April Talk

 Our next talk on 26th April is from Steve Wallis, an archaeologist employed by Dorset County Council. The Romans have always been an interest of Steve’s and he is talking to us on ‘The Romans in West Dorset: What we can still see today.’


For those of you with a particular interest in archaeology, the County Council runs a programme of visits to sites of archaeological interest throughout Dorset in the spring and summer months. A programme leaflet is usually available from about now from libraries and tourist information offices. Alternatively, look on the County Council website under Dorset Archaeological Days. Steve Wallis will be leading a walk on 19th July, meeting in Thorncombe Wood, Dorchester, to explore a former Roman Road. I have done many of these days over the years and they are re excellent value at only £3 if you pre-book.


May meeting

Because of the recent sad death of Lord Digby, our May meeting at Minterne House has had to be postponed until next year. In our own tribute to Lord Digby, we will show parts of the conversations he recorded a few years ago with Kate Adie. These will take place in the village hall on the same date as our Minterne visit would have taken place, 24th May.


General Data Protection Regulations

 A new EU initiative aimed at tightening up how organisations use and store personal data on their members, applies even to small village societies like our own. Even with the pending leaving of the UK from the EU, we have to comply with the regulations by the 25th May. It has been a real pain trying to work out what we need to do, largely because of a lack of understandable guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office. This will explain why other local groups and organisations to which you may belong, may have adopted a different approach. No size fits all. However, after considerable head scratching, advice sought and time spent, we have worked out a response, which is attached and which we are confident meets the requirements. Please do read this which should be self-explanatory and let me know if you think any information we hold about you is incorrect, or you prefer we don’t record. It’s particularly important to let us know of any change of e-mail address so we can keep in contact.


Chalke Valley History Festival

 Every year I give this a plug. Only an hour’s drive away, this event is spread over a week from 25thJune to 1st July and features a huge range of talks given in a cluster of marquees. It seems that every popular historian will have appeared here over the years, including a host of names made famous by their television appearances. This year’ programme is no different and features among many others, Dan Snow, Helen Castor, Tom Holland, Simon Schama, Julian Richards, John Julius Norwich, Anthony Beevor and Charles Spencer. The website is

Mike Clark   


You can get in touch with Mike via the Contact Us form on this site.      


The Society’s Archive

To underline to its membership the importance of undertaking original primary research, and to illustrate the diversity of content and scale of its collection we have a taste of the Society’s Archive in the photos below.  A significant number of artefacts is professionally conserved and stored at the Dorset History Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester.  Those items are available to view upon request.


A taster of the kinds of archived material in the custodianship of the Cerne Historical Society.




March Talk

Some members will recall the fascinating talk given by Brian Bates three years ago on the WW1 German Prisoner of War camp in Dorchester. Brian returned to us on 22nd March with a totally different subject: ‘An imaginary walk through 17th century Dorchester,’ which proved to be enjoyable in a different way.


Lest We Forget

One of the most moving talks we have ever had was given by George Mortimer and Duncan Fergusson when they explored the lives behind the names on the village war memorial from WW1. The content of this talk was made into a booklet which had sold out. As we approach the centenary of the end of this war, this booklet is going to be re-printed.


Water Meadows

On 16th February, two people who have been involved in the restoration of the Harnham Water Meadows in Salisbury visited Cerne to help the local working party better understand the workings of the water meadows downstream from the tithe barn to the south of the Folly. Through the construction of irrigation channels and sluices, water meadows appeared throughout Dorset from the early 1600s and extended the grazing season for animals. Together with a visit the previous day from the Dorset Wildlife Trust much was learned about the history, structure and operation of water meadows, together with how best to maximise the wildlife potential of the site.


Past Programmes

We do not have a record of our programmes for the years between when the Society was founded in 1988 until 1994. If anybody who has been a member since the beginning has any of these programmes, would they please let me know. We can copy them and return you the originals.


Cerne Abbas Stores

There was a farewell to Andrew and Geraldine, and a welcome to Jen and Ken on Saturday 14th April, at 7pm in our Church. There were further details in the April parish magazine with details on how to contribute towards a leaving present.

Mike Clark: Chair 

You can get in touch with Mike via the Contact Us form on this site.