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, 30 April 2009

Sun Halo captured local photographer

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.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 30th April 2009

Weymouth's Nothe Fort takes centre stage for Victorian Military Tattoo

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.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 30th April 2009

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Chickerell girl's ghostly role in Living TV's 'Living with the Dead'

Bedtime will be late on Tuesday for one Chickerell schoolgirl who will be allowed to stay up to watch her television debut.

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.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 25th April 2009

Friday, 24 April 2009

OBITUARY - John Michell (1933 - 2009)

We have been informed that author John Michell, passed away this morning at 12:30am from cancer. Michell died at Poole, Dorset, 24th April, 2009.

Michell was best known for his books on earth mysteries, metrology, ley lines, sacred geometry, sacred sites, geomancy, gematria, archaeoastronomy, and Fortean phenomena, and also published writings on Plato, euphonics, simulacra, the lives and works of eccentrics such as Comyns Beaumont, Julius Evola, eccentric behaviour such as trepanning, and the Shakespeare authorship question. The latest issue of Fortean Times issue 249 gives a retrospective of his works and writings.

I was fortunate to meet John in March 2006 at the Big Cat Conference held at The Sun Inn Hotel, Marston Trussell, Northamptonshire, organised by Heart of Albion Books to launch Merrily Harpur's 'Mystery Big Cats'.

(Below: John Michell discussing the philosophy of Charles Fort at the "1998 FortFest")

Michell was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. He then worked for a while as an estate agent in London,before seeing his first book published in 1967. His writings influenced the development of the counter-culture. Gary Lachman states that Michell's book View Over Atlantis (1969) "put Glastonbury on the countercultural map" and Ronald Hutton describes it as "almost the founding document of the modern earth mysteries movement".By the late 1960s Michell was closely associated with members of the Rolling Stones. At this time Michell took the view that "an imminent revelation of literally inconceivable scope" was at hand, and that the appearance of UFOs was linked to "the start of a new phase in our history".

In the 1980s, Michell was a member of the Lindisfarne Association and a teacher at its School of Sacred Architecture. He lectured at the Kairos Foundation, an "educational charity specifically founded to promote the recovery of traditional values in the Arts and Sciences",and also lectured at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts.

Source: www.johnmichell.com

Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A very English patron saint

England's patron saint will be celebrated around the county this week as we mark St George’s Day.

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.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 23rd April 2009

Celebrating St George's Day in Dorset

For years patriotic Englishmen have been campaigning for us to make more of St George’s Day.

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.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 23rd April 2009

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Spirit of Place: The South Dorset Ridgeway - An exhibition at the Dorset County Museum

Between the 24th April to 2nd May 2009, the Dorset County Museum will be hosting the Spirit of Place: The South Dorset Ridgeway. An Exhibition exploring the artists's relationship to the landscape, archaeology and natural environment of the South Dorset Ridgeway.

(Right Picture: Evening Glow by Justin Cooke)

Artists exhibiting are John Walker, Liz Somerville, Justin Cooke, Caroline Ireland, Mike Bowman, Yvonne Lee, Jane Burden, Virginia Evans, Jan Walker and Amanda Wallwork

Free entry to the Exhibition

More details visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

Round-a-bout the Ridge - New circular walks discovering the secrets of the South Dorset Ridgeway

This month saw the launch of four circular walks around the South Dorset Ridgeway. The walks take in the marvellous archaeology and natural scenery that makes this part of South Dorset a very special place to explore.

The walks have been developed as part of the Project and make use of the rights of way network. They start and finish in one of the Ridgeway villages where there are public transport links and opportunities for a welcome rest stop. Designer & illustrator Yvonne Lee has created a series of beautifully illustrated guides to each walk.

The shortest walk at 3 miles is Maiden Castle and Clandon Barrow. It starts at Martinstown’s village church and follows a route through farmland to Maiden Castle with views to the Ridgeway. Also starting in Martinstown, is Barrow Circle a more strenuous 5½ mile walk. Stones and Circle is the longest walk in the series and takes stone as its theme. Starting in Portesham, the 7½ mile route passes the old Rocket Quarry before joining the South West Coast Path National Trail below Hardy’s Monument and climbing to spectacular views of the coastline. Broadmayne is the starting point for the 6½ mile walk with a connection to Thomas Hardy. The route then follows Hardy's High Road to the village of Poxwell. Hardy knew the area well and featured this enigmatic landscape in several of his stories.

The packs can be picked up at Tourist Information Centres or downloaded from www.dorsetaonb.org.uk

The Inland Coast Path is re-named the South Dorset Ridgeway.

The Inland Coast Path is 16¼ mile trail between West Bexington and Osmington Mills. It is part of the South West Coast Path National Trail and most of the route follows the South Dorset Ridgeway with dramatic views across coast and countryside.

The route remains part of the family of National Trails that are waymarked with
the acorn symbol. For the time being users will find the trail signed as both the South Dorset Ridgeway and the Inland Coast Path. For more information see the South West Coast Path website at www.southwestcoastpath.com

Source: Dorset AONB

Dorchester Youth Theatre performing 'Dark Dorset' at the Rivermeet Arts and Heritage Festival

Rivermeet Arts and Heritage Festival promises to be a day of folly and imagination where Giants will roam Christchurch and myths are bought to life. Follow the crocodile footsteps to jump into our fantastical past... Through the Paradise Gardens, past the looming Castle, around to the Norman House with a stage in for the very first time, hosting incredible musicians and performers including the fantastic Dorchester Youth Theatre who will be performing 'Dark Dorset' (Performed earlier this year see previous blog entry Spooky tales of Dorset); then along the Mill Stream where you’ll pass sights of wonderment and down to the Quomps for revelry around the Bandstand!

Music, theatre, dance and nonsense are the order of the day. Find award winning musicians including BBC Radio 2’s Folk Singer of the Year Chris Wood at the Norman House and puppet shows by the Mausoleum. Help create a new play with Treehouse theatre in the gardens and follow a real life Giant down the river. Race Crocodiles in the stream then jig the night away on the quay.

Riversmeet Arts and Heritage Festival is being organised by New Art Spaces in partnership with The Arts Institute at Bournemouth, The Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, The Red House Museum and Christchurch Borough Council. New Arts Spaces is Julie Higgins, Stephanie Carswell and Miles Berry, all students on Arts and Event Management at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth.

Leading up to and alongside the festival, with the support of Heritage Lottery Fund and the Red House Museum, is the new oral history project. River Meet have been meeting up with locals and letting them share their memories of Christchurch for all to hear. These vivid memories of circuses and escaped crocodiles, can-can dancers and the sea have helped build the programme for the festival. On the day you’ll find stories of local myths and legends; hear songs of the sea and smuggling and see local folklore bough to life.

Local schools and youth groups have been working with educational leaders to bring the memories to the festival. Come and see Mudeford Infant’s dance based on the escaped crocodile; find circuses on the Quomps again; cower at tales of women buried alive; marvel at the can-can girls and make a crocodile to join in the race on the stream!

For more details and events programme visit the festival website at www.riversmeetarts.co.uk

An evening of traditional English Folk Music for St George's Day

Folk duo. James Findlay & Jerry Bird ('FINGERZ 'n' FRETZ') will be appearing at Dorchester's Tom Brown's tomorrow for a special St. George's Day gig starting at 9:00pm.

James Findlay is a locally based traditional singer, fiddler and guitarist. He started playing the fiddle at about eight years old while living in Dorset, and guitar at the age of fifteen. Coming from a musical family, he is influenced by all genres of music. However, his love lies in traditional English folk music and ballads, his presentation and style of playing being inspired by Nic Jones, and singers such as The Watersons. James was a winner in the 2008 New Roots competition, judged by among others, Eliza Carthy and Pete Coe.

Instrumentalist Jerry Bird has played fiddle, guitar and mandolin in various folk and folk-rock bands for more years than he cares to remember. Born in Bath, he has recently returned to the west-country after many years living in Sussex, and he now lives in Dorchester. He has a great love of folk and early music, and a vast repertoire of traditional tunes which he enjoys interpreting in new ways especially on the guitar.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

May Day Mayhem at Cerne Abbas

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!

Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 21st April 2009

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Quest to find Bournemouth family with deepest roots

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.

Read More: Source, Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 15th April 2009

Dorset County Museum looking to expansion

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.

Read More: Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 15th April 2009

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Railway Walks: Ep. 5 - Harbouring History on BBC IPlayer

Shown on BBC Two, 8:00pm Monday 6th April 2009 - Julia Bradbury has her backpack on again and is out exploring the great outdoors. But in this series, all of Julia's walks follow the old tracks, the overgrown cuttings and the ancient viaducts of Britain's lost rail empire.
Railway Walks visits disused lines across England, Scotland and Wales. Through stunning landscapes and urban backstreets, each contrasting walk has a unique story to tell, offering Julia a window into industrial Britain and how the rise and fall of the railways has altered lives and localities across the country.

The backstreets of Weymouth seem an unlikely spot to explore railway history, but Julia discovers there was once a short railway that ran south from Weymouth and across the unique coastal features of Chesil Beach and Portland. The walk is the ideal platform for learning about the history of Portland Harbour and the tied isle's most famous export, Portland stone.

If you missed it, here is a chance to see it again on BBC IPLAYER

Friday, 10 April 2009

BARK! Legends of Old Dorset Trees

Jeremy Harte is a highly respected folklorist, writer and story-teller, and curator of Bourne Hall Museum in Ewell in Surrey. He is the author of a fascinating book about the folklore of ancient places in Dorset called "Cuckoo Pounds and Singing Barrows" (Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society,1986). Since then he has continued to explore and write about the overlap between folklore and archaeology.

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.

Cruel rites

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.

Source: Western Gazette Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Babylon Morris dancing at Lyme Regis on Easter Bank Holiday Monday

Babylon Morris dance team will be performing at Lyme Regis on the Easter Bank Holiday Monday (13th April) at around 11.00am around the Cob and the promenade.

Below: Babylon Morris performing on New Years Day 2008 at Beaminster.

Folk duo the '5th Quarter' at Tom Browns, Dorchester - Good Friday 10th April

5th Quarter was formed when singer-songwriter Clive Whitburn got together with multi-instrumentalist Jerry Bird in 2005.

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

Folk Music and Book Signing at Boscastle

Folk duo. James Findlay & Jerry Bird ('FINGERZ 'n' FRETZ') will be appearing at The Wellington Hotel, Boscastle, Cornwall on Easter Saturday 11th April at 9.00pm

James Findlay is a locally based traditional singer, fiddler and guitarist. He started playing the fiddle at about eight years old while living in Dorset, and guitar at the age of fifteen. Coming from a musical family, he is influenced by all genres of music. However, his love lies in traditional English folk music and ballads, his presentation and style of playing being inspired by Nic Jones, and singers such as The Watersons. James was a winner in the 2008 New Roots competition, judged by among others, Eliza Carthy and Pete Coe.

Instrumentalist Jerry Bird has played fiddle, guitar and mandolin in various folk and folk-rock bands for more years than he cares to remember. Born in Bath, he has recently returned to the west-country after many years living in Sussex, and he now lives in Dorchester. He has a great love of folk and early music, and a vast repertoire of traditional tunes which he enjoys interpreting in new ways especially on the guitar.

Jerry will be also signing his new book Landscape of Memory: Living Folklore in England published by Green Magic Publications. See previous blog entry New Book! - Landscape of Memory: Living Folklore in England by Jerry Bird for more details)

New exhibits and free entry to Bridport Museum

A uniform worn by one of the town’s Suffragettes and starfish fossils found near Eype are among the new exhibits on show at Bridport Museum this season.

The museum opened its doors on Monday for the first time since scrapping admission fees.

READ MORE - Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Thursday 9th April 2009

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Dorset’s darkest secrets revealed

Don't be misled by Dorset’s rural beauty and sleepy reputation.

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.”

Dorset Murders by Nicola Sly costs £14.99, is printed by The History Press, and is available in local bookshops.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 8th April 2009, Reporter Ruth Meech

Friday, 3 April 2009

I saw a UFO over Bournemouth and I’m not crazee...

Don't accuse him of being all crazee now – but rocker Noddy Holder of Slade says he felt the noize when he had a close encounter with a UFO in Bournemouth.

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.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Friday 3rd April 2009

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Weymouth fisherman lands monster crawfish

A Weymouth fisherman who landed a monster catch decided to spare his conquest from the dinner plate.

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.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 2nd April 2009

Mike Hallowell request for dreams for new book

We recently had a request from Mike Hallowell. He is one of the UK’s most respected paranormal investigators and has accumulated over forty years of research in the field. He has written a number of books on the supernatural and penned over 1,000 articles, columns and features.

He writes:
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.

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!)

Mike Hallowell
You can contact Mike about your experiences via his website at www.mikehallowell.com
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