mammal lying in the front garden at their home in Courtlands Road, Weston.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 18th July 2008

Men find dead dolphin in garden

Mystery surrounds the discovery of a dead dolphin in the garden of two sailors in Dorset who live on a steep hill half a mile from the sea.

Mike Elliott, 28, and housemate Gary Harvey, woke to find the 3ft dolphin at their home in Portland on Thursday.

The mammal appeared to have two puncture wounds in its stomach as if it had been speared.

Police carried out house-to-house inquiries but said there was no evidence a crime had been committed.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News Friday, 18 July 2008

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival 2008

On February 24th, 1834, six farm labourers from the Dorset village of Tolpuddle were arrested on a charge of taking part in an 'illegal oath' ceremony. In the eyes of their masters, however, the real offence was that they had dared to form a trade union to defend their livelihood. For this they were sentenced to seven years' transportation to the penal colonies of Australia. The sentences provoked an immense outcry, leading to the first great mass trade union protest. The campaign won free pardons and the Martyrs' return to England. A historic episode in the struggle for trade unionists' rights in Great Britain

To commemorate the bravery of the martyrs' struggle against poverty and authority, this annual festival features music, speakers and family entertainment.

Guest DJs Rita Ray and Max Reinhardt/Orpehus/Aidan Jolly/The Mauves

The Quangle Wangle Choir/Bedouin Jerry Can Band/Sean Taylor/Mark Steel/ The Tones/The Flatville Aces

Strels Band/Tracey Curtis/Puddletown School/Elvis McGonagall/Duckfeet/Ways of the Mouth/Robb Johnson & The Irregulars/Graham Moore/ Seize the Day/Grupo Lokito/Devon Sproule/Devon Sproule

Headlining the afternoon, on stage at about 4.15, folk / rock political icons The Levellers

Loads going on, by no means all folk but well worth a look.

The full programme can be downloaded from www.tuc.org.uk/tolpuddle

Entry to the festival is free. £10 charge per car for parking. Donations welcome!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Islanders vow to fight quarry plan

Heated exchanges were heard at a campaign meeting held last night to stop quarrying on Portland.

Quarry managers were told they would leave the south end of the island looking like 'a lunar landscape' if their extraction plans went ahead.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 16th July 2008

It's an Incey Wincey spider

Britain's rarest and one of its most spectacular spiders is alive and well on Dorset's heaths.

The ladybird spider (Eresus sandaliatus) was thought to be extinct in the UK since 1906, when it was last recorded in Bournemouth.

But it was rediscovered at a secret location in Dorset in 1979 by Dr Peter Merrett and the diminutive creepy crawlies have been coaxed back from the brink.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 16th July 2008

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

’Ello ’ello ’ello once again for the police box?

IT was once a familiar sight on the streets of Britain - although these days it's best-known as the preferred mode of transport for Doctor Who.

But if a Boscombe councillor has his way, Bournemouth could see the return of the traditional Tardis-style blue police telephone box.

Toy replicas of the police boxes can be found in practically every young boy's bedroom in the country, thanks to the success of David Tennant as the Doctor on Saturday nights.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Tuesday 15th July 2008

Monday, 14 July 2008

Dead crows sent for tests

Dead and dying crows in a Dorchester road triggered an investigation by environmental health officers.

Cyril Smalldon said he was walking along Bowling Alley Walk when he saw the birds.

He said: "There were four or five dead crows lying on the grass. One was still just about alive and a young woman picked it up and put it on a wall out of harm's way.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 14th July 2008

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Kingston Maurward Regency Weekend

The wonderful setting of the Kingston Maurward estate plays host to a Regency Weekend, Saturday September 27th and Sunday 28th 2008. Over this weekend, there will be an exciting recreation of a Regency period Fair with many different Historical participants.

There will be an authentic Living History Encampment which gave a fascinating insight into the world of Napoleon, George III, and the Duke of Wellington.

In attendance will be some allied army units from England, including the famous Green Jackets of the Rifle Brigade, made popular by the TV Series "Sharpe's Rifles". We have also got the Sharpe Appreciation Society with many items used during the filming of the series

For those of you who want a "behind the scenes" look at the filming, Jason Salkey (AKA Rifleman Harris) will be selling his video diaries.

Many visitors will be able to wander through the encampments, and pick up a memory from the Historical Marketplace at this superb Event.

So, walk in the footsteps of King George III, and visit this wonderful event in it's historic setting of Kingston Maurward House, near Dorchester, Dorset.................HUZZA!!!

Click below for more event information

Portlanders meet to stop quarry plans

Campaigners against plans to quarry on Portland are being urged to join forces.

A public meeting is being held in a bid to form an alliance that will fight to protect the island's coastal strip between Southwell and Portland Bill.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 12th July 2008

Friday, 11 July 2008

Charity quest for top ‘haunt’

Spirits, ghosts, chilling breezes and things that go bump in the night are being sought by a group of intrepid ghost hunters from Poole.

Medium and clairvoyant Faye Barnes is calling for people to nominate the most haunted place they know for a sponsored "spirit investigation" with her and her regular team.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo 11th July 2008

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

National Archaeology Week in Dorset - Saturday 12th – Sunday 20th July 2008

National Archaeology Week, Saturday 12th – Sunday 20th July is your unique chance to discover and explore the archaeological heritage of the United Kingdom. During this nine day event, which will run from 12th–20th July, you can take part in excavation open days, hands-on activities, family fun days, guided tours, exhibitions, lectures, ancient art and craft workshops and much, much more.

National Archaeology Week - Dorset Events:

Belts, brooches and pots
Sat 12 July 10.00-15.00
Red House Museum and Gardens, Quay Road, Christchurch, Dosrset BH23 1BU Visit the Red House Museum anytime between 10.00 and 3.00 on Saturday 12th July and we will help you to make your own take away brooches and belts. You can design your belt or brooch using Celtic patterns. You
can also make and decorate your own clay pot to take away.
Contact: Paul Willis, Hampshire Museums, .
T: 08456035635
W: www.hants.gov.uk/redhouse

Meet the Flintstones
Sat 19 July 10.00-16.30
The Priest’s House Museum & Garden 23-27 High Street Wimborne Minster Dorset BH21 1HR A family event, uncovering the Stone Age truth behind the cartoon. Admission: £1.50 (FREE admission with a Young Archaeologist’s Club membership card).
Contact: James Webb, The Priest’s House Museum &
Garden, .
T: 01202 882533
E: priestshouse@eastdorset.gov.uk
W: www.priest-house.co.uk

Archaeological Finds Surgery
Sat 12 July 10.00-15.00
The Priest’s House Museum & Garden 23-27 High Street Wimborne Minster Dorset BH21 1HR Have your archaeological finds identified by the county’s Finds Liaison Officer. Admission to the Museum is FREE if you bring a find for identification.
Contact: James Webb, The Priest’s House Museum & Garden, .
T: 01202 882533
E: priestshouse@eastdorset.gov.uk
W: www.priest-house.co.uk

Open Weekend at the Ancient Technology Centre
Sat 19 - Sun 20 July 10.00-16.00
Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne BH21 5RP A great opportunity to visit the Ancient Technology Centre, which is usually closed to the public and experience ancient crafts and skills through demonstrations and also hands-on activities for all the family. There will be guided tours of the reconstructed buildings on site, and opportunity to see work in progress on our latest building project – a Viking Longhouse, which when completed, will provide the centre with much needed residential facilities – further information on our dedicated website: www.vikingbuilding.com. There will be entertainment from a re-enactment group and storytelling session in the Earthouse at lunchtime. The ATC will also be hosting a Viking Re-enactment week during the week of Monday 21st July through to Saturday 25th July 2008. Details can be obtained by telephoning the Ancient Technology Centre on 01725 517 618 or via email from Pascale Barnes at p.d.barnes@dorsetcc.gov.uk.
Contact: Pascale Barnes, Ancient Technology Centre, .
T: 01725 517618
E: p.d.barnes@dorsetcc.gov.uk
W: www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/outdoored

Finds Identification Day
Sat 19 July 10.00-15.00
Red House Museum Quay Road Christchurch Dorset BH23 1BU Bring your mystery or interesting garden or metal-detecting finds for examination by Rob Webley (Hampshire Finds Liaison Officer) and Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen (Dorset Finds Liaison Officer)
Contact: Rob Webley, Portable Antiquities Scheme, .
T: 01202 482860
E: rwebley@winchester.gov.uk
W: www.hants.gov.uk/redhouse

Archaeology Weekend
Sat 12 - Sun 13 July 11.00-16.00
Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster BH21 4EA.. On B3082 Blandford to Wimborne Road. 1.5 miles west of Wimborne Discover the archaeology of the parkland at the Kingston Lacy Estate. Activities and events for the whole family. Meet the National Trust archaeologists. Bring your finds on the Sunday to be identified by an archaeologist.
Contact: Kingston Lacy, The National Trust, .
T: 01202 883402
W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Archaeology Days
Thu 24 - Sun 27 July 11.00-16.30
The Castle at Corfe Castle, on the A351 Wareham–Swanage road Grid Ref SY959824 Hands-on activities including environmental sample sorting, mosaic making, spinning & weaving. Living history including rope making through the ages. Also finds identification, bring along those strange objects found in your garden!
Contact: Nancy Grace, The National Trust, .
T: 01929 481294
E: nancy.grace@nationaltrust.org.uk
W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Archaeology at the Abbey
Sat 19 July 11.00-16.00
Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden, Park Walk, Shaftesbury SP7 8JR A chance to try out a variety of activities - dowsing, excavation, finds sorting and experimental archaeology.
Contact: Anna MacDowell, Shaftesbury Abbey Museum, .
T: 01747 852910
E: user@shaftesburyabbey.fsnet.co.uk
W: www.shaftesburyabbey.co.uk

Fireplace find is a real Tolkien point

A postcard addressed to Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has been uncovered behind a fireplace in his former Poole home as the bulldozer moved in.

The 40-year-old card was discovered during the demolition of 19 Lakeside Road - the bungalow which was the writer's home from 1968 to 1972.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Tuesday 8th July 2008

Pieter Collier - And the object recovered from the Poole Tolkien bungalow are available here:

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

A good grooming for historic white horse

The White Horse at Osmington has been given a good grooming by volunteers from BAE systems.

A group of 24 members of staff from the company's Dorchester office spent a day of hard work sprucing up the chalk figure.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 8th July 2008

Historic treasures at risk from neglect

More than half of Dorset's historic treasures are at high risk from neglect or decay, according to a new register launched today.

The catalogue is contained in English Heritage's new national Heritage at Risk register.

English Heritage south west regional director Andrew Vines said the area had 3,988 out of 6,958 scheduled monuments at risk from damage, decay or loss unless action was taken.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 8th July 2008

Monday, 7 July 2008

Weymouth Sea Festival

Rain failed to dampen the start of the inaugural Spirit of the Sea maritime festival in Weymouth and Portland.

Festival-goers braved downpours on Saturday as the nautical-themed event got under way with a gig-rowing regatta, bands on the beach and yacht races.

The weather hit some events. Tall ship sailing, scheduled from Saturday until Tuesday, was cancelled and an open-air church service due to be held on the beach was moved inside but live music went ahead and will continue tonight.

The Universal Big Gig, Weymouth's Rowing Regatta, went ahead with a slightly altered course because of winds.

Rowing clubs from Cattewater, Swanage, Boscastle and Dartmouth were among the competitors who set up camp in the Nothe Gardens.

Weymouth Rowing Club set up its new marquee in the gardens and was able to offer shelter and food.

The rowing began on Saturday morning, but the wind was coming in a 26-knot south-westerly with gusts on top of that.

Organisers abandoned a long 2.2-mile race in favour of a triangular course in the Newton's Cove area.

Sally Harris, for Weymouth Rowing Club, said: "Most of the other waterborne events during Spirit of the Sea were cancelled.

"This was not to be the fate of the rowers. The gig crews battled the choppy waters, loving every minute of the gruelling races."

Caradon won the women's competition, the South Dorset Trophy, and the men's team won the Universal Engineering Trophy.

An exhibition of more than 100 model warships made from matchsticks and matchboxes is also on display at the Nothe Fort as part of the festival.

The festival continues until Sunday, July 13. Organisers hope it will become a major fixture in the borough's calendar of events, leading up to and going beyond the 2012 Olympics.



Beach Live 2008 - free nine-day festival of live music and performance - Weymouth beach (Sat and Sun 2pm-10pm, Mon-Fri 6pm-l0pm). The Matchstick Fleet - A display of more than 200 model warships, The Nothe Fort (10.30am-4.30pm). All the Fun of the Seaside exhibition - Weymouth Museum (10am-4.30pm). Pebbles, Boats and the Sea - All day events - Chesil Beach Centre (I0am-5pm). Holy Stones and Billy Winters - Exhibition about local traditional fishing boats - Chesil Beach Centre (10am-5pm). Glass-bottom boat tours of Fleet Lagoon and Portland Harbour - Crab House Cafe slipway (9.30am, 10.45am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm, & 4pm). Guided minibus tours of Portland's nature and history (11am and 2pm). Charity awareness and promotional stalls - Weymouth Esplanade (all day).


Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Beach Live featuring folk rock - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm).


Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Dorset Special Schools Beach Festival - Weymouth Pavilion (10.30am-2pm). Beach volleyball - Weymouth Beach (From 6pm). Weymouth Town Heritage Walk/Harbour Secrets - Weymouth Pavilion (6.30pm). Beach Live featuring classic rock - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm.


Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Live underwater video broadcasts from beneath Portland Harbour - Chesil Beach Centre (11am, 12pm, 2pm & 3pm). Beach tag rugby - Weymouth Beach (from 6pm) Beach Live featuring indie, folk and classic pop - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm).MONDAY, JULY 7 Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Beach Live featuring folk rock - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm).

More details at dorsetecho.co.uk or spiritofthesea.org.uk

Quarrying plans for coastal strip

Quarrying could start on the coastal strip near Portland Bill this summer.

Stone Firms Limited may begin the work on sections of land on the coast, near the Bill and Southwell.

The plan comes despite protests on the island against the proposal.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 7th July 2008

Friday, 4 July 2008

Film-maker wants to find the Nothe Fort hippies

A new plea has been made to find the Nothe Fort hippies.

People who used to break into the site in the 1960s and 1970s before it opened as a tourist attraction are being sought to take part in a film about the fort's colourful history.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 4th July 2008

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Second monster crab is caught

A giant crab with a shell 12in wide was caught by a diver off Portland.

The crustacean, weighing 17lb and with a claw span of 9in, was found by diver Paul Worsley and is thought to be the largest edible crab captured in British waters so far.

It was caught on the wreck site of the warship the Empress of India, which was sunk off Portland as a gunnery target in 1913.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 3rd July 2008

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Book captures town’s history

Eminent local historian Terry Hearing has chosen a collection of articles that he originally wrote for the Rotary Club of Dorchester's newsletter and shaped them up into a delightful little book about the town.

History On Your Doorstep is a look at the people and places around Dorchester.

Its short well-illustrated chapters cover a range of topics including Maiden Castle, Nappers Mite, the town's workhouse, prison and foundry and more. Among the characters he brings back to life are Judge Jeffreys, the Tolpuddle Martyrs and two Dorset magistrates who really were named Jekyll and Hyde.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 2nd July 2008

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Swarm of bees lands in garden

Residents spoke of their shock after a swarm of bees landed in a Weymouth garden.

The honey bees formed a football-sized huddle in a garden at Fir Drive, Preston yesterday in the latest in a spate of swarm sightings.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 1st July 2008

Stop the quarrying meeting

A public meeting to form an island alliance against plans to quarry Portland will be held on July 15.

Residents who oppose the quarrying of the island's coastal strip at Southwell are invited to attend the Stop the Quarrying meeting at Easton Methodist Church in Easton Square.

The meeting, to be chaired by Portland deputy mayor Richard Paisley, will debate a resolution to set up a campaign to persuade the National Trust to buy the land.

Residents are asked to arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Call 01305 821638 for more information.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 1st July 2008

Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge with Dolmen Grove

On the 29th June 2008, Dark Dorset was privileged to be invited to the Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge, held by the Dorset based pagan order the Dolmen Grove, formed by Taloch (Tony Jameson) from Weymouth four years ago.

We set off from Weymouth, by bus with the Dolmen Grove to Stonehenge, where we met other members of the order to join in the private ceremony. A procession was lead by the beating of drums and blowing of horns as hundreds of followers of the order circled the stones two times before entering the monument. Once all the members formed a circle within the henge, the ceremony began with a welcoming speech conducted by Taloch, who then led a rite to invoke the powers of the four elements, earth, fire , wind and water. This was followed by words of contemplation by other members.

This was the first time I have entered the mighty stone megaliths as I was too young to have seen them before English Heritage roped off the stones in 1977 for fear of further erosion and damage perpetrated by unthinking visitors.

For years I have taken Stonehenge for granted. Aside of the gimmicky tourism that the stones attract, being there,amongst the Dolmen Grove, it seemed very weird indeed to be standing in one of the worlds most famous and iconic landmarks. Standing 20 feet or so high, it makes one wonder how prehistoric man managed to move them. As the ceremony was coming to a close it seemed that time stood still. Even wildlife seemed complacent, a colony of bees where attracted to the stones, aswell as voles, skylarks and even a hare, which had nestled by one of the stones, seemed completely oblivious to the activity going on.

It was truly an amazing experience to be a part of and Dark Dorset must once again thank Taloch and the members of the Dolmen Grove for the privilege of being a part of their celebration of the Summer Soltice.

More information about the Dolmen Grove visit www.dolmengrove.co.uk

(Below are videos showing highlights of the ceremony at Stonehenge)

Part One: Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge with Dolmen Grove

Part Two: Solstice Ceremony at Stonehenge with Dolmen Grove

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