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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Friday, 27 November 2009

Events: The New Scorpion Band presents 'The Holly and The Ivy'

On Friday 4th December at 7.30 pm, Memorial Hall, Sturminster Marshall The much loved New Scorpion Band are presenting a brand new Christmas show, 'The Holly and The Ivy', which is a collection of traditional carols, midwinter songs, stories and music drawn from the traditional music of the British Isles. This programme follows the success of NSB's 'The Carnal and the Crane', often featured on previous Artsreach programmes.

Contact: Carol Johnson 01258 857814

An Artsreach Presentation www.artsreach.co.uk

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

News Clipping: Bumper book of Weymouth's past

An Intriguing A-Z of Weymouth’s history has been compiled by historian Maureen Attwooll.

The Second Bumper Book of Weymouth is a fascinating, alphabetical journey through the town’s history and geography, containing more than 1,000 entries and 150 illustrations.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 24th November 2009

Available at Amazon Second Bumper Book of Weymouth by Maureen Attwooll.

Monday, 23 November 2009

News Clipping: Martinstown's sympathy for Cockermouth

Villagers in Martinstown have told of the ‘great flood’ that struck 54 years ago as residents of Cumbria face a similar plight.

They sent their sympathies to people in Cockermouth reeling from a level of rainfall that is thought only to occur once in 1,000 years.

Nearby Seathwaite recorded 314mm (12.3 inches) of rainfall in 24 hours last week – the heaviest ever recorded in Britain.

Read More: Dorset Echo Monday 23rd November 2009

Friday, 20 November 2009

News Clipping: 'Unprecedented' torrential downpour in Cumbria breaks UK record for most rain in 24 hours

The unprecedented downpour over Cumbria was the highest level of rainfall measured in the country since records began, forecasters said today.

The record-breaking rainfall - reaching 314mm (12.4 inches) in 24 hours - is the highest level witnessed in 44 years.

The reading taken from the Environment Agency's gauging station at Seathwaite Farm exceeds the 279.4mm (11in) recorded in 24 hours in Martinstown, Dorset, in July 1955.

Read more: Daily Mail Friday 20th November 2009

News Clipping: Giant earthworks mystery at Cerne Abbas

Archaeologist Rob Wilson-North has dug up a new mystery surrounding the Cerne Abbas giant.

He has identified earthworks near the iconic figure suggestive of the monument’s best known attributes.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday Friday 20th November 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

News Clipping: Eerie howling... and a train ride to terror

If you're a lover of ghost stories, you’ll be familiar with a handful of tales concerning spooks and phantoms cropping up in Dorset. But if you thought you’d heard the whole story, think again.

When Roger Guttridge decided to write his 15th book on Dorset, he favoured the subject of the supernatural – but wanted to produce something that was “more than just another county ghost book”.

Read More: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 18th November 2009

Available at Amazon - Paranormal Dorset by Roger Guttridge

Here is a woman who lost her head, she's quiet now - because, d'ye see, she's dead! The Legend of St. Judith

Today is the feast day of St. Judith or in Anglo Saxon Juthwara, Juthware (pronounced Uth-are) . However her translation is generally held to be 13 July.

Saint Juthware was a Brythonic virgin and martyr from Dorset, who probably lived in the 6th century. Her relics were translated to Sherborne Abbey during the reign of Ethelred the Unready in the early 11th century and her shrine remained a place of pilgrimage there until the Dissolution.

Until recently, Halstock had an inn called, 'The Quiet Woman,' with a sign outside depicting a headless woman. Though no longer run as a pub, but is now as a guest house for visitors (www.qwhdorset.co.uk) the gruesome tale it commemorated still haunts the village to this day.

In the seventh century a baby girl called Juthware, was born in the village, but it was a difficult birth and her mother died leaving her to be brought up by Benna, the girl's father.

Benna looked after his daughter as best as he could, but what the girl needed was a mother, and in time he relinquished his loss by taking another wife. This second wife was a Welsh woman called Goneril who was also a widow and had by her former husband a son called Bana. All was well at first, but as the years passed Goneril began to despise her step daughter, for not only was she beautiful, but she was a devoted Christian, often fasting and doing penance for her sins.

Many pilgrims and wayfarers travelled the roads and would often seek shelter at Juthware's father's house. Benna was a good, but sick man and remembering the kindness of his first wife was always keen to show hospitality. And so while they ate Juthware would pass among them with drinking horns of wine and ale and listen to their wonderful stories of Our Lord's birth and life.

When Benna died Juthware followed her father's example of hospitality. This angered Goneril who could not stand her stepdaughter's good qualities any longer and so she contrived a plan to be rid of her.

Goneril's chance came one morning when Juthware came to her complaining of chest pains. She told Juthware to rub some cheese onto her chest and stomach first thing in the morning and last thing at night and the pains would go.

When Goneril saw Juthware doing this she went secretly into the wood and there slaughtered a lamb and left it for the wolves. The next morning she went to Bana and told him that Juthware had given birth to a child in the wood and had fed it to the wolves. However, Bana would not believe her, so she took him into the wood and showed him the remains of the bloodied carcass. But still Bana would not believe it, so she brought Juthware to the wood and ordered her to remove her vest. Bana examined the garment and found the stains of motherhood.

In a fit of rage he drew his sword and cut Juthware's head clean off. Goneril's face was triumphant, but as she revelled in her stepdaughter's death, to her horror Juthware's severed head called to her body. It jerked and slowly rising to its feet gathered the head and moved with measured mechanical steps down the hill and along the lane to the church and there placed her head on the altar before finally dying.

Soon after, Juthware became known as Saint Juthware and a shrine was dedicated to her at the place of her martyrdom.

But the gruesome tale doesn't end there, for at one o'clock in the morning on All Saints Day (1st November), Saint Juthware's ghost is said to return to repeat the incident. She is said to be seen carrying her head in the lane leading to Abbots Hill, alias Judith Hill.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Events: Tim Laycock presents 'Ha! Ha! Hardy'

On Saturday 14th November, Tim Laycock returns with his popular show of favourite readings and songs featuring the humorous side of Thomas Hardy's writing. Hardy's novels and poems contain some richly comic characters and situations, which Tim brings vividly to life through spoken word, folksong and music, with fiddle accompaniment from Colin Thompson.

Drax Hall, Bere Regis at 7.30pm

Contact: Chris Maunder
Local Box Office: 01929 471342

An Artsreach presentation: www.artsreach.co.uk
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