For family reasons, Alison de Candole is stepping down as Treasurer of the Society after several years fulfilling this role with efficiency and dedication. She will remain on the Committee and the role of Treasurer has been taken on by John Charman who joined the Committee at the AGM in January.
This edition of my chat will go to all on the circulation list, whether you have re-enrolled for this year or not. However, by next month we will amend the list so that only members who have signed up for this year should receive it. You can join at any of our evening talks, or by paying the £7.50 membership by cash or cheque (payable to Cerne Historical Society) and posting to John Charman at 32 Long Street. Don’t forget to leave an address and if you are a new member, it would be useful to have an e-mail address if you have one, so we can more easily send you this newsletter.
Our Next Talk – 23rd March
John Smith will give us a flavour of life as a Roman soldier based in Dorset. He will bring replica equipment and clothing for what he describes as a ‘living history’ presentation under the title of ‘The Roman Army in Dorset: Finds, Facts and Fiction.
Windrose Rural Media Trust – 22rd April
As previously mentioned, this west-country based charity has been collecting oral histories for over 30 years and has an extensive collection of audio and film recordings. Windrose has organised many film shows from their archive, including to us back in 2001. We are jointly putting on an evening of archive film and live discussion along the themes of changes in farming practices and in village life over the last 50 or more years. This will involve Fred Horsington and Will Best on farming and Betty Marsh (born in Cerne) and one other to be confirmed, on village life. At the time of going to press in the parish newsletter, we were also hoping to involve Tommy Dunn but he is no longer available on the date. There will be the opportunity for the audience to join in the discussions and the whole event will be filmed. Although Windrose has obtained Lottery Funding to go towards the running of these events, we are also having to make a financial contribution towards their costs. Partly this helps towards their project of digitising their large collection of material. Tickets will be on sale from the beginning of April in Cerne Abbas Stores at £7 which will include a glass of wine or soft drink. Top ups will be available at our usual bar price of £2 for wine or 50p for a soft drink. This takes place on Saturday 22nd April in the village hall, starting at 7pm.This promises to be a fascinating evening when we can compare the dramatic changes in rural life since the end of World War 2. I hope long-term residents and relative newcomers will be interested to come along.
The Society was formed in January 1988 after the success of the varied celebrations in 1987 to mark the centenary of the foundation of Cerne Abbey. One of the main events from that year was an exhibition of photographs and other memorabilia illustrating the history of the village. Much of this was donated by villagers and forms the core of an archive of material which is forever expanding. This archive is currently held in what is known as the Old Pottery, near the tithe barn on the other side of Kettle Bridge by the village hall. This is the home of Jane Newdick and Michael Parker who for some time now, have kindly donated the use of a room in their house, for which we are extremely grateful. This has suited our purpose and we are under no pressure to move, but as our collection grows, we do need to find somewhere in the village which would be a more permanent home and is also more easily accessed. We have recently explored a couple of of possible alternatives which have turned out not to be suitable. There may be somewhere in the village which is staring us in the face but we are not seeing it. Alternatively, you may have an out-building which might suit our purpose. The main criteria are that a possible location must be reasonably accessible, able to be made secure and is clean and dry. Please let myself or any of the Committee know if you have a sudden light-bulb moment.
The Committee will shortly be thinking about the programme of talks for 2018. Each year we have eight talks and considerable effort goes into finding speakers and topics which we hope will be of interest to members. Most or our topics have a Dorset focus. If you know of a speaker, or would like to suggest a topic which you think would be relevant, do please let us know. The Committee doesn’t have a monopoly on ideas.
Mike Clark, Chair