An unusual effect around the sun captured the attention of photographer Tim Alford yesterday.
Several other people contacted the Echo reporting a rainbow-like halo around the sun.
An unusual effect around the sun captured the attention of photographer Tim Alford yesterday.
Several other people contacted the Echo reporting a rainbow-like halo around the sun.
A historic Weymouth attraction will be the setting for the country’s first Victorian Military Tattoo in aid of wounded personnel fighting current battles.
Re-enactment groups from across the country will descend on the Nothe Fort for the ‘living history’ extravaganza in September, which will include parades, bands, cavalry, and rifle and artillery firing displays.
Ellie Rai Cleaver-Coles, nine, of North Square, will appear on Living TV’s chilling reality show Living with the Dead.
The Chickerell Primary School pupil plays a child ghost who supposedly haunts The Manor House at Langton Herring in Weymouth.
Although the country’s national day is today events will be held throughout the week.
On the day itself, Bridport Arts Centre is holding a dance at 7.30pm with music from the Rex Trevett Big Band, raising funds for the band’s memorial fund and the centre.
Professional dancer Glenn Bayliss and partner will give a ballroom dancing display. Dress to impress with a red and white theme.
Thursday is also a big day for Wellworths manager Claire Robertson, who will find out if she has been chosen as the ultimate champion of England after taking over the former Woolworths store in Dorchester.
Wellworths will be stocking some St George’s Day products and the store will be patriotically decorated.
Also getting into the spirit will be Dorset County Council, which will fly the English flag on its Dorchester building.
The 51st annual fair at St George’s Church, Fordington, will take place on Saturday from 1.30pm to 4pm in the church grounds and the church itself.
Activities will include skittles and a bouncy castle, displays will come from Crystal Cheerleaders, a taekwondo group, and the Durnovaria Band, plus competitions in skills such as photography and cake-making, and much more.
On Sunday, the Dorchester and District Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will assemble at Charles Street car park to be inspected by town mayor Kate Hebditch.
This is followed by the parade, led by Dorchester Carnival Band, to the United Church for a service at 3pm. Some events have already taken place around the borough – at Dorset County Museum on Saturday, youngsters made models of St George and the dragon.
And just for the adults, Portland Red Triangle Cricket Club hosted a three-day beer festival over the weekend.
They grumble the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day with time off and enough Guinness to drown a whale, while most Englishmen don’t even know when our dragon-slaying patron saint is celebrated. (Today, since you ask...) This England magazine reckons seven out of 10 youths haven’t a clue when St George’s Day is, while 40 per cent don’t know why he is the patron saint.
However, Dorset will lead the way in celebrating St George’s Day, with plenty planned today and over the weekend.
In Wimborne residents will celebrate by flying flags from the town’s buildings, including the famed Saxon church of St Cuthburga. Mayor Robin Cook will don his robes and lead a procession around the town with the Wimborne militia.
They will be selling roses on their way, with proceeds going to charity. “Then in the evening there will be a St George’s Day concert with the Bournemouth Male Voice Choir in the Minster,” says Chris Brown, Wimborne’s town crier. “It’s very important to celebrate St George’s Day, it should be a good day.”
Celebrations will also be taking place in Christchurch from 2pm when mayor David Flagg will make a toast from the town parlour before helping councillors hand out English beer and apple juice to passers by.
The celebrations won’t end today either, because on Saturday the quintessentially English village of Child Okeford near Blandford will be holding a street party to mark St George’s Day.
Mummers and morris dancers will be among those accompanying a model dragon in a procession down the High Street, before slaying it in front of stall holders in a nod to St George. The festivities will take place from 1.45pm.
Bournemouth Scouts will be holding their annual St George’s Day parade through the town. The mayor, Stephen Chappell, will be on a podium at the Pavillion from 2.30pm, taking the salute from the 1,000-strong procession as they pass, before heading to a church service at Richmond Hill United Reforned Church at 3.15pm.
Are you prepared to get up early on Friday, May 1?
If so you could be in for a once-a-year treat!
At 5:15am the Wessex Morris Men will be Morris-Dancing on top of the Cerne Giant.
The performance will last approximately 30 minutes and it will be followed by a procession, starting from the Village Hall and ending at the village square in front of The Royal Oak.
There will be another half hour performance then after which the Wessex Morris Men are going to proceed to The New Inn for a well-deserved, hearty breakfast – you might want to join them!
The singing and playing is bound to continue there – a proper Mayday celebration.
The “Dorset Ooser” will also be in attendance.
It will of course be a replica, the original stemming from Melbury St. Osmonds when it was used for scaring naughty children and irritant wife's – plenty of those around I hear you say!
If you would like another further information on the event or the Wessex Morris Men themselves please visit there website at www.wessexmorrismen.co.uk
The Wessex Morris Men have been in existence for over 50 years and their core is about 20 men strong.
They used to practice in Cerne Village Hall before it was refurbished but were then quite happy to stay in the alternative premises they had to find.
So make a date in your diaries now and don’t forget to set the alarm clock!
Archivists are seeking information on the most venerable families in Bournemouth for an “online museum”.
Michael Stead especially wants to find a “gold standard” family for the Streets of Bournemouth project.
An-award-winning Dorchester museum’s new director hopes to develop parts of its High West Street site to make more of the collections open to the public.
Jon Murden said future projects might include developing areas of Dorset County Museum currently used for storage.
He said: “Looking forward, we have a decent-sized estate here, larger than people might expect. We’ve got room to grow.
Jeremy talks on Saturday 18th April as part of the BARK! festival of trees and woods. Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets from Shaftesbury Arts Centre or Shaftesbury TIC www.goldhilltickets,co.uk www.barkfestival.co.uk
A message for future generations
Trees live on when people have died, green witnesses to the days that are past. Throughout Dorset, people have handed down traditional stories in which trees serve as memorials to the dead – sometimes, indeed, their only memorial. The gaunt sycamore that stands by the road at Mapperton is the sole monument to a village which died in the great plague. In early days, though Mapperton was a flourishing village, it had no church, and mourners used to bury their dead at Netherbury, carrying the coffin on its last sad procession over the hills. But the plague came, and when its few survivors began their journey to the graveyard, they found that the way was blocked by the men of Netherbury, who had swarmed up the hill, cudgels in hand, to keep the infected burials from bringing death into their village. So the dead were buried where they stood instead, and the old tree marks the spot. It is called the Posy Tree, after the plague-defying posies of sweet flowers that the last survivors carried with them.
Sometimes a tree might carry a message for future generations. An oak in a field at Morden is deeply scratched with the letters SC and the outline of a coffin, and it is called the Bull Oak. If you ask why, they will tell you that Samuel Crumpler owned that field 200 years ago, and used to pasture his bull there. This was not well received by the villagers, as a footpath ran through it, but every time they complained, Samuel would retort that his bull was gentle as a lamb and that nothing but prejudice and awkwardness prevented them from using the path across the field. Finally he walked across the field to prove that they were wrong. The bull was not as lamb-like as had been claimed, and once Samuel's body was rescued for burial, his initials were engraved on the oak under which he had been gored, to warn passers-by of the dangers that attend rash confidence.
There is another Coffin Tree that records a life cut short, but this one was not ended by accident. The name of Maiden's Grave Gate nearby on the Purbeck hills confirms the old story, of a girl crossed in love who desperately took her own life, and who was laid to rest at this windswept spot with all the cruel rites which used to attend the burial of a suicide. Her body was placed in a grave hacked out where two tracks crossed at the furthest bounds of the parish, and a length of wood battered through the chest before the earth was piled back over her silent form. Suicide always aroused a mixture of horror and pity in the people of days gone by.
At Okeford Fitzpaine the tree on which a man hanged himself was marked by a cross, and beside it can be seen his staff, which took root and became a smaller tree.
One tree in the driveway to Eastbury House, to the north of Blandford, was long pointed out – the tree on which the faithless steward Doggett hanged himself. He had embezzled the funds entrusted to him to build the house, which would have been the greatest in Dorset if he had kept loyal to his master. Doggett was a gentleman so they buried him in the church, suicide or not, but the solemnities of the funeral gave him no rest, and he used to come back at nights and prey on the people amongst whom he had once lived.
Strange stories are told about old trees. One night the squire of Ashmore dreamed a terrible dream, and he knew it was true since it came to him three times. He dreamt that there was someone in trouble down where the ash tree leaned over Washer's Pit. He woke the household, and asked who would be brave enough to go and see if his dream was true, but no-one stepped forward, because the Pit had a bad name and was next to an old mound where things had been heard making queer noises at nights. At last the household cook said that she would go. She rode out on the squire's best horse and found a lady, dressed all in white, hanging by her hair from the branches of the tree. The cook released the lady, and not before time, for there were men coming to take her away. The two women clutched onto the horse and spurred it onwards until it had raced away from all possibility of pursuit, and came safe back to the manor house. So this tree was long remembered, not as a scene of death, but of deliverance.
Together they have decades of experience performing live and as a duo have entertained audiences in pubs, clubs and at music festivals from Dorset to Kent.
Tomorrow they will be playing at Dorchester's Tom Brown's at 9:00pm
The museum opened its doors on Monday for the first time since scrapping admission fees.
Beneath its legendary bucolic glory lies a history as angry and bloody as any inner city.
The leafy lanes and sleepy market towns and villages are the scenes of many a capital crime and 22 of these gruesome, sad and untimely deaths have been catalogued in Dorset Murders, a fascinating, if bleak, examination of largely forgotten wrong-doing.
The author is Cornwall-based forensic psychologist and lecturer Nicola Sly, who has written several other books detailing notorious murders in other counties and cities.
She spent months trawling through newspaper archives and libraries to put the book together.
“I started by typing ‘Dorset murders’ into the search engine of my computer to see what came up,” she explained. “I would then choose which ones I wanted to look into in greater depth and then follow them up in libraries and archive centres. It raised a few eyebrows I can tell you!
“I made sure I didn’t read anything else about the cases before I started doing my own research because I felt that if I did, the stories wouldn’t necessarily be my own but would be coloured by what I had read. I wanted the tales to come from my perspective.”
Nicola was also choosy about which cases she picked to write about, making sure that every one came to a neat conclusion.
She explained: “I worked by finding the relevant newspaper with the story of an arrest or appearance in a magistrate’s court and went on from there. It was quite frustrating at times because I would start on one case and get to the court only for it to vanish from the newspaper pages.
“There was one story about the murder of a child that I was doing for a book on Cornwall, and it got lost in the fuss over finding someone’s lost racing pigeon. It seemed bizarre – a child had been killed but the lost pigeon got more space.
“So there were several frustrating false leads, but I left those and concentrated on the ones that had a definite outcome.”
The stories date from 1818 until 1946 and cover all parts of the county. Many of them are crimes of deception and passion, sparked by lust, jealousy, unwanted pregnancy and greed.
Other tales are more desperate, recounting domestic abuse and the sad plight of honest families brought low by ill health and unemployment.
Nicola said: “The Dorset murder that stood out for me is the Robert Wright one, where he killed his wife and two little daughters. I am not usually affected by what I am reading or writing about, but that one really tugged at my heartstrings.
“Dorset is a gorgeous county and the thought that anything gruesome could happen there almost doesn’t ring true because it is so peaceful. But it is the same as anywhere and murders do happen.”
Perhaps more than anything else, the aspect of Dorset Murders that brings you up short is the fact that the terrible deeds catalogued by Nicola take place in what we think of as an era that is more gentle and innocent than ours today.
In the tale that so touched Nicola’s heart, Robert Wright, an honourable man fallen on hard times, killed his wife and daughters and then himself, rather than see them all live in penury.
Another sorry saga is that of Martha Brown of Birdsmoorgate, who killed her violent and adulterous husband John.
She was taken to trial, condemned and hanged, with between 3,000 and 4,000 onlookers gathering for her execution.
Her tale and the manner of her death is thought to have inspired a young Thomas Hardy – who was in the crowd of grim voyeurs at Martha’s death – to write Tess Of The D’Urbervilles.
Another charts the demise of the world-renowned architect Francis Rattenbury, who was done to death by his wife’s young lover, while ‘captain’ Frank Burdett turned his gun on himself after shooting his parents-in-law because they refused to give him money.
It is all too easy to forget that man’s nature has tended towards the murderous all through history.
We tend to look to the past through nostalgic spectacles, enjoying the cheery, rosy-cheeked portrayals such as Lark Rise To Candleford, while ignoring the poverty and hardship leading to brutality and murder.
Nicola said: “We think of them as innocent times and peaceful, but in fact, there are not many more murders today than there were then.
“And when people were found guilty and executed, sometimes crowds as big as 10,000 came to watch them hang. It’s incredible when you think about it – it’s like going to a football match today.”Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 8th April 2009, Reporter Ruth Meech
The colourful star, most famous for the ubiquitous festive hit Merry Xmas Everybody, said he saw a circular flying saucer, emitting beams of light, flying over the sea while staying in the town.
Martin Foley got the shock of his life while fishing around five miles east of Portland as he pulled up his nets to find a three-foot long crawfish weighing in at 12 pounds.
Experts from Weymouth Sea Life Park said that the crawfish is though to be around 50 years old and is a rare find for the area.
I am currently writing a book about dreams, and I''m looking for accounts of people who have had dreams to include in it. I can't afford to pay those who submit their accounts to me, but at least they'll have the opportunity to see them immortalised in print once the book is published.You can contact Mike about your experiences via his website at www.mikehallowell.com
The dreams do not have to be startling or unusual, although if they are it helps. I'd be particularly interested to hear of precognitive dreams, although its not necessary. All I'm looking for is dream accounts, basically, whether they are long or short, spiritual or not, interesting or even mundane. Just send me your dreams!
Please include any relevant details, such as your name (although you can be given a pseudonym if you wish), the date you had the dream if you can remember it, place names, times, etc. and any useful details about yourself, such as what you do for a living, your age, ethnic background,or whatever. Remember; the more detail you give me about your dream, the better the account will read!
After I receive the submissions I'll write them up and send them back to the dreamer for approval.
I'd also appreciate any photographs of the dreamer, or places related to their dreams. The copyright of the photos must belong to the correspondent, or at least I'll need permission from the copyright-holder to use the images. Photos aren't necessary. however, so if you don't have any, don't worry about it.
Please feel free to pass on this request to anyone you feel may be interested in contributing something to my book.
Yours sincerely (and sweet dreams!)