November 2017

Our next talk

Dr. Mick Atkinson will be talking about the Bristol Slave Trade on November 23rd, a subject which has been quite controversial in Bristol recently – see the publicity poster designed by Andrew Popkin for a start. Mick is a former Workers Education Association tutor and county organiser. He gave us a talk on Quakers in Industry a few years ago. Always enthusiastic and passionate about his subject, this promises to be a fascinating talk on which to end our year.

There will not be a Christmas film show this year, as we have arranged very successfully in the last two years, together with mulled wine and mince pies. This is partly because the Village Hall projection equipment is being upgraded just before Christmas.


This will be held on Thursday 25th January and will celebrate the 30th birthday of the Society, which held its inaugural meeting on 13th January 1988. It was chaired by Patricia Vale who has been involved with the Committee ever since. An exhibition will mark major milestones and achievements over that period and will look forward to some of the activities we hope to pursue over the next few years.

2018 Subscriptions

These will be held at the current rate of £7.50. To avoid queuing at the AGM, members can renew by dropping the right amount of money to our Treasurer, John Charman, at 32 Long Street. If paying by a cheque, this can be made payable to Cerne Historical Society. New membership cards and the 2018 programme will be available in due course.

1919 Pitt-Rivers Village Sale

I have previously mentioned that the Centenary of the sale of most of the village by the Pitt-Rivers family in September 1919 provides a great opportunity to celebrate this important date in our village history. There are lots of things which could be done. To help us to work out some priorities and to come up with some sort of a plan and to look at some of the historical resources available, we are planning to organise a workshop at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester in the first half of February. Some people have already indicated that they would like to become involved but we need more if this is really going to get off the ground. We hope to finalise a date shortly.


October 2017

Our next talk

The last talk of this year will be held on Thursday 23rd November when Mick Atkinson will talk about the Bristol Slave Trade. Mick is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker who gave us a brilliant talk a few years ago on the role of Quakers as entrepreneurs and successful business people. The talk will begin at 7.30pm in the village hall.

The next meeting after that will be the AGM on 25th January when we will mark the Society’s 30th birthday with a reflection on the projects we have undertaken over the intervening years.


Defibrillator Training

You may be aware that there is a defibrillator fitted in the Village Hall in addition to the one in the Church porch. The South-Western Ambulance Service who provided the units are contracted to provide one training session per year. This year’s session has been arranged for Saturday morning 11th November in the Village Hall. This training was also flagged-up in the October parish magagazine by Richard Hartley-Sharpe who is the link person with the ambulance service. If you need a refresher and to check if there are any spaces left contact Richard on 341097.



Church Display

Some of you may not realise, particularly newer residents, that there is an excellent display on the history of the village at the back of the church, under the tower.  Also, if you venture into the grounds of the large house at the top of Abbey Street, there are some information boards about the former Abbey under the Abbot’s Porch, one of the two remaining buildings that survived the Dissolution and subsequent years.


Society AGM

Our Society held its inaugural meeting in January 1988 and arose directly out of the very successful celebrations which marked the millennium of the founding of Cerne Abbey in the year 987. The AGM is the occasion when the Committee reports back on the year’s activities and looks forward to the next chapter. We have a membership of over 100 people and are always looking for more people to become involved in our activities, either on the Committee or with some of the projects we will be talking about in the next few months. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.



I am happy to continue as Chairman after the next AGM, if elected but plan to stand down in January 1919, at which point I will have done three and a half years in the role.  The society will only continue to flourish for another 30 years if there is a continuous supply of new people willing to take on Committee roles or to become involved in some of our activities. Please talk to myself or any of the Committee if you wish to know more about what we do and how you can help.


Dorset County Museum

Many of you will know that the museum has ambitious plans for expansion and modernisation of its galleries and facilities.  Heritage Lottery Funding has been secured but another £1.6m is needed to reach their target. The Committee has responded to the public appeal by agreeing a donation of £100.


Mike Clark, Chair


August 2017

Wells Trip

The well-supported and enjoyable jointly organised trip with the Horticultural Society, to Wells.






























Our Next Talk

The Autumn talks programme begins on 28th September with George Bernard, who is Professor of Early Modern History at Southampton University, who will be giving a talk titled:
‘The Dissolution of the Monasteries 1536 to 1540.’ Since his school days, Professor Bernard has been fascinated by the history of England in the C16th and has studied and written extensively on this subject. With Cerne being the site of an important monastery dissolved under Henry V111’s orders, this talk will be of much interest to local residents.