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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Events: The Unthanks with support from Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell

The Unthanks
Don't miss this opportunity to see The Unthanks close-up and paired down on Thursday 26th April at the Electric Palace Bridport. For the past 3 years, The Unthanks have toured as a ten piece troupe, bringing their peerless sound to the stage in full glory. During that time they have performed in the atmospheric surroundings of some of the UK's finest cathedrals, concert halls and churches.

Following a recent collaboration with the massed ranks of national champions Brighouse and Ratsrick Brass Band, the Mercury nominated Tynesiders now return to where they began, playing cosier venues, in the guise of their core quintet - the creative nucleus - for a more intimate and close-up musical and personal experience. Fronted by sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, The Unthanks prefer to see folk as an ongoing unwritten history, rather than a style of music, drawing on a myriad of influences to story-tell in technicolour - from the minimalist eccentricity of Steve Reich, Antony & The Johnsons, Robert Wyatt and Miles Davis, to the singers of their Geordie native North East of England. The Unthanks prove that staunch traditionalism and sonic adventure need not be opposites.

Special guests will be Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell, who were such a hit on The Unthanks 2009 Here's The Tender Coming tour. Jonny and Lucy will be performing songs from their debut album 'Kite', released Autumn 2011, described by Lauren Laverne as "absolutely gorgeous". 
Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell have been nominated for best duo at Radio 2's 2012 Folk Awards and The Unthanks have also been nominated for Best Album, Best Group and Best Live Act!!


Tickets £14.00 plus booking fee
Doors open 7.30pm, Show starts 8.30pm
Tickets available from Bridport TIC on 01308 424901 or online at SeeTickets


Source: Somerset and Dorset Folk Diary - www.sadfolk.co.uk

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Events: St. Georges Day Fair, Fordington Green, Dorchester - 21st Apr 2012

Tomorrow families will enjoy a traditional day out when the 54th annual St. George's Day Fair is held on Fordington Village Green this weekend, Saturday 21st April between 1.30pm - 4.00pm . 

To be opened by Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Tess James with music by Durnovaria Band & Harmonious Funk Choir and Dance Displays by the Dorchester Ballet Club and The Studio. Lots of stalls, refreshments & games for all ages and displays in the Church. Prize Draw and much more!

All ages Welcome, Admission Free

Friday, 13 April 2012

13 Reasons to be Fearful - Superstitions about Friday 13th

The belief that Friday 13th is an especially unlucky day is one of the widest-known superstitions in Britain today, and is erroneously assumed to be of great antiquity. The notion that thirteen is a generally unlucky number has not been found earlier than 1852, and although Fridays have been regarded as unlucky since medieval times, it is quite certain that the fear of Friday 13th is a Victorian invention. Indeed, the first definite reference to Friday 13th we have is from 1913:
I have met a coach' of fine mental capacities, which had been carefully cultivated, who dreaded the evil luck of Friday the 13th.
Here is an interesting article, from the Daily Express Friday 13th October 2000, about the superstitions linked with the number Thirteen and Friday 13th. 

"Every week most of us thank God it's Friday. However, an estimated live million people in Britain will spend today in such a state of anxiety and fear that they will feel compelled to stay at home until tomorrow. It is because today. Friday the 13th makes its only appearance this millennium year. Businesses lose money through absenteeism, while travel operators are hit as customers cancel trips or switch departure dates. So why in these ‘enlightened’ times, are we still so worried about such superstitions? Here are 13 things you need to know about the myths and legends surrounding this most auspicious date:
  1. Friday the 13th (1980, USA)
    Fear of the number 13 is known by psychologists as ‘triskaidekaphobia’. The term paraskavidekatriaphobia (basically just the Greek for ‘fear of Friday 13’) was later coined to identify those specifically afraid of Friday the 13th. In the US, there are an estimated 21 million sufferers. This may have prompted Hollywood to tap into the popular myth with the ‘Friday The 13th' series of horror movies, in which the main character Jason is driven to mindless frenzy on that day.
  2. There is always at least one Friday 13th each year. Some years there are two, rarely three (most recently in 1998 and the next in 2009). In the event of it occurring in conjunction with a full moon, folklore has it that there is an increase in crime and mental illness.
  3. Legend tells us that the 13th of any month is unlucky, especially if it falls on a Friday. Only failure and doom awaits those foolhardy "enough to start a new venture such as a business or marriage.
  4. Strategies used to avoid catastrophes include carrying a four-leafed clover, crossing fingers, wishing on a star, tossing coins into a wishing well or fountain and even burning old socks on turned up on top of a mountain. And, until recently, a decree in Indiana required that all black cats must wear bells.
  5. The superstition is supposed to date from the early years of Christianity. Biblical references include the 13 people at Christ's Last Supper and the belief that the crucifixion took place on Friday 13th. Some theologians also claim that Adam accepted the apple from Eve on a Friday and that Cain killed his brother Abel on Friday 13th.
  6. Earlier cultures also considered the number 13 unlucky. In Norse mythology when Loki, the god of mischief, became the uninvited 13th guest at a banquet in Valhalla, the god of Light: Balhar died as a result. Ancient Norsemen had 13 knots in their hangman's noose. The Romans believed that witches gathered in groups of 13 and the 13th was the Devil. Greek mythology also tells of the violent death of the 13th member in a group of gods. The Chinese interpreted 13 as the number of obstacles in the way of good fortune.
  7. There are some societies that consider 13 lucky. The Mexicans believed the number symbolised the sun and energy. The Jewish Cabala confirms its lucky status; the Book of Moses mentions 13 attributes of God; and the bar mitzvah celebrates the passing from childhood into adulthood at the age of 13.
  8. Friday is considered a lucky day in Scandinavia. The word Friday comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Frigdaeg’, thought to have been a derivation of Frigg, the Norse god of love. Vendredi, French for Friday, derives from Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Some actors also believe that Friday is a lucky day, insisting they sign contracts only on that day Charles Dickens was said to have begun writing all of his books on a Friday. Even stock market traders on Wall Street regard Friday 13th a lucky day Over the past three years it has occurred five times and each time the market has risen substantially
  9. Celebrated paraskavidekatria- phobics include Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, who both avoided travelling on that day. The Royal Family has also been known to avoid the dreaded number. Princess Margaret's birth was not officially recorded, as the registration number was 13. The family waited three days until another baby was registered so Margaret could have the number 14.
  10. Disasters associated with Fridays and the number 13 include in the 19th century, the disappearance of the Royal Navy's HMS Friday, following which Lloyd's would not insure any ship launched on Friday 13th. Even today the US Navy will avoid launching a ship on Friday 13th. The Andes airline crash happened on Friday 13th 1970, and the survivors were forced to eat the flesh of the dead passengers. The ill-fated Apollo 13 launch took place at 13.13 hours whereupon an explosion in the fuel cell aborted the mission on April 13th.
  11. In the Twenties, 13 people sat down to dinner at the Savoy Hotel in London. The following day their host died. Since then, whenever there are 13 people for dinner at the Savoy, the hotel provides an extra seat and places a statuette of a black cat called Kaspar on the chair. In France, a company exists which will always provide a last minute 14th guest for dinner parties.
  12. Many sceptics challenge or dismiss the concept of superstition. The London Thirteen Club, formed in the late 19th century by journalists, regularly meets to mock superstition by spilling salt, opening umbrellas indoors and walking on cracks. The Friday The 13th club, in Philadelphia, has been meeting for 63 years and celebrates the day by breaking mirrors, walking under ladders and crossing the paths of black cats. Greek-born Nick Matsoukas emigrated to the US, arriving on February 13th 1917. He was the 13th child in his family and his name consisted of 13 letters. He formed the National Committee of Thirteen Against Superstition, Prejudice And Fear.
  13.  Finally, perhaps you might like to wonder who it was that actually sat down and worked out that an anagram of ‘eleven plus two’ is ‘twelve plus one".
So, whether you decide to spent today cower in bed, or burn your socks atop a mountain, or even book a table at the Savoy for 12 of your friends — just remember to put a four-leafed clover in your pocket, cross your fingers and stay lucky."

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Event: West Dorset's 'Wyld Morris'

Wyld Morris are a recently formed mixed Morris side of dancers and musicians dancing in the Cotswold tradition.

The side was born in the autumn of 2010 out of a love of the Morris and the lack of a local side that would accept a woman dancer! If you think you might like to join them as a dancer or musician, they would love to hear from you.

Wyld Morris meet on Wednesday evenings at Monkton Wyld Court, Charmouth at 7.30pm. They are learning as we go so you don't need any experience - just an enthusiasm to keep alive our traditional music and dance.

For more details visit their website at www.bredy.org.uk/wyldmorris.html

Book Signing: 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, 45-46 South Street, Dorchester, DT1 1DQ on Saturday 14th April from 11.00 am onwards.
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.

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

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Spring Issue of 'Merry Meet' out now!

Merry Meet: Issue 48 Spring 2012
Merry Meet Magazine is an independent quarterly journal of Folklore and Pagan Heritage, produced and edited by local musician and author Jerry Bird. 

In Issue 48 Spring 2012, articles include:
  • Lord Dunsany's The Blessing of Pan

  •  Shape-shifters' Tales by Michael Berman
  • The Agglestone - 'a theme of antiquarian conjecture'
  • Music in the Wicker Man
  • REVIEWS: Turning the Wheel - by Kevan Manwaring; Treasure of the Silver Web - by Marian Green
Current Stockists

  • The Candy Box, High East Street, Dorchester, Dorset DTI  IHU

For more information visit www.merrymeetmagazine.co.uk

Events: Pike And Shot Events presents 'Haunted Harbour Tours' around Old Weymouth

For those with a strong constitution, and a wish to discover the more chilling and grisly aspects of local history and folklore, why not join us on our ghostly walking tour of Old Weymouth town?

We visit the more macabre sites in Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and tell you about the legends of the local Inns and Alehouses, murders, and other long forgotten tales of history. Many of these locations have had reputed haunted happenings and sightings, and we reveal these stories from local folklore, personal recollections from our tourists, and recently discovered archived material, which will excite you, and open a whole new view of this seaside town for you to explore.
Pike And Shot Events Ltd organise tours in the UK and throughout the rest of Europe. 

Current Dorset based tours for 2012 include our popular Wednesday evening "Haunted Harbour Tour" of Old Weymouth and Melcombe Regis waterfront, and our Thursday evening "Weymouth Smuggling Tour" around the backstreets and passageways of the town. 

New for 2012 is our "Moonfleet Smuggling Tour" taking you on a walking trip around the beautiful shores of the Fleet Lagoon and the countryside made famous in the Novel by J. Meade Falkner and film "Moonfleet" - a story of Smuggling and Piracy on the high seas, based around the 17th Century Manor House of the Mohun family. These run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from April to October. 

We have also put together a "Timewalk Tour" based on the local history of Weymouth and the surrounding area in response to many requests from visitors who were wanting to visit the Old Time Walk visitor attraction, now closed in Brewers Quay. This tour is only available if pre-booked on Wednesdays. Out of our main season (APRIL to OCTOBER) most tours are now available by special advanced booking for parties of 6 or more people. 
Please contact us by E-Mail directly for availability

Date Tour Name Duration Start Times
Tues Day Moonfleet Tour (East Fleet Farm, Chickerell) 3.5 hrs 11:00
Wed Day - Pre-Booked ONLY Timewalk Tour (Weymouth) 90 mins 11:00
Wed Eve Haunted Harbour Tour (Weymouth) 2 hrs 19:00
Thurs Day Moonfleet Tour (Bagwell Farm, Chickerell) 3.5 hrs 11:00
Thurs Eve Smuggling Tour (Weymouth) 90 mins 19:00
  • Please ensure you bring appropriate clothing and foot wear for walking in the coastal countryside.
  • Call 01305 855817 or  E-Mail to enquire about Tours, booking and prices (Office hours 09:30 - 17:00)
Other specialist tours available for parties of 6 or more include Dorset Smugglers by boat and minibus, and many Battlefield tours of historic sites from the 100 years War, English Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars and others. Full details available on application. For more details visit the website at www.paste.org.uk
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