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, 27 October 2011

New Book: The Portland Chronicles - Portland Pirates by Carol Hunt

Portland Pirates
by Carol Hunt

Click Here
The third book in The Portland Chronicles series by local author Carol Hunt.  Portland Pirates, sees a pirate ship lost in time off the coast of Portland. Captain Red Pete, a cabin boy and smuggler Flintlock Groves arrive with the ghost ship, each with secret plans of their own. When Isabel befriends the lost cabin boy, she discovers that the sinister Portland mermaid is involved. With her sister Suzie running a cat rescue service and her home full of local climbers, Isabel sets out to unravel the mystery of the ghostly ship and its crew in this new Portland adventure.

Portland Pirates is on sale now through-out Portland and Weymouth. Copies are available at White Stones Cafe, Easton and Imagine Books in St Albans Street, Weymouth.

Carol will be signing books at Revive Portland's Wild about Halloween Event this Saturday 29th October and at Imagine Books on 5th November.
For more information visit Roving Press at www.rovingpress.co.uk

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Events: Halloween Ghost Walk of Dorchester

Alistair Chisholm, Dorchester's Town Crier, has been running Ghost Walks for more than ten years and no one has died of a heart attack........yet !

His ghost walks explore the Dorset Towns of Weymouth and Dorchester. Reliving some of its more grisly history, recounting tales of gruesome and ghastly characters whose presence still pervades the narrow streets and alleys of the old towns. A little scary, very entertaining and most enjoyable. Suitable for all the family.

Halloween Ghost Walks:
  • 27th October
  • 31st October
No need to book, just turn up at the Kings Arms in Dorchester 8.00 pm. Adults £5, children £2. No booking required.

For more information on prices and details visit: - 
www.thomas-hardy-explorer.co.uk or Tel: 07773 286197 or email Alistair Chisholm 

Below: Alistair Chisholm tells the story of the execution of Martha Brown, the last woman to be hanged in public in Dorset.

Events: Bridport Halloween Ghost Walk

On the 27th October, take a walk back into history this Halloween week and visit the 'haunts' of Bridport's unquiet dead! The town has a rich history and many reputedly 'haunted' locations. A walk around the streets of Bridport town hearing 700 years of turbulent history!

The Halloween Ghost Walk stats at 7.30pm from Bucky Doo Square (Weather Permitting)

Adults £5.00   Children (over 9yrs only please) £2.50 

For details of the tours - Tel: 07900 941741 or email Adrian Clements

For information about Bridport Ghost Walks, visit the website at http://thebridportghostwalk.weebly.com 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

News Clipping: Records reveal lives of Dorset's smugglers

Local Smuggler, Isaac Gulliver
The lives of Dorset's infamous smugglers have been brought to life by parish records published online for the first time. The collection of 1.5 million baptisms, marriages and burials feature on the family history website Ancestry.co.uk.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News 25th October 2011

News Clipping: Hardy Players actress Norrie Woodhall dies

Norrie Woodhall
The last surviving member of a Dorchester theatre group set up by Thomas Hardy has died at the age of 105. Norrie Woodhall was among a handful of Dorset actors who performed plays based on the author's works in 1924, rehearsing at Hardy's home at Max Gate.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News

Friday, 21 October 2011

Events: Portland Castle hosts a series of spooky Hallowe'en events

It's half-term and it’s Hallowe’en so expect a bumper week of fabulous fun events to keep everyone happy. Portland Castle is hosting a series of spooky stories and haunted fun from tomorrow until October 30. You can enjoy fangtastic Hallowe’en games with devilish prizes to be won and the whole family can try on armour, explore the Tudor kitchen and see ghostly, sculpted figures from the past. Each day runs from 11am until 4pm and admission is £4.30 plus concessions and family rates.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 21st October 2011

'Steps in Time' need your vote

Steps in Time at the Filly Loo, Ashmore
Steps in Time are a junior folk dance side based in North Dorset, who perform at local and European events and they are currently in a bid to win a grant from Nat West bank. Here is their appeal from their website, www.stepsintime.org.uk
"Hi, we are currently taking part in this NatWest competition (thanks Emma for the info). The country is split in regions with the top 3 projects in each region with the highest votes wining £6000. Please could you vote for us, and get as many people as you can to do the same. 

The process is long winded, first you register, then you will receive an email (ours went into spam, so you may need to check there), the email will link you back to the NatWest site where you will need to search for Steps in Time (we are in the West Dorset area or search for DT11 8PB). 

The link to the our page is http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/4281 .If we get the most votes in our region (West Dorset, with 48 projects) we will get £6000. This will obviously help us alot. If you have any problems let us know and we will try to help. Thanks everyone. 

Please pass on to everyone you know. 

Thank You."

Events: Weymouth Ghost Walks Halloween Week

Ghost Guide, Alex Woodward
Dare you find out what lurks in the shadows of a happy holiday town? Follow in the footsteps of our experienced ghost guide Alex Woodward, author of 'Haunted Weymouth' into the horrible hidden history of a town riddled with death, disease and cold blooded murder?
  • THE GHOSTS OF OLD WEYMOUTH - Start Point - Hope Square (in front of Brewers Quay building) 7:30pm Wed 26th & Fri 28th October Adults (16+) £5 Children (8-15) £5 Discount available if taking both the Old Weymouth and Haunted Town walks Adults £8 Child £4 No need to book, meet at start point and time of walk.
  • THE HAUNTED TOWN TRAIL - Start Point - Golden Lion (side entrance in St Mary's Street) 7:30pm Tues 25th & Thurs 27th October Adults (16+) £5 Children (8-15) £5 Discount available if taking both the Old Weymouth and Haunted Town walks Adults £8 Child £4 No need to book, meet at start point and time of walk.
  • CHILDREN'S GHOST WALK - Start Point - The Old Town Pump Memorial between Old Rooms Pub & Seagull Chippy) Thurs 27th & Mon 31st October. Take a spooky story walk around the Harbour with Wordwitch Wanda Wetherwax and discover what happens to Timmy Turner one Halloween night as he sat fishing for his supper. Find out about the ghosts he meets on his way to unlocking a deep dark secret! Ages 5-12 £3.50 each or 2 for £5. One adult per child free, extra adults/older siblings £1. Each child receives a traditional Halloween treat and there's a chance to win a prize for those who come in fancy dress.
  • HALLOWEEN WEEKEND AT THE NOTHE FORT - Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th October Three course Halloween Dinner followed by a ghostly guided tour around the underground passageways, paranormal experiments and the 'ghost tunnel' experience Free Car Parking inside the Fort Full Bar Available - All Spirits Served! £15 per person by ticket only available from Nothe Fort Reception 01305 766626 between 9am - 3pm & Evenings Tel 01305 775829 
For more details of Weymouth Ghost Walks and future events visit www.weymouthghostwalks.co.uk

Events: Granny Cousins’ Halloween Ghost Walk of Old Poole Town

Granny Cousin Ghost Walk
Granny Cousins’ Halloween Ghost Walk of Old Poole Town Special - Saturday 29th October - 6.00pm and 8.00pm.   

As the shadows lengthen at Halloween, don your scariest costumes and step behind the scenes of Poole’s Great Quay. Light your lantern and come down the narrow alleyways. You never know what, or who, you might meet.  Now in its fourteenth year, local Victorian character Granny Cousins and her sidekick 'Red' will take you on an entertaining and informative evening walk and tell you about some of the people that have lived, worked and....haunted this ancient fishing port. 

What the ghost walkers have to say:

 "Brilliant walk this evening - thanks Granny! Some great ghost stories, and the history of Poole brought to life, better than a trip to a museum any day. If you are a local or a visitor I'd recommend you get to one of the walks you won't be disappointed!"

James Cope

"My partner and I came along to your ghost walk of old Poole town last Wednesday with our three children and we all really enjoyed it. Thankyou very much for a great evening! Had a great time tonight,very interesting, and a few laughs along the way! definitely recommended!!!"

Kerry Richardson 
Meet outside Scaplen's Court Museum, Sarum Street, Poole. Weather permitting - please phone on the night if the weather is bad.
To book a place (Tickets restricted to 50 per walk) telephone: 07977 969080, Adults £6, Children £4.

Bring your own Halloween lanterns, however Granny Cousins cannot be responsible for the use of lanterns and walkers use them at their own risk
  • Granny Cousins walks during the summer season. She is also available for additional group bookings. For further details contact Michele O'Brien on 07977 9690800 or visit her website at www.micheleobrien.co.uk

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

News Clipping: West Dorset District Council faces £2m bill for turning old court and cells into tourist attraction

Old Crown Court and Cells, Dorchester
West Dorset District Council is to bear the costs of converting Dorchester’s old crown court and cells into a visitor attraction. A meeting of the council’s executive committee was told that due to the recession the National Trust had ‘reconsidered’ its position following indications it could be looking to take on an attraction in the Shire Hall at Stratton House. Members of the committee have now agreed to progress with plans for the authority to take on the conversion, which could cost nearly £2million.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 19th October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

UFO sighting over Poole, Dorset

Haunted Skies
The Encyclopedia of
British UFOs
Vol 3: 1966 - 1967
By John Hanson,
Dawn Marina Holloway
Click Here
The Haunted Skies project is the brainchild of John Hanson and Dawn Holloway, who - for the past fifteen years - have been collecting material for a multi-volume encyclopedia of British UFOs from 1940 to the present day.  Volume three is now out and features the "Moign Down Hover Cross" on the front cover,  illustrated by a veteran UFO researcher and artist, David Sankey

Recently they have posted on their blog, a letter from Mr Ron Lucas a long term resident of Poole Dorset,with regard to what he saw on the 31st of December 2010/1st Janaury 2011.

Read More: UFO sighting over Poole Dorset

Events: Archaeological walk with Chris Tripp to the Hell Stone - Sunday 16th October 2011

The Portesham Hell Stone
This Sunday 16th October 2011, join Archaeologist, Chris Tripp on his walk to visit the Neolithic sites of the Hell Stone and Hampton Stone Circle.  Meet 10.00am at Abbotsbury (near the shops and old school) and we can then car share up to the layby where the path starts for the site. However be prepared to dress appropriately for this Autumn walk, as it may be muddy in places and potentially penetrating cold wind.  For more information contact Chris via Telephone: 07768695162  or visit his blog  xcavate.blogspot.com
  • Chris Tripp has a degree in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and an MA in Managing Archaeological Sites and Public Archaeology. He worked as a field archaeologist at a small museum in East London and then at The Museum of London Archaeology Service working on sites across the capital. He was elected to the Institute for Field Archaeologists in 2001. It was while working for MoLAS that he specialised in community projects as a presenter on The Dig project in 2001, as a consultant for the Time Team’s The Big Dig in 2003 and as a freelance Community Archaeologist with his own Xcavate!, a simulated excavation project for children. Chris has also developed and taught Adult Education classes in London and Essex since 1997.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Events: Horrorlitic 2011

Film Posters for
Universal Studios 1931
version of 'Frankenstein'
A special programme of horror related theatre, events, talks and chilling coastal walks, 5 - 15 October. The world's leading horror authors Stephen Laws, Ramsey Campbell and Chris Priestley will share secrets about their work, their thoughts about the future of the horror genre and of the work of other writers at some special events. The full programme of Horrorlitic events includes talks, workshops and chilling coastal walks. Bournemouth has a wealth of literary connections, the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley is buried in St. Peter’s Church as is the heart of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley and her parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from his house Skerryvore on the West Cliff and Bram Stoker, author of Dracula frequented the Royal Bath. Our Horror Festival celebrates these connections through literature, drama and film.

More information about this event visit www.artsbournemouth.org.uk

New Book: Secret Places of West Dorset by Louise Hodgson

Secret Places of West Dorset
by Louise Hodgson

Click Here
Louise Hodgson, author of 'Secret Places of West Dorset' will be signing books in Waterstones Bookshop, 21 East Street, Bridport, DT6 3JX on Saturday 15th October between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm

This book reveals some of the most scenic parts of Dorset. Even if you don't go out to enjoy the suggested walks, you can cosy up in your armchair and explore in your mind Dorset’s folklore, curiosities, legends and history. Louise’s intimate, poetic style of writing provides you with a deeper understanding of the landscape of West Dorset. Describing tucked away churches, ancient trackways and enigmatic stones, she takes you on a personal tour, revealing the magic and importance of places to help give you a greater understanding of our relationship with the landscape.

From ‘lost’ hamlets, ancient sites and hidden nature reserves, to fairy hills, miz-mazes and hollow ways, this book reveals some extraordinarily special and unspoilt places, areas that truly hold the magic of West Dorset. The many photographs and author's own paintings help to illustrate the rare beauty of this part of the county.

'Secret Places of West Dorset' is available from 13th October 2011.

For more information visit Roving Press at www.rovingpress.co.uk

New Book: 'Dorset's Legacy in Iron and Stone' by Michael Russell Wood

Dramatic stories of tragedy, success, and bravery are all hidden in Dorset’s remarkable heritage of signs in iron and stone. Many of these tablets and inscriptions are passed by daily, either on foot or in cars, people barely realising the extraordinary lives and events they commemorate.

Now their secrets are revealed by retired Dorset farmer and businessman, Michael Russell Wood, in his richly illustrated book “Dorset’s Legacy in Iron and Stone”.

Beautifully printed and bound by ADP, Dorchester, this 92 page paperback book has 80 colour photographs taken by the author.

Price £13.99 from The Book Shop, 14 South Street, Bridport and other good bookshops or direct, post free, from M.R. Wood, Matravers Farm, Uploders, Bridport. DT6 4PH

For more information about the book and author visit:  www.dorset-legacy.co.uk

Events: Learn about the history of Wimborne

If you would like to know more about Wimborne and the early Christianisation of Wessex, pop along to St Michael's Church Centre at Colehill on Friday 7th October at 7.30pm for a talk by Dr Karin Mew.  Wimborne was an old Saxon settlement and the foundation of Wimborne Minster dates back to the beginning of the eighth century when the King of the West Saxons endowed a monastery there. Thus, the Saxon history of Wimborne Minster is inextricably linked with the early Christian mission and with the role of kingship. In her talk, Karin focuses on the people and places who contributed to the Christianisation of Wessex and beyond. This meeting, organised by the Friends of Colehill Library is free to members and £2 to non-members. Afterwards there will be the chance to socialise with light refreshment. To attend please register at Colehill Library. You may do so by phone on 01202 886676.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

News Clipping: Archaeologists in Roman Road dig at Sandford Heath

A ground breaking archaeological search for an ancient Roman road starts in Purbeck next week. Experts will excavate part of the straight footpath running through Sandford Heath, known locally as the Roman Road. Historians hope this dig will, once and for all, answer whether the thoroughfare visible today was constructed over an ancient road built during Dorset’s Roman occupation.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 5th October 2011

Sunday, 2 October 2011

News Clipping: Travelling to ancient Egypt through Dorset County Museum

Wonders of ancient Egypt will be on show at a major new exhibition at the Dorset County Museum. The Dorchester museum is currently undergoing a major revamp to set up the Pharaoh King of Egypt exhibition. The display from the British Museum is the largest exhibition of ancient Egyptian artefacts to ever go out on loan in the UK and will see 130 amazing objects on show from October 15 to January 22 next year.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Sunday 2nd October 2011

More information visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/pharaoh 
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