From Strange Rain to Whale Vomit, strange archaeological finds to unsual wildlife. This 2012 has been a busy year for weird and wonderful news in Dorset.
Dark Dorset looks back with a selection of twelve stories taken from our blog scrapbook and facebook page.
JANUARY - Friday, 27th January 2012
News Clipping: Bournemouth resident mystified by 'blue sphere shower'
A man in Dorset has been left mystified after tiny blue spheres fell from the sky into his garden. Steve Hornsby from Bournemouth said the 3cm diameter balls came raining down late on Thursday afternoon during a hail storm. He found about a dozen of the balls in his garden. He said: "[They're] difficult to pick up, I had to get a spoon and flick them into a jam jar." The Met Office said the jelly-like substance was "not meteorological"
READ MORE - Source: BBC News, 27th January 2012
FEBRUARY - Friday, 21st February 2012
When a set of bones was discovered at a property in Dorset this month, experts confirmed they were "bones of antiquity". But what happens when you find human remains in your back garden? Imagine you have got the builders in and they are digging up your garden. Then suddenly work stops, and the contractors tell you they have uncovered a set of bones. This is what happened to a woman from Preston, near Weymouth, who was having an extension built.
READ MORE - Source: BBC News, 21st February 2012
MARCH - Friday, 16th March 2012
News Clipping: Venomous spiders found nesting in Chickerell mum's shed
A single mother has discovered an infestation of a type of venomous, biting spider on the roof of her shed. And the creatures, false widow spiders, have been found in her house. Lindsay Hallam, of Marshallsay Road, Chickerell, has tried everything to rid her home of the arachnids, which have been known to bite.
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo, Friday 16th March 2012
Blog: The Skimmington Ride
The large plaster frieze in the Great Hall at Montacute House is one of the room’s most distinctive features, and one that is particularly puzzling for modern visitors. In such a grand house one might expect the frieze to depict a morally uplifting tale from the Bible or classical mythology... but instead it shows a rustic scene from the time the frieze was produced, in the early seventeenth century.
News Clippings: Giant crab at Weymouth Sea Life Park
This gigantic crab has escaped the cook pot and will be showcased at Weymouth Sea Life Park. The Tasmanian King Crab is a delicacy in its native Australia and was destined for the dinner table until it was snapped up by a British aquarium worker. He agreed to buy three of the enormous crustaceans for £3,000 and had them flown to the UK.JUNE - Thursday, 14th June 2012
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 2nd May 2012
READ MORE - Source: The Daily Mail Tuesday 1st May 2012
Claude weighs a mighty 15lbs and measures 15 inches wide and would have produced 20lbs worth of meat
News Clipping: Dorset donkey rustler among Victorian crimes put online
Details of a man who was given hard labour for stealing a donkey in Dorset are among 67,000 Victorian criminal records to be put online. George Pill, 18, committed his misdemeanour in 1894 and was given a six-week sentence as punishment. Details of his crime have come from the Dorset History Centre, which is digitising its archive.
JULY - Monday, 9th July 2012
News Clippings: Meet Monmouth's Member: Rock slide leaves rather embarrassing phallic symbol on Dorset beach which could rival county's famous hillside image
There must surely be something in the water in Dorset. The county is already notorious for its hillside figure of a naked and sexually aroused man, known as The Cerne Abbas Giant. But locals have recently been getting flustered by yet another X-rated image, which many believe could rival the famous hillside image.
Schoolboy's rich after finding Moby's sickA schoolboy has stumbled across a rare piece of whale vomit which could be worth a staggering £40,000. Officially called ambergris, the substance is highly sought after and is used to prolong the scent of perfume. Charlie Naysmith made the discovery at Hengistbury Head, much to the amazement of his parents.
SEPTEMBER - Saturday, 22nd September 2012
News Clipping: Dorset's big cat riddle
Sightings of mysterious big cats in Dorset have sparked intense debate in recent years. Many are convinced that here are panthers roaming the countryside while others maintain that with no conclusive proof of their existence that it is highly unlikely they exist in the wild. There have, however, been numerous reported sightings in recent years. According to figures obtained by the Echo, a total of 53 people have made emergency calls to report their wild cat encounters since 2006.
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 22nd September 2012
OCTOBER - Saturday, 23rd October 2012
News Clipping: 18th century barn in Lytchett reveals secrets after huge mirror is taken down
An 18th century barn has been revealing some of its secrets after a huge mirror was taken down. Gill and John Haynes were moving their Chic Interiors from another unit at the Courtyard Centre, Lytchett Minster into the barn, and decided on some refurbishment.
NOVEMBER - Tuesday 20th November 2012
- News Clipping: Rare albino badger causes a stir in Dorset market town of Beaminster
But the so-called polar bear of Dorset defied all attempts to track it down despite regular sightings of it rootling around in the countryside. In the end the puzzle was solved by a photographer working on a tip-off. Colin Varndell set up camp in a friend’s garden for four nights… and was rewarded when a rare albino badger finally emerged. At a push the stripeless creature could be said to resemble a small bear and, being nocturnal in habit, is rarely seen in public.
READ MORE - Source: The Metro, Tuesday 20th November 2012
DECEMBER - Thursday, 1st December 2011
NEW BOOK: Blandford Forum Ghosts by Sue Burleigh and Catherine Greenway
Blandford Forum Ghosts
By Sue Burleigh &
Written and collected by Sue Burleigh and Catherine Greenway, this booklet provides some intriguing and entertaining stories provided by local people. With illustrations by Sue herself, and photographs of places featured in the stories
This booklet is available for £2.50 from the Blandford Town Museum and from the Blandford Forum Tourist Information Centre, Riverside House, West Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 7AW.
Source: Blackmore Vale Magazine - 21st December 2012