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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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

News Clipping: Secrets of Lawrence of Arabia's X-Flights

Dramatic details of Lawrence of Arabia’s secret “X-Flights” have been revealed in a diary belonging to the father of a Highcliffe woman.  A journal kept by flight sergeant George Hynes, father of Ellen Gannicott from Highcliffe has been turned into a book written by her cousin, 80-year-old James Hynes.

 READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Tuesday 31st August 2010

Monday, 30 August 2010

Happy Birthday Mary Shelley - author of Frankenstein

On this day in 1797, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly (1797-1851), author of Frankenstein was born in Somers Town, London.

Mary Shelley , was Percy Bysshe Shelley's second wife. She was the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, who died whilst having Mary. She never forgave herself, for she believed, having caused her mother's death. She was brought up mainly by a stepmother and met Shelley when she was 15 years old. She went with him to Switzerland, where she started to write her most famous work Frankenstein or the Modem Prometheus, and married him in 1816.


It was generally a happy marriage. After Shelley was drowned in 1822 she found companionship with Byron in Italy. Returning to England when Byron's affections for her cooled, she was faced with the difficulties of bringing up her son, Percy. When Shelley's father. Sir Timothy, died, however, she became prosperous. She also wrote The Last Man (1826), which dealt with the destruction of the human race by an epidemic.

She died of a brain tumour at the age of 53 at Chester Square in London, England on 1st February 1851 and was buried in St. Peter's Church, Bournemouth(1), Dorset, England. Her son Sir Percy having settled at Boscombe Manor. Also buried at St Peter's is the heart of Mary's husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, brought back from Italy, and her parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, their remains having been moved there from Old St Pancras Church.



(1) Historically Bournemouth was part of Hampshire, with Poole just to the west of the border between the two counties. At the time of the 1974 local government re-organisation, it was considered desirable that the whole of the Poole/Bournemouth urban area should be part of the same county)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

News Clipping: Feature film made about Wimborne Jack the Ripper suspect

The story of a Jack the Ripper suspect from Wimborne is being brought to the big screen.  Wimborne Minster Cine and Video Club has made a 58-minute feature film, starring well-known actor Michael Medwin, about Montague John Druitt, the barrister who might have been behind the 19th-century murders.  The three-year £1,500 project, also involving Wimborne Drama and Canford School pupils, was shot on location in Pamphill, the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne Cemetery – where Druitt is buried – Upton House and Scaplens Court.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Saturday 28th August 2010

Saturday, 21 August 2010

News Clipping: Ex-Weymouth teacher bags six-figure book deal

A former Weymouth teacher has hit the big time after signing a six-figure book deal with publisher Orion.  Kirsten Espensen, who taught at St Andrews School and Westfield Technology College, secured the lucrative agreement for her Stone-wylde novels.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 21st August 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010

Events: Stories of Old Knowlton

The Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne Minster will be hosting an afternoon of storytelling with Tony Horitz on Tuesday 24 August as part of ‘The Sting in the Tale – a festival of stories’.

What secret stories are held within the ancient Neolithic rings of Knowlton, near Cranborne?  Why was a Norman church built bang in the middle of a Neolithic burial site?  What happened to all the parishioners?  And who stole their bell?  Knowlton dates back to prehistoric times and is also home to a deserted medieval settlement.  Tony Horitz will perform known and unknown tales about this extraordinary East Dorset landmark, which has fascinated visitors for over 2,000 years with its timeless magic.

Tony has been a storyteller and performer for many a long year, as well as teaching and facilitating drama workshops with young and old, in schools and the community.  He is also Artistic Director of Wimborne Community Theatre and Double Act Disability Theatre.  Tony recently founded State of Play Arts .

Visitors will also be able to explore the Priest’s House, an Elizabethan townhouse where a series of period rooms show what life and work was like for people in the past.  The museum tells the story of East Dorset from prehistoric to modern times.  The walled garden, with its central path leading from the back door to the mill stream, is laid out with plant beds, lawns and old varieties of fruit trees.  The Boathouse Tearoom will be serving drinks and homemade cakes.

Tickets cost £3.50 for adults and £2.50 for children, and there is a choice of performance times: 2-3pm or 3.30-4.30pm.  It is suitable for all ages from 6 years and upwards, and booking is advisable.

If you would like any further information, please contact the museum on 01202 882533 or email priestshouse@eastdorset.gov.uk.  Please remember that all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

News Clipping: Monster challenge . . . could you be a Mary Wollstonecraft-Shelley?

The famous creator of Frankenstein, writer Mary Wollstonecraft-Shelley, lived briefly in Boscombe in the first half of the 19th century, and is buried in Bournemouth. There's a road named after her on the clifftop, and now a festival is being organised in her memory by another Bournemouth writer, Christine Aziz. Christine is looking for 10 women aged between 16 and 50 to characterise Mary Shelley at different stages of her life, at a special event between 1st and 3rd October.

READ MORE - Source: Western Gazette Friday, August 20, 2010

Monday, 16 August 2010

News Clipping: Beast of Dorset makes another appearance - in Crossways

The Beast of Dorset has made another appearance near Crossways. Pam Massey, of Crossways, and Molly Parkin and her mother Jenny Parkin, of East Dulwich, London, were driving from Bovington to Crossways on a minor road late at night.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 16th August 2010

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Event News - Weird Weekend 2010, 13th - 15th August

From the 13th to the 15th of  August this year, the sleepy  North Devon village of Woolsery is to play host to the largest gathering of monster and mystery researchers in the world. Having run unbroken for eleven years, the convention attracts speakers and visitors from all over the world and showcases the findings of strange phenomena investigators. Cryptozoologists, parapsychologists, ufologists, and folklorists are descending on Woolfardisworthy Community Centre to share their findings and insights. Unlike other events, the Weird Weekend will also include workshops giving tips to budding paranormal investigators, and even a programme of special events for children. The Weird Weekend is the only fortean conference in the world that is truly a family event, although those veterans of previous events should be reassured that it is still as anarchically silly as ever! The event is raising money for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s only full time, professional cryptozoological organisation.

Speakers confirmed are:
  • Dr. Lars Thomas: Identifying hair samples
  • Lionel Beer: Treacle Mines
  • Carl Portman: On the trail of the Australian whistling spider
  • Glen Vaudrey: The Waterhorse
  • Some more special guests to be announced
But there is far more to the Weird Weekend than just talks.
  • Mike Dash will be introducing Nick Flintoff's award winning short film about the `Great Devon Mystery`, When in February 1855 the villagers of East Devon awoke to discover a 100 mile trail of cloven bipedal footprints in the snow. Whatever made the prints had travelled through fields, gardens, over high walls, over rooftops and approached front doors. They became known as one of Devon's Greatest Mysteries.

    • Film director Sheridan Thayer who will be presenting excerpts from his new documentary on the late actor, playwright and forteanist - Ken Campbell.  
    • Nick and Kara Wadham will be doing the animal handling for the first time. They will have a display of their animals from Yeovil, Bugfest.
    •  Artist Sam Shearon; will be exhibiting their monster related artwork.  
     Venue: Woolsery Sports and Community Hall

    View this map on Multimap.com
    Get directions on Multimap.com
    Tickets:  £25 in advance for all three days, kids under 16 free. Click here to buy tickets online

    For more details and ticket information visit the Weird Weekend website at http://www.weirdweekend.org/ or alternatively telephone Jonathan or Corinna - 01237 43141
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