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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Events: May Day Fete at Lyme Regis

The fete on Sunday, May 1st at Playing Fields, Anning Road Lyme Regis, will be opened at 2.00 pm by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and all the proceeds will go to the organisations present. 

The town’s young people will play a prominent part in the enertainment which will include music from the Junior Band, Maypole dancing from St Michael’s School, Ggmnastics from Honiton Gymnastic Club, a Taekwondo demonstration and a display by the Lyme Regis Majorettes.

In addition  there will be a fancy dress competition to be judged at the start of the fete. There are two age groups for individuals – five and under and 6 to10 years.

Events: Dorset Knob Throwing & Frome Valley Food Festival

Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Fest” is being held in Cattistock on  Sunday 1st May 2011.  Once again Moores, the producers of the famous Dorset Knob In association with Direct from Dorset and the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) partnership have agreed to assist us in supporting the event. The Festival will run from 10.00am until 4.00pm and besides Knob Throwing there will be additional fun knob attractions including Knob Eating, Knob Painting, a Knob & Spoon Race, Guess the weight of the Big Knob, Knob Darts and a Knob Pyramid and other more traditional entertainment will be laid on to make this a really enjoyable day out with a difference.



For More information www.dorsetknobthrowing.com

Events: Free entry to local residents to Weymouth's Town House

Residents of Weymouth and Portland will get free entry to the historic Tudor House from 7th to 20th May.  People must take along a utility bill or some proof of residence in the borough.

The Tudor House, was built about 1600, originally stood on the edge of an inlet from the harbour and is thought to have been a merchant's house. It is furnished as the home of an early seventeenth century middle class family and the guided tours explain aspects of the life of the times. Today it is owned and operated by Weymouth Civic Society, a registered charity.

A tour of the house gives a fascinating insight into the history of Weymouth in the early seventeenth century during the heyday of Weymouth as a port for trade and exploration.  Guides describe the domestic daily life of the times, including furniture and clothing, cooking and serving of food, lighting and candle making

The Tudor House is open Tuesday to Friday from 1.00pm to 3.45pm and on May 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th from 2-4pm.

More information contact 01305 779711 or visit the website at www.weymouthcivicsociety.org

Events: Morris Dancing in Merry Month of May

A selection of Dorset Morris teams celebrating the month of May


Anonymous Morris
  • Monday 2nd May at 3pm -  Poole Tourism’s Art on The Quay, Poole Quay.
  • Saturday 7th May at  4pm - Bournemouth Rotaract’s Any-a-thon, Bournemouth Pier.
Babylon Morris
  • Sunday 1st May at 5.30am - Ham Hill, May Morning Dancing to greet the sunrise and the summer. With Treacle Eater Clog and Wyvern Jubilee Morris Men
  • Wednesday 4th May at 8.00 pm - The Muddled Man, West Chinnock. Moonshine Appalachian dancers will be joining them.
  • Wednesday 11th May at 8.00 pm - The Phelips Arms, Montacute
                                                9.00 pm - The Prince of Wales, Ham Hill
  • Wednesday 18th May at 8.00pm -  The Admiral Hood, Mosterton
                                                9.00pm  - The Coach and Horses, South Perrot

The Bourne River Morris Men
  • Sunday 1st May at 5.15am at the Cross Keys, Mannington where they shall dance the sun into the sky at dawn - followed by the usual excellent breakfast and, of course, some good ale.  1.30, 2.30 & 3.30pm - The Three Tuns Inn, Bransgore.
Festus Derriman
  • Sunday 1st May at 5:15am - Stone Pier, Weymouth traditional start to the dance out season
  • Wednesday May 11th at 7.45pm -  Old Rooms,  Weymouth
  • Wednesday  May 18th at 7:45pm Springhead, Sutton Poyntz
  • Wednesday May 25th at 7:45pm East Fleet Camping, Chickerell
Hobos Morris
  • Tuesday 10th May  Evening The Goodsyard, Broadstone with Dorset Buttons  Dorset Buttons 
  • Tuesday 17th May – Evening Saxon Arms, Stratton near Dorchester with Dr Turbervilles   Dr Turbervilles
  • Tuesday 31st May - Evening Chequers, Lytchett Matravers
  • Sunday 1st May at 5:15am -  Above the Giant, Cerne Abbas
          7.00am - Village Square, Cerne Abbas

          7.30am - The Royal Oak, Cerne Abbas

         12.00pm - Dorset Knob Throwing Competition, Cattistock
  • Monday 2nd May at 7.30pm -  The Halsey Arms, Pulham 
          8.15pm - Holwell Village Centre, Holwell

          9.00pm - The Antelope, Hazelbury Bryan
  • Saturday 9th May at  7.30pm - Victoria Hotel, Dorchester
          8.15pm -The Poet Laureate, Poundbury
                                      
          9.00pm -The Saxon Arms, Stratton

  •  Monday 16th May at 7.30pm - The Digby Tap, Sherborne 
           8.15pm -Village Centre, Poyntington                           

           9.00pm - The Mitre Inn, Sandford Orcas

  • Monday 23rd May at 7.30pm - Great Western, Yeovil
          8.15pm - Great Lyde, Yeovil                          

          9.00pm - Fleur de Lys, Yeovil

  • Monday 30th May at 11.15am - Sherborne Castle Fair
          7.30pm - The Trooper, Stourton Caundle

News Clipping: Guide will help you to understand the writings of poet William Barnes

Rev. William Barnes
A book has been published to help poetry lovers understand the native tongue of North Dorset’s most famous son.  Australian academic Tom Burton, a professor of English at the University of Adelaide, has published a guide to pronouncing the dialect poems of William Barnes.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Saturday 30th April 2011

See also Poet William Barnes 'deserves more acclaim' 

A university professor studying the work of the Dorset writer and poet William Barnes believes the poet's work deserves a wider audience.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News 6th May 2010

Friday, 29 April 2011

Events: St. Georges Day Fair, Fordington Green, Dorchester - 30th Apr 2011

Tomorrow families will enjoy a traditional day out when the 53rd annual St George's Day Fair is held on Fordington Village Green this weekend.  To be opened by Lord & Lady Fellowes of West Stafford with music by Durnovaria Band & Harmonious Funk Choir and Dance Displays. Lots of stalls, refreshments & games for all ages and displays in the Church. Prize Draw and much more!

New DVD: Seasonal Customs of England: Blazing Barrels & Midwinter Masks - The West Country Part 1

Seasonal Customs England is the home of many diverse customs and traditions. From the Spring rites of May Day - hobby 'oss'es and floral dancing and May queens crowned. To peculiar village rights to gather wood, to the fire festivals of autumn, when the flaming tar barrels are hoisted on broad shoulders and the Guy is burned on huge bonfires and to the Winter festivals of mummers and the wassail of orchards.

Now available from Newland Media on DVD - Seasonal Customs of England: Blazing Barrels & Midwinter Masks - The West Country Part 1.  A celebration of some of the exciting customs you will only find in England. From the incredibly dangerous blazing tar barrels of Ottery St Mary to the turning of the Devil Stone, and the Punky Night custom forerunner of Trick or Treating to the Midwinter Mummers plays from Dorset and Devon. Rounded off with a Wassail and Faggot Burning. It's traditional fayre like this that keeps old England alive! Extra Features include the Original Welsh Border Morris Men on their annual (and only) tour before Christmas; the ancient 'kissing the fish' initiation; Mummers Play with the Frome Valley Morris Mummers and Pumpkin Carving.



For more information on how to purchase this DVD visit www.morrisdancersofengland.co.uk

News Clipping: The politics of bank holidays

The government is considering scrapping the May Day Bank Holiday and creating a new public holiday in April or October. But what is the origin of our bank holidays and what do they tell us about the UK?

 READ MORE - Source: BBC News 29th April 2011

Upwey Well Dressing - 30th April 2011

Tommorrow 30th April 2011 at around 12.00pm Upwey, near Weymouth will be holding there annual Well Dressing at Upwey Wishing Well with the Frome Valley Morris performing a number of  traditional dance routines at the ceremony. This is the 26th Well dressing and is expected to last throughout May.

Well dressing was introduced to Upwey in 1986. Some Derbyshire Ladies who moved to the area started the tradition of dressing the well, as per Derbyshire custom. Thus The wishing well is now dressed each year at around May Day. The Upwey Well Dressing is very much a community effort, which raises good money for local charities.

The origins of the tradition are alternatively said to lie in pagan tradition or in giving thanks for the purity of the water drawn from certain wells during the period of the Black Death. It is often said to have originated in Tissington, Derbyshire, though other claims can be made for Eyam and Stoney Middleton. Whatever its origins it was historically a custom exclusive in England to the Peak District of Derbyshire.

Below: Last years Well Dressing theme marking the centenary of the Girl Guides movement, depicting scenes of camping past and present.



The information accompanying the Upwey Well Dressing reads:
"Well Dressing
Springs and wells all over the world have been revered since ancient times. In Britain the most famous examples of this tradition are Well Dressings in the Peak District villages of Derbyshire, where, during the time of the plague, communities with fresh water supply were able to protect themselves by sealing their village off from sealing their village from the outside world. Weymouth is were the Black Death entered the country in 1347. Since then wells and springs were dressed annually in thankfulness and celebration.

Here at Upwey Wishing Well is the main source of the River Wey - the largest natural spring in the south - and local people with Derbyshire connections introduced Well Dressing to the local community in 1986. Ever since the Wishing Well has been dressed annually at the May Day weekend.

Planning and designing takes several months but work starts in earnest during the week leading up to the May Day Bank Holiday.

First, a wooden framework is made and soaked for a week or so in the water gardens. Then, in the week before installation, a layer of clay is laid out on the framework of boards and the design marked out. Over the following three days the picture is built up with leaves, seeds, and other natural materials. Finally, on the day before installation, thousands of flower petals are added to give brilliant colour. Local gardeners are very generous and no wild flowers are used. The work is very intensive and painstaking and has to be completed within this short period. Although it is at its best in the early days, the Well Dressing last for three to four weeks."
Brief History of the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well at Upwey is a natural spring and source of the River Wey. The tradition as a wishing well is said to have begun as a visitor attraction in the early 20th century.

Visitors would often participate in the ritual by taking a few sips of well water from a glass. And throwing the rest of the water backwards over their left shoulder while wishing.

The Wishing Well waters are thought to also have healing properties especially in the healing of sore eyes. (see article 'Bincombe's Link to Ancient Spring 10th March 2004')

George III often visited the village of Upwey during his stay at Weymouth. He was particularly attracted by the spring that it is said that this caused a seat to be set nearby for his use. It is also said that the gold cup that the king drank the spring water from later became the Ascot Gold Cup.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

News Clipping: 'Wareham's monument is not Excalibur'

A civic leader has stepped in to clear up any confusion about the new sword in the stone monument at the gateway to Wareham.  It seems some people have been jumping to the wrong conclusion and confusing the replica blade, which stands on one of the town’s main roundabouts, with the stuff of Arthurian legend.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 27th April 2011

Events: Bonny Sartin's "The Banks Of Newfoundland" with special guests - Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll

17th Century painting of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland
(Dorset County Museum)
Following two years of sell out season opening fundraisers for Bridport Museum, Bonny Sartin will be returning to the West Dorset market town on April 27th with another fascinating talk on the history of Dorset people. This time the story moves abroad, and he will be joined by two of the South West's finest fiddle players to make it a real night to remember.

The talk is entitled “The Banks Of Newfoundland” and tells the story of Dorset's brave fishermen who for hundreds of years sailed across the Atlantic for the summer to fish for cod off Newfoundland.

Bonny said “Many fortunes were made and lost, but the port of Poole, in particular, flourished. It was tough for the fishermen though. Newfoundland is inhospitable. Icebergs, fogs and foul weather played havoc with their little boats and if you survived that you were often greeted by the Press Gang when you reached home.”

Joining Bonny will be Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll, the fiddle duo are leading lights in the new folk generation and have recently completed a project marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first permeant English settlement in Canada, Cupids Cove, Newfoundland.

They have been swopping tunes and songs with Newfoundland musicians, and will have just finished a joint tour called Shore To Shore. This show brought together leading singers and musicians from Newfoundland and the West Country of England in an international collaboration that charted the development of folk song and music on both sides of the Atlantic from the early 1600s to the present day.

The event in Bridport in unique opportunity to hear the stories, songs and tunes that link Dorset with Canada in the wonderful Georgian surroundings of The Chapel in the Garden.

Museum Curator Emily Hicks said; ‘It is so great to have Bonny back to support us again after his last sell-out shows for Bridport Museum. To have Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll join him for a one off show is a real coup and it promises to be a great evening’s entertainment.”

The event is held on Wed 27th April at the Chapel in Garden on East Street, doors at 7.30. Tickets are only £8 Adv. and £10 on the door. You can pick them up from Bridport Local History Centre (01308) 458703 or Bridport Music (01308) 425707    

Saturday, 23 April 2011

St. George's Day Morris Events

Here is a selection of  Morris Events in Dorset celebrating St. George's Day

Wessex Morris Men
  • 12:00 - The Baker Arms, Child Okeford  
  • 14:30 - Special appearance at the Red Barn Shop, Hazelbury Bryan
  • 15:30 - The Mill, Sturminster Newton,    
  • 16:30 - The Swan Inn, Sturminster Newton  
  • 18:00 - The Fiddleford Inn, Fiddleford
Anonymous Morris
  • 20:00 - Ski Daddle’s St George’s Day Shindig. The Winchester, Bournemouth.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

News Clipping: Who will be the South's loudest town crier?

The search for the best town crier in the South brings a bit of noise to Wimborne next month.  Entries in the biennial Southern England Town Crier’s competition are up, with 23 contestants limbering up to cry their hearts out for the prestigious prize, compared to 17 in 2009. They’ll vye for the crown over two rounds at Waitrose riverside green and the Minster Green on Monday, May 2.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Sunday 17th April 2011

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

News Clipping: Bridport film maker to shoot story by Stephen King for $1

‘I am the Doorway’
A Bridport film-maker hopes to put the town on the map with his adaptation of a Stephen King story. Mark McFarlane, 29, convinced the legendary horror writer to let him become a ‘Dollar Baby’ and shoot one of King’s stories for $1.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 13th April 2011

Sunday, 10 April 2011

News Clipping: Dorset author Ruth Binney celebrates the wonders of Britain's natural world

Amazing and Extraordinary Facts
The English Countryside
By Ruth Binney 
Click Here
A collection of fascinating facts about our landscape and the creatures and plants that inhabit it have been compiled in Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: The English Countryside, which is the ninth book published by best-selling Dorset author Ruth Binney.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Sunday 10th April 2011

Events: Death Roads, Spirit Paths and Fairy Trails - A talk by Dave Shead


Spirit Roads, Exploring Otherworldly
Routes in the Old and New Worlds
by Paul Devereux
Click Here
On Wednesday 13th April 2011 - 7.30pm at the Upwey and Broadwey Memorial Hall - The Menzies Room, Dave Shead of Dorset Earth Mysteries Group, will be presenting details from Paul Devereux book of the same name.

'Spirit Roads' are found all over Europe. In the UK they appear mainly as "corpse ways" or "church paths" - routes that were used to convey the dead to burial in medieval times. But they also have a secret history of other "spirit" attributes.


All are welcome: Admission: £4 (£3 concessions) Free parking + refreshments

For further information about the talk Tel: 01305 81664 or Email: spiraloftranquility.roma@virgin.net


Directions: Turn off Dorchester Road into Victoria Avenue. The Menzies Room is at the back of the Hall
(follow the pavement and turn right – pass the door marked Women’s Institute –  entrance around corner next to private garage)

Friday, 8 April 2011

News Clipping: Town celebrates as Portland flag gets official recognition

Portlanders are celebrating a step forward in putting the island’s unique identity on the map with the official recognition of its flag.  The stone-coloured, green and blue design with a white castle is flying proudly over the town council offices and available for purchase.

 READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 8th April 2011

Click here to view the flag online at www.flaginstitute.org

News Clipping: The House that Hardy built

The villa designed by the Victorian novelist and immortalised in the great elegies for his first wife is now open to the public. Claudia FitzHerbert searches among the ghosts of Max Gate.

READ MORE - Source: The Telegraph 8th April 2011

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

News Clipping: Dinosaurs a new addition at Bridport museum

Staff at Bridport Museum have thrown open their doors for the season with new displays – including a plesiosaur skeleton.  They have revamped upstairs display areas and mounted new exhibitions at the centre in South Street.

 READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 6th April 2011
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