Exhibition in last two weeks at Dorset County Museum

Free Time Our stories of leisure then and nowThe current exhibition at Dorset County Museum, Free Time, has just two weeks left to run. This brand new exhibition shows the results of a project studying the changing nature of our leisure time over the last 60 years.

The project has captured the memories and stories of local people talking about hobbies and past times which are largely out of fashion today. The archive will be housed at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester when the exhibition closes for future generations to study.

Scalextric

Childhood Nostalgia: Scalextric

See the games, toys and activities enjoyed by people over the past 60 years. These include dolls, railway sets, comics and board games plus toys such as hula hoops, space hoppers and skateboards. With a variety of displays, and showcases, there is plenty to see and a lot to learn. Visitors can also listen to audio recordings of people talking about their hobbies and favourite free-time activities. Two screens show how people enjoyed their leisure time from the 1950s to the present day.

With rarely-seen photographs, plenty of activities for children and a reconstructed milk bar from the 1950s, there really is something for everyone.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 17th May. Dorset County Museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10.00am to 5.00pm.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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Half Term fun and games at Dorset County Museum

Hula Hooping

Hula Hooping – an image from the current exhibition, Free Time at the Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum is running a free family activity during half term week.
The theme is toys and games from the past and ties in with the new exhibition which has just opened at the Museum: Free Time.

Children and their families will be able to play with toys and games from the 50s, 60s and 70s like Flying Hats, Flips or Slam!  Learn how to work a hula hoop, do some simple juggling, or play a game of hopscotch.  There will also be a selection of traditional wooden toys, dolls and card games to try out. Come along, play some new games, learn new skills and have a lot of fun at the same time!

All family activities during 2014 are kindly sponsored by Battens Solicitors through their Charitable Trust and are FREE. The activity starts at 10.30am on Wednesday 19th February and runs for two hours. Everyone is welcome and parents and carers must stay with their children during the activities.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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FREE TIME – Our Stories of Leisure Then and Now

Free Time Our stories of leisure then and nowFree Time is a brand new exhibition showcasing the results of a current project studying the changing nature of our leisure time over the last 60 years.

The project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to capture and preserve the memories and stories of local people who used to, or still do, pursue hobbies that aren’t around so much nowadays. The new archive will be housed at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester for future generations to study.

Joe Stevens, project leader, said; “When you look at old black & white photos or films it can look like a completely different age, but what we are hearing is that life today is not that different from times past.” Joe added; “We are not just interested in people’s memories from long ago, but also the recent past. We are hoping to feature a range of stories from 1945, right up to the present day.”

Working with Dorset County Museum and the Dorset History Centre, the project has enabled young people to collaborate and share with the older population in a range of activities leading up to the exhibition. Over recent weeks volunteers have been out in the community capturing local people’s leisure time memories in Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth & Portland, and Sherborne.  As well as the archive, there will also be a website and an app for a ‘Walking Museum’ around Dorchester.

The Free Time exhibition will run at Dorset County Museum from 15th February to 17th May 2014.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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Mills on the Yeo and the men who worked them

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

Colin Dean reviews Mills on the Yeo and the men who worked them.

Mills on the Yeo cover lowThis must sound like the title of a serious study – and so it is. Author Martin Bodman describes it as a gazetteer of 91 watermill sites in the River Yeo basin in south-east Somerset and north-west Dorset. But when you see the colourful cover and the page lay-outs containing detailed maps and photographs of most of the locations, you will be drawn to pick it up. And when you discover in the acknowledgements that respected family historians Barry Brock, Graham Bendell and John Brooking are included, plus Sally Morgan and Jessamy Wilsdon of Dorset History Centre, you will know that it is well worth examining.

The bold title of the book is Mills on the River Yeo – but it is the subtitle underneath which will attract family historians – and the men who worked…

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An evening with Sir Tony Robinson

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

Barry Brock describes a recent event in Dorchester.

A trip to the Dorset History Centre on 30 October provided the chance to meet Sir Tony Robinson, ‘actor, TV presenter, historian and Ancestry.co.uk spokesperson’. This was a ‘meet the customer’ event, organised by Ancestry in conjunction with the Dorset History Centre – a ballot for tickets had been four times over subscribed.

It may be difficult to think of Tony Robinson as a knight of the realm, especially as the obvious name linked to his face is that of Baldrick in Blackadder. But by now we know him just as much for his years on Time Team, and so it proved an enjoyable trip as Sir Tony took us through the various things that should cause us to feel grateful to Ancestry. Not least among these reasons was that by making records available on the Internet, Ancestry has…

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