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Sunday, 31 August 2008
Debby began work on collecting information about the area, when she got involved with the Westham community in preparation to celebrate 125 years since the name 'Westham' was first decided on by town planners. This was as part of the celebrations that were to be held in the grounds of Conifers School on the 26th April 2008. An appeal went out to local residents for any recollections as well as factual information for an exhibition about Westham.
The well received exhibition displayed there entitled 'The History of Westham' included a number of photographs, family trees, maps and artifacts donated by local people as well as people outside of the county.
Dark Dorset even contributed by providing photographs and information regarding the Science Fiction author Eric Frank Russell, who lived in Westham as a child. (See previous blog entry 'In memory of British Science Fiction writer, Eric Frank Russell who died this day in 1978',Thursday, 28 February 2008).
With the wealth of information in the exhibition she had collected, Debby decided to compile a book. This is now available from her website priced at £5.00 with all proceeds going to Westham Community Orientated Problem Solving (COPS) group for use within the Westham community.
She is hoping to compile another book as the information collected was so copious and is still coming in. Details of this are also on the Westham website at www.westham.weymouth-dorset.co.uk.
Friday, 29 August 2008
Take a trip back in time this weekend as Dorchester hosts its first ever Roman Festival.
Held over two days and centred around the Roman Town House at County Hall, it promises to be a fantastic opportunity to find out more about Dorchester's classical heritage.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
A historic tower was due to reopen on August 29 after it was rebuilt brick by brick to stop it falling in to the sea.
Clavell Tower was perched perilously close to the cliff edge at Kimmeridge Bay and was at risk of a watery grave thanks to coastal erosion.
Archaeologists are currently setting up in Littlemoor to carry out investigations ahead of the proposed £84 million road but Dorset County Council is still waiting on a green light from the public inquiry into compulsory purchase and side road orders for the scheme.READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 28th August 2008
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the bridging camp in Wyke Regis, which was established on the shores of the Fleet in May 1928.
That year, a company of sappers - so named after the trenches or 'saps' they once built - marched from Bulford Army Camp down to Wyke to erect tents for other sappers - or Royal Engineers - who were to camp alongside the Fleet while they underwent training in the art of bridge-building.
Monday, 25 August 2008
But a new book suggests that Bournemouth's most famous daughter might have had help from her husband, poet Percy Shelley.
Charles Robinson, professor of English at the University of Delaware and editor of The Original Frankenstein, to be published in October, claims Percy had significant input into the manuscript and should therefore have a credit alongside Mary.
Roman centurions will fight it out with medieval knights, 17th century soldiers and Zulus in a showdown at Lulworth Castle.
The warriors - from re-enactment societies - will be clashing in the new Historic Combat Festival on September 13 and 14.
Visitors will be able to walk through time' and discover life from the past in living history' camps.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
The Roman Festival will bring Ancient Rome to life and highlights include major re-enactments, music, story-telling, literary readings, activities and Roman games.
There will be expert guided walks around Maiden Castle and Roman Dorchester, Roman soldiers marching through town on their way to demonstrations and re-enactments at Maumbury Rings, a Roman extravaganza at the Roman Town House and lots of fun and activities for all at Dorset County Museum.EVENTS PROGRAMME
Children must be accompanied by adults at all festival events
SATURDAY 30 AUGUST 2008
The Romans are coming!
A South Dorset Ridgeway Project Walk at Maiden Castle
Meet at Maiden Castle car park for a one hour walk led by Claire Pinder, DCC Senior Archaeologist. Free, but please call the South Dorset Ridgeway Officer 07500 078351 to book a place as numbers are limited. Please wear long trousers and sensible footwear. Dogs must be on leads.
In the Town Centre
11.00am start from the Roman Town House
Soldiers from Legio II Augusta will march through the town on their way to Maumbury Rings. They will be accompanied by Roman musicians from Praecones Britanniae
Legio II Augusta
At Maumbury Rings
2.00pm. Free admission
If you are under 16 and think you have what it takes to join the Roman army report to the recruitment tent at 2pm sharp. Legio II Augusta will put you through your paces with an afternoon of marching and games.
Come in costume and you could win one of our ‘on the spot' prizes!
West Dorset Diostrict Council's 'Action Van' will be assisting with activities.
Come for lunch: Local, free range pig roast from 12 Green Acres available from 12 noon.
At Dorset County Museum, High West Street
Opening hours: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Admission: £6.50 adult, £4.50 concessions, accompanied children free
10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm
Drop-in workshops for children including weaving and making Roman bullas or lucky charms.
Join Blue Badge Guide, Christine McGee, for a stroll around the ancient town of Durnovaria. Christine will give you a fascinating glimpse into the past in this easy two-hour walk.
£3 per person, accompanied children under 16 free
To book call Christine on 01258 817751 as numbers are limited
Dogs must be on leads
The walk is suitable for people using wheelchairs
Dorset County Museum, 6.30pm
Tickets £6 from the Museum. For reservations call 01305 262735
Lindsey Davis, author of popular Roman detective novels, will talk about her hero Marcus Didius Falco and his adventures throughout the Roman Empire.
SUNDAY 31 AUGUST 2008
Tickets for Sunday
The Sunday all-inclusive festival ticket costs £2, accompanied children under 16 free. This covers entry to both Dorset County Museum and the Roman Extravaganza at the Roman Town House. Buy your ticket at either location and hang on to it!
At the Roman Town House
A Roman Extravaganza
Watch everyday life in Durnovaria unfold
10.00am - 4.00pm
The Roman Town House is in the grounds of County Hall, near the town centre. The grounds are accessible for people using wheelchairs
Come and join Legio II Augusta and talk to soldiers, slaves and aristocratic ladies.
- Military drills, including new recruits!
- Displays on weaving, cooking, medicines, midwifery and children's toys
- Storytelling with Tim Laycock
- Mosaics and clay pots workshops by the Family Learning Team (10.30am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4pm)
- All day activities with the DCC Historic Environment team including face painting, archaeological finds identification quiz, colouring in activities and mosaic making
- Dorset County Council Historic Environment team archaeological excavation at 11am and 2.30pm.
There will be a local, free range pig roast from 12 Green Acres and ‘Roman' foods to buy and take away from Wyndhams of Poundbury
Bring an artefact
Finds identification 'surgeries' with the Portable Antiquities Scheme's Finds Liaison Officer. Have you found something interesting in your garden, a field or a hole in the road? Bring it along for identification
at 10.30am and 2pm
Throughout the day musicians from Praecones Britanniae will be playing Roman music.
At Dorset County Museum, High West Street
Opening hours: 10.00am - 5.00pm
10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm
Drop-in workshops for children including weaving and making Roman bullas or lucky charms
It's often said that the decision to screen a TV costume drama says more about the era in which it is being screened than the time in which it was set.
The BBC's classic Pride and Prejudice went out at a time of national prosperity, rising house prices and the birth of chick-lit. Last autumn's bonnet-fest, Cranford, coincided with the collapse of a bank and rumblings about the economy, but its relatively upbeat message of overcoming adversity and bettering yourself triumphed in the end.
Saturday, 23 August 2008
A late surge in summer tourism is expected to hit West Dorset next month when a major Thomas Hardy novel is screened on BBC One.
A four-part adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, one of Hardy's most famous novels, will be shown from 9pm on September 14.
It has been penned by David Nicholls, whose past credits include hit TV series Cold Feet and a BBC adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo saturday 23rd August 2008
Dr Richard Harrington, who is a scientist and vice-president of the Royal Entomological Society, bought the tiny fossil from a man in Lithuania for £20 using the online auction site.READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo saturday 23rd August 2008
Friday, 22 August 2008
A big cat expert has dedicated a new book to thousands of mystery sightings around Dorset.
Author Merrily Harpur, of Cattistock, said that the county is a 'hotspot' for sightings of the beasts.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
The book launch and signing of "Westham Over the Bridge of Time", a short history of Westham, Weymouth, will take place at The Rock, Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth on Wednesday 27th August from 7pm-8pm.
N.B. In April, Westham celebrated its 125th Anniversary - see previous blog entry "westham-125-years-celebrations"
One of the surprises of the new £4 million BBC film of Tess of the D'Urbervilles is that there are no fake beards. This is unusual because Victorian England, when Thomas Hardy wrote his tragic tale of 'a pure woman', was a very whiskery period, and you would have thought that in any adaptation fake beards would have been in abundance. We are on the Dorset coast to shoot the opening scene: the spring parade, when Angel Clare (played by Eddie Redmayne), the son of a parson, meets Tess Durbeyfield (Gemma Arterton), a local girl with peony lips.READ MORE - Source: Telegraph - Thursday 21st August 2008
But down at Bournemouth's Russell-Cotes Museum on Fridays they are packing them in with Punch and Judy who, contrary to a recent survey which claimed the traditional entertainment is dying out, are alive and well and whacking seven politically incorrect bells out of each other.READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 21st August 2008
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Then again, maybe it's an outsize lynx, a very big badger, or a supernatural sighting?
The theories are almost as numerous as the sightings and a compelling new book manages to round up some enticing explanations, as well as providing a gazetteer of sightings and encounters with Anomalous Big Cats (ABCs) over the past decade or so.
Roaring Dorset! (Roving Press, £4.99) is published on September 1 with a public launch at the Dorset County Show the following Saturday where author and big cat enthusiast Merrily Harpur, from Cattistock, will be signing copies.READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 20th August 2008
Monday, 18 August 2008
A nature reserve is hunting a cowboy or cowgirl to help conserve rare heathland and revive the cow-herding tradition in the UK.
Grazing cows will help protect Studland Heath in Dorset by stopping it from becoming overgrown with trees such as birch, willow and pine.
READ MORE - Source: The Daily Mail, Monday 18th August 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
A low tide walk is to be held at Ferrybridge, Weymouth, on Tuesday.
It will go around the shore of the Fleet looking at the underwater life exposed at low tide such as sea anemones, sea squirts, crabs and many other creatures.
The walk costs £2.50 for adults, £1.50 for children and those interested should meet at the Chesil Beach Centre between Portland and Weymouth at 2.30pm.
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Dorset Countryside Volunteers is calling for help to spruce up the landmark by removing plants and debris from its outline and adding new chalk.
A spokesman for the group said 12 members of French conservation group Association Orchis will be among those helping.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Taxi drivers in Dorchester have been brushing up on their history to impress the tourists.
Five drivers have completed the Welcome Host courses as part of an initiative by West Dorset District Council and the Dorchester and District Chamber of Commerce.
Roy Christopher, who is chairman of the West Dorset Hackney Drivers' Association, said: "I have learned more about the history of the town attending these sessions than in 40 years of living here.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
The programme of events is organised by East Dorset Heritage Trust on behalf of the Dorset Architectural Heritage Week Association. This group comprises the local authority conservation officers from all nine local authorities in Dorset.
More information about the 2008 Dorset Architectural Heritage Week. click here for their website.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Voting has now started and details of the four contenders can be found at the Flag Institute website
Alternatively you can email your choice of A, B, C or D along with your name, address, and telephone number to email@example.com.
Forms for voting can be found in Dorset libraries, along with drop boxes if you prefer this method. Or you can print a voting form, from a downloadable pdf by clicking here.
Voting closes on Friday 12th September 2008. You must live in Dorset to vote. All votes will be entered into a prize draw for a Dorset hamper.
Flag for Dorset: The Dorset Cross contender
Monday, 11 August 2008
A cannon roared as crowds gathered to watch the annual Victorian Military Festival at Weymouth's Nothe Fort.
The all-day event included appearances by the Nothe Fort Artillery Volunteers and the Fort Cumberland Guard.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
One of the highlights will be the CFZ's three-week expedition to the Caucasus Mountains in Russia to hunt the Almasty, a huge, hairy wildman said to inhabit parts of Russia and the former USSR. Cryptozoologist and Zoological Directorof the CFZ, Richard Freeman and his team will be revealing their findings at the Weird Weekend.
Richard Freeman said “We found hair, dung and skull shards that may be from an almasty. These are going to be analysed by geneticists in order to establish if the DNA points to an unknown species”.
Freeman, who nearly died no less than four times on the mountain adventure, says he and his colleague, the explorer Adam Davis, may have come within 12ft of an almasty whilst staking out an abandoned farm at 2.30 in the morning.
“We were in a room in the farmhouse with a door facing out on to the veranda. The 7ft high door was open a couple of inches and starlight was flooding through. We heard a deep, guttural vocalisation. A few seconds later something passed by the door blocking out the starlight to a height of at least 7ft. We grabbed our cameras and rushed out into the night, but whatever it was had vanished.”
Among the other firsts at the conference will be a new book launched by world renowned zoologist Dr Karl Shuker. Dr Shuker’s Casebook examines a whole menagerie of bizarre and mysterious beasts from all over the planet.
The latest lineup is:
7.00 p.m Cocktail party at the CFZ, Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR
Noon - 5.00 p.m Open Day at the CFZ, Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR
Community Centre, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon, Doors open at 6.00
7.00 - 7.15 Introduction
7.15 - 8.00 MATTHEW WILLIAMS: Crop Circles ***
8.30 - 9.00 RONAN COGHLAN: The theology of extra-terrestrials
9.00 - 9.30 BREAK
-----the scary zone ----- 9.30 - 10.15 MIKE HALLOWELL AND DARREN RITSON: The Tyneside poltergeist 10.15 - 11.00 LEE WALKER: New Ferry after dark (Parents please note that these two talks may be moderately frightening, and should be attended by children under 11 only at their parent's discretion)
Community Centre, doors open at 10.00
11.00 - 11.15 JON DOWNES + RICHARD FREEMAN: An introduction to cryptozoology ***
(ALL AFTERNOON JOANNE CURTIS: monster making for kids)
11.15 - 12.15 NICK REDFERN: Planet of the ape men
(NICK REDFERN: UFOs for kids)
12.15 - 1.15 Dr MIKE DASH: In Search of Dr MacRae (Loch Ness)
1.15 - 1.45 BREAK
1.45 - 2.45 MATT SALUSBURY: Water elephants of the Congo
(PAUL VELLA: Bigfoot for kids)
2.45 - 3.15 BREAK (KIDS: Mad Hatter's Tea Party)
3.15 - 3.30 QUIZ
3.30 - 4.30 TIM MATTHEWS: Weird stuff happens - my part in UFOlogy's downfall
4.30 - 5.00 PAUL "Mr Biffo" ROSE: A year in cryptozoology ***
5.00 - 5.30 Break
5.30 - 6.00 BOOK LAUNCH: `Dr Shuker's Casebook` by Dr. Karl Shuker
6.00 - 7.30 RICHARD FREEMAN ET AL: Russia 2008 Expedition report
7.30 - 8.00 Break
8.00 - 8.10 GRAHAM INGLIS: CFZ Museum - annual report
8.10 - 8.20 PAUL VELLA - the last 12 months in BHM
8.20 - 8.30 OLL LEWIS: The last 12 months of lake and sea monster reports
8.30 - 8.45 CHRIS MOISER: Confessions of a fortean zookeeper
8.45 - 9.00 CFZ AWARDS
9.00 - 9.30 BREAK
9.30 - 11.00 RICHARD FREEMAN ET AL: Guyana 2007 Expedition report
COMMUNITY CENTRE doors open 10.00
11.15 - 12.00 MICHAEL WOODLEY: In the wake of Bernard Heuvelmans
12.00 - 1.00 Dr GAIL-NINA ANDERSON: Fairies in art ***
1.00 - 1.30 BREAK
1.30 - 2.30 MIKE HALLOWELL: invizikids ***
(KIDS: Monsters are real - Jon Downes/Richard Freeman 30 mins)
(ALL AFTERNOON JOANNE CURTIS: monster making for kids)
2.30 - 3.00 BREAK (KIDS: Treasure Hunt)
3.00 - 4.00 GEOFF WARD: Spirals - the Pattern of Existence
(OLL LEWIS: Lake Monsters for kids)
4.00 - 4.30 BREAK
4.30 - 5.15 RONAN COGHLAN: Irish UFO case ***
5.15 - 5.45 JONATHAN DOWNES: Keynote Speech and Closing Remarks.
Events specifically for kids are in red. Whilst all the lectures (except for the two talks in the `scary zone` on Friday night) are perfectly suitable for children, some may be of more interest to young minds than others. The talks marked with *** are those that we especially recommend for children under the age of 12, although - of course - they are welcome at any that they care to attend...
Wildlife Photography by Jon McGowan
Exhibition: Pictures of Monsters by the children of Woolsery
Exhibition: Nature art by Rebecca McGown-Griffin
Exhibition: Wildlife photography by Benjiman Leese
Exhibition: Metamorphosis - exotic insects
EVENING: Dinner at The Farmer's Arms, Woolsery
To ensure that you manage to reserve tickets, why not by them online today at www.weirdweekend.org
Check it out at http://aforteancalendar.blogspot.com
For centuries the word of God had been preached unhindered from the pulpit in the Church of All Saints – then along came the health and safety jobsworths.
Now the church has been forced to draw up guidelines after being warned by council officials that the pulpit is ‘dangerous’ and that preachers might be injured while climbing its seven spiral stone steps.READ MORE - Source: The Daily Mail 10th August 2008
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Plans are under way to re-chalk the 180-foot high giant with the help of volunteers in September.
National Trust regional communications manager Katharine Davies said: "He will be returned to his former glory.
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 9th August 2008
Extract taken from 'Dark Dorset Tales of Mystery, Wonder and Terror' by Robert J. Newland and Mark J. North.
Friday, 8 August 2008
Dorset author Judith Stinton has paid tribute to Mr Punch and his wife Judy's reign on Weymouth beach in the newly-published 'Weymouth and Mr Punch'.
Monday, 4 August 2008
READ MORE - Source: British Satellite News Monday 4th August 2008
An Astronomer from Weymouth has scooped picture of the month in the BBC magazine Sky at Night.
Rob Hodgkinson gained the accolade in the world's first astronomy magazine with his shot of the galaxy NGC 4565, also known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile.
Nature lovers are being urged to join in a hunt for orchids in Purbeck.
The search for the Autumn Lady's Tresses orchid is taking place on the Ridgeway and Knowle Hills, Purbeck Ridge, on August 30. Anyone with a botanical interest or who enjoys countryside walks can join in the hunt from 2pm to 5pm.READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday, 4th August 2008
A Weymouth marine expert can't wait for an invasion of jellyfishes expected to hit Dorset's coast.
Marine biology graduate Ruth Dawson, from Weymouth Sea Life Park, is hoping for help from fishermen to collect samples of the marine creatures.
Blooms of compass, moon and blue jellyfish have been spotted off the south coast and could be headed for the Dorset coastline.
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Producer Ray Stokes said he had secured commitment from an impressive cast and was in talks with the Lulworth Estate about location fees.
He claimed that stars of the film could include Roger Daltrey of the rock band The Who, Harry Potter's Tom Felton, who played baddy Draco Malfoy, and Oscar-winning character actor Martin Landau of Space 1999 and The X-Files.READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 2nd August 2008
Friday, 1 August 2008
Weymouth's Nothe Fort has been shortlisted for a major architectural award.
The fortress, which was reopened following a £2.4 million refurbishment last year, has been recognised in the Royal Institute of British Architects 2008 regional awards. The winner will be announced on September 25.