At the moment, we are working from last year’s membership list for sending out this newsletter, so you may receive this even if you haven’t yet re-joined the Society for this year, at the very good value of £7.50. Talks this year include the Roman army in Dorset, the history of the Eldridge Pope Brewery, the geology of Cerne Abbas and its influence on the character of the village and a joint visit in July with the Horticultural Society to the Bishop’s Palace in Wells. If you are not re-enrolling, please let me know at my e-mail address at the bottom of this message so we can stop sending you these messages. Please don’t reply to Gill Dillistone who holds our distribution list and sends this out on my behalf. Also, please note that I have changed my e-mail address. Please ask at a meeting if you need it.

Tyneham – the Last Chapter, February 23rd

A talk by Paul Fancy who first visited Tyneham in 1973 and has been a regular visitor ever since. In 2001 he became a Range Warden and has helped in restoration work to maintain the fabric of the remaining buildings. With there only being a handful of people alive who lived in the Tyneham area prior to 1943, Paul will talk about the history, the present and what might lie in the future for this evocative former settlement. This is also a good opportunity to re-enrol for 2017 if you have not yet done so.

Windrose, 22nd April

Members of some years residence in Cerne may recall a couple of evenings of archive film shown by a local charity formerly known as Trilith Films, who collect old films, audio recordings and other material on rural and folk history. Now known as Windrose, this group of enthusiasts have mostly worked for the BBC at some stage. Together, we are planning an evening on 22nd April, at 7pm in Cerne Village Hall where some short films of older farming practices will introduce a discussion involving Will Best and Fred Horsington on changes they have experienced in farming during their working lives. We are also planning to look at aspects of village life over the last 70 to 80 years. The audience will have the opportunity to join in with their recollections and the whole evening will be filmed. Details are still being worked out and more information will be coming soon. There is a fee we pay to Windrose, so we will be selling tickets for this event.

Giant Booklet

This new booklet written by our own Prof Tom Shippey summarises all that is currently known about the Giant and will be on sale at meetings and through Cerne Abbas Stores throughout the year.

Mike Clark – Chair


Annual General Meeting

I hope you will be able to come along to this meeting on 26th January at 7.30pm. In addition to the business meeting, there will be a display of old maps and aerial photos compiled and annotated by John Charman. Richard Hartley-Sharpe has converted John’s material into a display. Most of the photos date from the end of World War 2 and by comparison with other material, it is fascinating to follow changes in land use and settlement over time. The focus of the display is on the Cerne Valley from Minterne to Godmanstone. If you are unable to make the AGM, or want more time to view the exhibition, it will be in the Church from 27th January until 7th February.


The Cerne Giant – Tom Shippey

Tom Shippey has written a booklet on the Giant which brings us up-to-date with all the theories about our famous resident and who he might be, when he was constructed and for what purpose. This will be available for sale for the first time at the AGM.

Mike Clark – Chair