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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Dorset's Weird and Wonderful Year of 2014

From Big Cats to Crop Circles, May Day Frolics to Strange Discoveries. This 2014 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 24th January 2014
  • News Clipping: Big Black Cat Spotted By Wessex FM Listener

A couple from Moreton spotted something highly unusual prowling across West Stafford Bypass last night.
READ MORE - Source: Wessex FM  - 24th January 2014
FEBRUARY - Friday, 7th February 2014

  • News Clipping: Britain's Beasts: Monstrous Myths or Tropical Truths?

With recent reported sightings of a crocodile in Bristol’s River Avon, we look at some of Britain’s more exotic, possibly mythical, wildlife inhabitants.

READ MORE - Source: Country File Magazine - Friday 7th February 2014

MARCH - Monday, 24th March 2014
  • News Clipping: ‘The Bishop, the Devil and the Boot’ – Katherine Barker’s reading of Sherborne Museum’s medieval wall painting

Early in March, the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society Research Centre hosted a talk by Katherine Barker for the Sherborne Museum Association on a medieval wall painting discovered in 1962 during renovations to a house in Sherborne. Katherine has very kindly enlarged on her original note describing the talk, to enable us to provide a more thorough record of her investigations.

READ MORE - Source: Somerset & Dorset Family History Society, Monday, 24th March 2014
APRIL - Friday 11th - Sunday 13th April 2014

  •   Event: Thomas Hardy and Dorset Folklore Conference and Exhibition

A joint conference of The Folklore Society and the Thomas Hardy Society exploring Wessex folklore, folk customs and rural traditions, and the works of Thomas Hardy. Including a temporary ehibition at the Dorset County Museum.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset County Musum Facebook, Friday 11th - Sunday 13th April 2014

MAY - Thursday 1st May 2014
  • Event: May Day 2014. Giant Hill, Cerne Abbas, Dorset

On May Day, The  Wessex Morris Men, who perform their annual ritual dance at the Trendle, at sunrise. The morris dancers accompanied by the Ooser then process into the village to dance in the square outside The Royal Oak.

Morris dancers of England Facebook Thursday 1st May 2014
JUNE - Friday, 13th June 2014
  • News Clipping: Gerald Gardner: Blue plaque for 'father of witchcraft'

Gerald Gardner, regarded as the founder of modern paganism, has been honoured with a blue plaque at his former home. The plaque, donated by the Centre for Pagan Studies, was unveiled at the house in Highcliffe, Dorset, exactly 130 years after Gardner's birth.
READ MORE - Source: BBC News Friday, 13th June 2014

JULY - Monday 14th July 2014
  • News Clippings: First crop circle of the year appears overnight in Dorset wheat field sparking new interest in who or what has made it

The first crop circle of the year has appeared in a field near Blandford Forum in Dorset leaving locals stumped over who or what created it. Covering an enormous stretch of wheat field, the 400ft pattern, which is made up of geometric lines and circles, emerged overnight.

 READ MORE - Source: The Daily Mail, Monday 14th July 2014
AUGUST - Sunday 10th August 2014

  • News Clipping: Uncovered: hidden tunnel where the infamous Judge Jeffreys walked more than 400 years ago

    A ‘Legendary’ tunnel has been uncovered underneath a Dorchester shopping street.The passageway used by the notorious Judge Jeffreys, who instilled widespread fear during the Bloody Assizes of 1685, has been rediscovered underneath Antelope Walk. 
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo, Sunday 10th August 2014
SEPTEMBER - Thursday, 18th September 2014
  • News Clipping: Paranormal sightings study reveals Devon is a hotspot for vampires

Devon is a hotspot for vampires, a study into paranormal sightings has revealed.
Nine cases have been reported in the county over the last century - more than in Dracula's homeland of Transylvania. While Dorset comes 6th in the ranking

READ MORE - Source: Exeter Express and Echo

OCTOBER - Sunday 26th October 2014
  • News Clipping: Witches, fairies and the Beast of Broadwindsor: mysterious tales of West Dorset told in new book

On a windswept West Dorset hill dotted with spindly trees, legend has it that a coven of witches are at work.  Author Louise Hodgson, of Corscombe, who meets me on the hill, has researched the folklore surrounding this spooky tale – and what she has found out is spine-chilling.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo, Sunday 26th October 2014

NOVEMBER - Wednesday, 26th November 2014
  • News Clipping: Peter Underwood, author and investigator, died 26th November 2014
Expert on the paranormal who wrote more than 50 books on ghost-hunting and the supernatural including 'Ghost of Dorset'

READ MORE - Source: The Guardian - Wednesday, 17th December 2014
DECEMBER - Monday 15th December 2014
  • News Clipping: Skull found on steps of Dorset Church is 500 years old

    A human skull abandoned on the doorstep of a Dorset church is more than 500 years old. Carbon dating was carried out on the remains which were discovered in July, by the church warden of Lady St Mary's Church in Wareham. Dorset Police said the tests established the skull dated from the 15th Century. The skull was left on the steps of the church, wrapped in tissue in a bag.

    READ MORE - Source: Western Gazette, Monday 15th December 2014

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