Dorset County Museum to host Sci-Fi characters and Father Christmas on Cracker Night

Dorchester Christmas CrackerIt’s nearly time for Cracker Night again in Dorchester. The event that officially kicks off Christmas in the County town takes place this year on Thursday 3rd December from 5.00pm.

This year by popular demand, everyone’s favourite science fiction characters will be back at Dorset County Museum. Come along to see characters from the Star Wars films and Dr Who. Bring the children to see Father Christmas in his grotto – every child will receive a bag of goodies in return for a small donation.

Pliosaur meets Darth Vader

Delicious mulled wine and mince pies will be available to buy in the Victorian Gallery, and the Tea Room will be open for tasty snacks and refreshments. A browse in the Museum shop will reveal a wide range of gift ideas including toys, games, books and jewellery. The current exhibition St Ives and British Modernism: the George & Ann Dannatt Collection will be on display in the exhibition gallery, and prints of some of the works will be for sale – another fantastic opportunity to pick up a very special Christmas present.

Entry to the Museum on Cracker Night is FREE and everyone is welcome. The ground floor galleries will be open on the night.

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

Evening Talk & Book Launch: ‘A Freezing Horror’, the Wreck of the Halsewell East Indiaman

The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the HalsewellOne freezing night in January 1786 a shocking and dramatic shipwreck on the Dorset coast stunned the nation. Local author Philip Browne’s talk at Dorset County Museum sheds fresh light on the career of Captain Richard Peirce of the East India Company and the wreck of his ship, the Halsewell.

On Wednesday 2nd December at 7.30pm at the Dorset County Museum, Philip Browne will draw on original research to explore the factors that led to the shipwreck and will examine the impact of the disaster on Captain Peirce’s own family and the response of society to this horrific event. Come along and find out the answers to the questions who was Captain Peirce, and was he to blame for the loss of his ship and the deaths of his own daughters?

Signed copies of Philip Browne’s book ‘The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the Halsewell’ will be on sale after the talk.

The talk is on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 : 7.00pm for 7.30pm and is FREE, although a small donation of £3 is requested to cover costs. For further information and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Lunchtime concert performance with guitarist Terry Spooner

Terry SpoonerOn Thursday 26th November at 1.00pm, Dorset County Museum is hosting a guitar recital with Terry Spooner, who will be playing an eclectic programme of music including Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Morricone and Granados plus some original pieces and a little jazz.

Terry now lives in Dorset, but has been a professional guitarist and guitar teacher for many years, mostly in and around the London area. His playing incorporates elements of classical, jazz, South American and world music. He has played in such musically diverse venues as The Royal Albert Hall (classical), The Marquee (rock) and Ronnie Scott’s (Jazz). He also plays in the guitar / violin duo Ten String Fever with violinist Jane Miller.

Everyone is welcome at this free concert, although to cover costs, a small donation of £3.00 is requested. The concert will take place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery.

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

Charity Ball Celebrates Museum’s 170th anniversary

AFC Bournemouth’s Balfour Suite, all ready for guests to arrive.

AFC Bournemouth’s Balfour Suite, all ready for guests to arrive © DCM 2015

Last month, Dorset County Museum hosted ‘The Discovery Ball’ at AFC Bournemouth in celebration of the Museum’s 170th Anniversary.

The black tie event saw Dorset County Museum welcome 100 glamorous guests into the Balfour Suite for a wonderful evening consisting of a champagne reception, a delicious three course meal followed by a lively auction and raffle.

The evening started with music from the local, up-and-coming DJ Ryan Davis.  For many, the highlight of the evening’s entertainment was the extremely talented, Anthony Adams and his live swing band, who performed their accurate portrayal of the smooth tones of the one and only, Frank Sinatra. Guests were memorised by Anthony Adam’s ease, timing and soulful voice which is so reminiscent of the great man himself.

Anthony’s ability to truly portray Sinatra’s personae and voice makes it clear to see why he is currently recognised as one of the best and most accurate tributes to Frank Sinatra in the UK and Europe today.

Guests dancing to Anthony Adam's Sinatra.

Guests dancing to Anthony Adam’s Sinatra.

Unsurprisingly, the dance floor was never empty except during the evening’s lavish auction which included a luxury villa in the French Alps, a day charter aboard motor yacht Ikara, a three course Champagne lunch at The Savoy, Aston Martin and Jet Viper experiences and a replica Dinosaur Fossil amongst many, many more…

At the end of the evening, Anthony Adam’s drew the evening’s indulgent raffle with over 30 lucky guests leaving with prizes ranging from a Christmas Hamper and a bronze hare to various gift vouchers, Dior nail polishes and local jam sets.

Auction and Raffle tables filled with luxury prizes.

Auction and Raffle tables filled with luxury prizes.

On behalf of everyone at Dorset County Museum, we would like to thank all those who made such generous donations towards the auction and raffle and a special thank you to:

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum, Gabriella Crouch, Fundraising and Development Manager and Anthony Adams.

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum,
Gabriella Crouch, Fundraising and Development Manager and Anthony Adams © DCM 2015

And, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped on the evening and to everyone who attended ‘The Discovery Ball’ for making the evening so enjoyable for all.

Dorset County Museum’s, Fundraising and Development Manager, Gabriella Crouch said “The Discovery Ball was such a fantastic evening and was great to see so many people from all across the county come together. The event was successful in raising an impressive total of £6215.00 towards the museums redevelopment project which will transform Dorset County Museum into a leading, contemporary cultural and heritage centre. We would like to thank those who came and celebrated the Museum’s 170th birthday in such style and joined us in looking forward to the Museum’s exciting new future!”

To find out more about the Museum’s development project please visit the museum website www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/discovery-centre or for upcoming fundraising opportunities, please contact Gabriella Crouch, Fundraising and Development Manager, on 01305 262735 or email fundraising@dorsetcountymuseum.org

Adult Craft Workshop: Make a Christmas Wreath

Holly-WreathOn Wednesday 11th November between 1.00pm and 3.30pm, as part of its series of craft sessions the Museum is running a festive workshop for adults to come along and learn how to make a Christmas Wreath.

This session is designed specifically for beginners who wish to try out new crafts and techniques. Tickets cost £10.00 each, and as places are limited to just 15, booking is essential. Basic materials will be provided, but participants will need to bring a bag of straw or rabbit bedding, and their own choice of greenery. At the end of the session participants will have their own handmade Christmas wreath to take home.

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

The Naming of the Shrew: A Curious History of Latin Names by John Wright

The Naming of the Shrew:  A Curious History of Latin Names  by John Wright

The Naming of the Shrew: A Curious History of Latin Names by John Wright

This talk at Dorset County Museum takes its name from speaker John Wright’s book, and promises to be interesting and amusing in equal measure. Have you ever wondered about the Latin names given to flora and fauna? Well, now is your chance to come along and find out just how fun taxonomy, the science of classification, can be!

John Wright explains, “Latin names are frequently unpronounceable, a puzzle to unravel and often extraordinarily rude. In short, surprisingly hilarious. You’ll never have guessed taxonomy could be so much fun!”

John Wright is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a passionate natural historian and author of several River Cottage handbooks including Mushrooms, Edible Seashore, Hedgerow and Booze. After the talk, he will be signing copies of his book The Naming of the Shrew: A Curious History of Latin Names.

This FREE talk is open to all. To cover costs, a small donation of £3 is encouraged. The talk will take place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery on Wednesday 11th November, 7.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm).

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

Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County MuseumThe Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Monday 23 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening . A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.
All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 13 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 22 November.

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

Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Vol 136 – 2015

Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Volume 136 - 2015Remarkable archaeological finds, controversy over the latest film version of Far from the Madding Crowd and ‘the world’s biggest bite’ marine reptile exhibit are revealed in the new style annual just published by the Dorset County Museum.

Read about the pliosaur, the Museum’s latest marine reptile fossil exhibit, a fearsome creature which had the largest bite in the world. Experts discuss new film version of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. Finds from the excavations at the Durotriges village excavations at Winterbourne Kingston and the major Roman villa excavation at Druce farm are detailed. Plus over twenty other major articles.

“We are really excited about the latest volume which looks great and has lots of fascinating articles,” says Dr Paul Lashmar, the journal’s editor. “These are scholarly papers but we pride ourselves that they are very readable so there is something in every edition to delight the casual reader or visitor to Dorset.”

Weymouth Bay Pliosaur Skull © DCM

Weymouth Bay Pliosaur Skull © DCM

The new volume features original line drawings on the cover that were used to illustrate the Cornhill Magazine serialisation of Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd in 1874.

“With its classic yet unique British countryside and a long and enthralling history Dorset is a remarkable county. Home too many great writers and artists Dorset can also boast the best prehistoric landscape in Britain and the geological wonders of the Jurassic Coast. The annual, the Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeology Society 2015 celebrates everything that is fascinating and important about Dorset.in the last year,” says Dr Lashmar.

Druce Farm Roman Villa

Druce Farm Roman Villa

While Dorset inspires many books, papers and articles, only Proceedings publishes with regard to academic scholarship. From its home at the Dorset County Museum Proceedings has published for 136 years a remarkable annual collection of scholarly papers, monographs and reports from a wide range of disciplines in the furtherance of knowledge and understanding.

CONTENTS:

PAPERS

  • What Tess meant to Hardy, and why Keith Wilson
  • Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) Directed By Thomas Vinterberg. A review Paul J. Niemeyer
  • How to get a head in Dorset County Museum: The tailless tale of Pliosaurus kevani Jenny Cripps
  • The environmental quality of the Sherford River (Dorset) assessed with macroinvertebrate data – Patrick D. Armitage, J.A.B. Bass & Adrianna Hawczak
  • Underwater light-trapping of mobile invertebrates in the Fleet lagoon, Dorset – Nina Wills, J. A. B. Bass & J. I. Jones
  • ‘Gone for a Burton’: Thomas Arthur Burton (1842-1936), musician & composer, and his family (from Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Cotswolds, Hampshire & Dorset) – Hugh S. Torrens
  • Mrs Alicia Moore, dedicatee of Henry Rowland Brown’s 1859 guidebook Beauties of Lyme Regis – Michael A. Taylor
  • A token found at Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, apparently associated with Mary Anning (1799–1847), fossil collector – Michael A. Taylor & Richard Bull
  • The Dorset Hundreds from the early nineteenth century – J. W. Hart

ARCHAEOLOGY

  • Dorset Archaeology in 2014
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme 2014 – Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen
  • Preston: Bowleaze Cove Romano-British building – Iain Hewitt And Grace Jones
  • Observations at Church Street, Christchurch – Michael Heaton with a contribution from Professor Malcolm Thurlby
  • Interim Report: Druce Farm Roman villa, Puddletown – Lilian Ladle And Andrew Morgan
  • Excavation of a Romano-British well at Farnham – Martin Green, Mark Maltby & Rob Perrin
  • Mortlake and Grooved Ware pottery associated with worked stone in a pit at Lambert’s Hill, Winterbourne Abbas, Dorset – Richard Tabor, With A Contribution By Cheryl Green
  • The Old Manor, Stratton – Rosemary Maw
  • The Thompson’s clay canal – A clay-working enterprise near Lytchett Bay, Poole in the 1830s – Bryan Gambier, Alan Hawkins And Keith Jarvis
  • Witchampton chess pieces – Gill Vickery
  • The Durotriges Project, Phase Two: an interim statement Miles Russell, Paul Cheetham, Damian Evans,Karina Gerdau-Radonic, Ellen Hambleton, Iain Hewitt, Harry Manley, Nivien Speith and Martin Smith
  • The Development of Properties inside the southern defences of Roman Durnovaria: an excavation at Charles Street, Dorchester – Andrew B. Powell with Contributions From Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Rachael Seager Smith & J.M. Mills

Proceedings are available from the Museum Shop Price £20.00. However if you become a member of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeology Society the price is £15.00. For more details about membership contact the the membership secretary on 01305 756829 or visit the website for more details www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

For further information and enquires about the Proceedings contact the editor Dr. Paul Lashmar on 01305 262735

Hunting Mammoth and Early Humans in Dorset by Dr. Matt Pope

Dorset has an untapped fossil record of early Stone Age archaeology and vertebrate remains. In this talk, this potential set against the wider early Stone Age record of the English Channel region, covering themes of human evolution, climate and sea level change.

Geology Panels Triptych No.3 by Kenneth Hatts - Dorset County Museum © 2015

Geology Panels Triptych No.3 by Kenneth Hatts – Dorset County Museum © 2015

The ancient landscape of Dorset and its potential to deliver new finds, new data and perspectives on the earliest archaeological records of North West Europe will be outlined in particular the site of Dewlish, will be introduced and its importance in finding the evidence for the first humans in the region will be discussed.

‘Hunting Mammoth and Early Humans in Dorset’ by Dr. Matt Pope is a FREE talk is open to all. To cover costs, a small donation of £3.00 is encouraged. The talk will take place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery on Friday 6th November, 7.30pm (doors open at 7.00pm).

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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Flamenco Guitarist performs at Museum

Roger Cox Flamenco GuitaristOn Thursday 5th November there will be a special lunchtime concert at Dorset County Museum.

Talented flamenco guitarist Roger Cox will perform a Lecture-Recital at the Museum, combining a discussion of the history and meaning of Flamenco with guitar performances of the music.

There will also be a display of photographs and texts about the history of Flamenco to accompany the event.

Roger has been playing flamenco guitar for 25 years and is always happy to share his love of this dramatic music and the Andalusian tradition that is its lifeblood.

The concert will last approximately one hour and is FREE to attend. Everyone is welcome 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 5th November 2015.

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