‘Hayden Princess’ Traction Engine

Hayden Princess

Hayden Princess

‘Hayden Princess’ is an 11-ton, 7-horsepower general purpose traction engine built by the firm of Marshall in 1901. In 1996 she was bequeathed by the late Jack Miles of Charminster to the Dorset County Museum, now her permanent owner.

The Museum has found it difficult to exhibit the engine, however, let alone display it in steam at outdoor events. In 2012, the Trustees of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, reached agreement with the volunteer steam enthusiasts who had been looking after and running the engine on their behalf, to form the ‘Dorchester Steam Engine Preservation Society Ltd’ a company limited by guarantee.

This Society now stores, maintains and insures the engine on the Museum’s behalf, and has the right to steam it for members’ own enjoyment, and exhibit it at local Shows.

‘Hayden Princess’ has been in steam at almost every Great Dorset Steam Fair, since the first working steam rally at Stourpaine in 1969.

The Society is always interested in attracting other people who would appreciate a closer contact with the engine and the satisfaction of keeping it in working order.  If you would like to know more about this, please contact Greg Rochfort via the Dorset County Museum Contact Us Page

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Testing the Boundaries: Life, Land and Livestock in Later Prehistory by Dr. Clare Randall

Dr. Clare Randall

Dr. Clare Randall

This Friday, 2nd October 2015 at 7.30pm, Dorset County Museum is hosting a fascinating talk which will reveal what ancient animal bones can tell us about people’s lives in prehistoric Dorset.

Dr. Clare Randall, an osteoarchaeologist with a particular interest in pastoral farming and land use during prehistory, said “Sometimes we assume that animal bones only tell us what people ate, but in fact they speak to us of so much more. Combined with other humble things such as fields and ditches, we can learn much more about people’s lives than we could have possibly imagined.”

This talk will explore the changing ways in which people in the Bronze Age and Iron Age organised everyday tasks, leaving behind them some of the largest scale archaeology we have.

The talk is on Friday 2nd October 2015, Dorset County Museum, 7.30pm (doors open at 7.00pm). The talk is free of charge but a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Second World War Drama ‘Stronghold of Happiness’ at the Dorset County Museum

Kitty Sansom and Toby Ingram in the play 'Stronghold of Happiness'

Kitty Sansom and Toby Ingram in the play ‘Stronghold of Happiness’

In 2015, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ending of Second World War, Dorset couple, Peter and Ella Samways, have answered an advert placed by the local drama college, for couples who were married in Second World War to write in with their story.

They are excited when their story is chosen for dramatization, and are invited to watch a rehearsal of the play and to answer questions posed by the actors about the war and local history.

Watching their story unfold, with its shattering wartime events, turns out to be more dramatic and cathartic than the couple initially realised.

Stronghold of Happiness PosterThe play based on the book ‘Stronghold of Happinessby Devina Symes is fiction based on fact, and includes the true story of the RAF’s 151 wing’s unique mission to Russia, where the latter were the only members of His Majesty’s Forces to serve alongside the Russians as allies, and were on the first convoy to leave the United Kingdom.

Intrinsic to the story is Peter’s father, Archie, who, like other Dorset characters, copes with the dark side of life through humour and wisdom, and makes innocent observations about life at that time, little realising he is standing on the cusp of a vanishing world.

The performance is at the Dorset County Museum on Saturday 17th October 2015.  Tickets for the play cost £7.00 each to include a complimentary glass of wine or juice, and nibbles. Tickets are available from Dorset County Museum Shop or by telephone on 01305 756827. All proceeds will go to the refurbishment of the William Barnes Gallery at the Dorset County Museum.

  • 1940s dress optional!. Please note this event contains adult themes and is not suitable for children

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Visiting Hardy – a talk by author Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore

Writing Places, the literature project partnership between Literature Works, The National Trust and The Poetry Archive, are delighted to welcome acclaimed author Helen Dunmore to Dorset Country Museum on Friday 25th September.

Helen has a wealth of writing and teaching experience. She is a published writer of poetry, short stories and novels for children and adults and has taught poetry and creative writing in a variety of community settings as well as at under graduate and post-graduate level.
Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996 and since then she has gone on to publish a number of novels, short story collections and books for children.

The Lie by Helen DunmoreHer latest novel, The Lie, (2014), is set during and after the First World War. It has been shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, and was also nominated for The Folio Prize.  Helen is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

‘Visiting Hardy’

Thomas Hardy designed Max Gate after he’d become a well-known and successful writer and it was here he entertained visits from some of the leading lights of the 20th Century, including T.E. Lawrence, The Prince of Wales and in 1926 Virginia Woolf with her husband Leonard, who later said she wanted to talk books but he kept reverting to the dog. Acclaimed novelist, poet, short fiction and children’s fiction writer Helen Dunmore imagines what it must have been like to visit Hardy at Max Gate and shares some of the stories that surround these encounters.

“Hardy proved that it was possible to be a great novelist and a great poet, and I think he encourages all writers to be bold rather than narrow, to have faith in their own material and not to flinch from writing the books they want to write. The emotional honesty and brilliant technique of Poems of 1912-1913 have influenced me deeply, and so has the sense of place which suffuses his work. I like his melancholy, his shrewdness and keen observation of nature and human nature”.

Helen Dunmore 2015

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Lecture: John Craxton’s Crete by Ian Collins

Four Figures in a Mountain Landscape by John Craxton © estate of John Craxton / Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Four Figures in a Mountain Landscape by John Craxton © estate of John Craxton / Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

On Friday 18th September, Ian Collins, Curator of Dorset County Museum’s John Craxton Exhibition and Biographer of the artist, is giving a talk at Dorset County Museum which will focus on the period of the artist’s career when he was residing and painting in Crete.

John Craxton (1922-2009) was one of the most interesting and individual British artists of the 20th century. After years of travelling around the Mediterranean after World War 11, Craxton settled in Crete in 1960. His life story, starting with wanderings on Cranborne Chase, was as colourful as his later pictures of the light, life and landscapes of Greece.

Ian Collins with Sir David Attenborough at the opening of the John Craxton Exhibition - Jonathan North / DCM © 2015

Ian Collins with Sir David Attenborough at the opening of the John Craxton Exhibition – Jonathan North / DCM © 2015

The exhibition at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester charts Craxton’s journey from Cranborne to Crete, from early paintings of dark and menaced war-time landscapes to joyful scenes painted under bright Cretan skies. The exhibition runs until Saturday 19th September.

All are welcome to the talk on Friday which starts at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. The talk is free of charge, but a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Lunchtime Concert at Dorset County Museum: Bose-Pastor Piano Duo

Pia Bose and Antonio Pastor

Pia Bose and Antonio Pastor

On Thursday 17th September, Dorchester will be treated to a world class lunchtime concert from the internationally acclaimed Bose-Pastor Piano Duo.

The Duo perform chamber music, classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments, and won second prize at the 18th International Piano Duo Competition in Tokyo, Japan 2013.

American pianist Pia Bose, and Spanish pianist Antonio Pastor officially formed their four-hand piano duo in 2012. Recent performance highlights include recitals in London, Washington D.C. and Geneva. The Duo also performed before a full house at St.Martin-in-the-Fields in London on the recommendation of the Embassy of Spain’s Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs.

The married Geneva-based pianists share a passion for promoting Spanish culture and arts, and also have a special interest in performing for charitable organisations, and are both also deeply committed to teaching and music education.

Everyone is welcome at what promises to be a truly wonderful performance, and to cover costs a small donation of £3.00 is requested. The concert will take place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery at 1.00pm on Thursday 17th September.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

Geology Lecture at Dorset County Museum: Blood Cells and Dinosaur Bones By Dr Susannah Maidment

Dr Susannah Maidment

Dr Susannah Maidment

On Wednesday 9th September, Dr Susannah Maidment, Junior Research Fellow at Imperial College, is giving a talk at Dorset County Museum entitled ‘Fibres and Cellular Structures from 75 Million Year Old Dinosaur Bones’.

All are welcome to the talk which starts at 7.00pm. Doors open at 6.30pm. The talk is free of charge but a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter