The rocky horologist’s show

When it comes to time, as with so much else, accuracy is everything, but sometimes perfection is simply the point at which something just feels right. Simon Allen of the Clock Work Shop at Abbotsbury is explaining why the precision tolerances achieved by the best engineers do not necessarily make them great clockmakers. ‘If you Read More…

Friendly Society that reached around the world

This month marks the 185th anniversary of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. Today the name is all but forgotten yet it is a landmark in the development of the trades union movement. Formed to right a vindictive wrong it ended up costing its founders almost everything. Towards the end of October 1833 the men Read More…

Heritage craftsman Terry’s wheels of feel

With swallows flying overhead, a chicken scratching at the floor and the sounds of not very much passing by outside, wheelwright Terry Jenkins is immersed in the peace of his woody world. ‘It’s not always like this,’ he says. ‘I have the lathe on or what have you and it’s noisy, but there’s no need Read More…

Beasts of burden – heavy horses in Dorset

Few creatures embody both gentleness and power like the horse – a duality that is most striking in the heavy horse. For a thousand years it has been both warhorse and workhorse, faithfully doing man’s bidding, often to the point of its own demise. Long since superseded by technology, replaced by tanks on the battlefield Read More…

Shell Bay Cafe – perfect spot for tea and sea

Skirted by soft sandy beaches and marram grass-topped dunes, not even the intrusion of the road to Studland and the queue of traffic waiting for the Sandbanks chain ferry can spoil the serenity of South Haven Point. Seen through modern eyes it is an obvious spot for a place of refreshment – a function fulfilled Read More…

What if The Beatles had never formed?

The runaway success of American stars like Frank Sinatra, Johnny Ray and Elvis Presley ensured that by 1957 Britain’s teenage market for short, catchy songs delivered by handsome men was firmly established and clamouring for home grown talent. But if a 16-year-old tearaway from Liverpool called John Lennon had decided not to enlist the services Read More…

Picture perfect – Weymouth’s camera man

A dozen or so cardboard boxes, many without lids, sit on shelves at Dorset History Centre waiting to surrender their secrets. They contain some 7000 packets of negatives that effectively constitute the last 30 years of photographer Graham Herbert’s working career in and around Weymouth – an important visual record of everyday life from a Read More…

Wimborne Minster pipes up

Some of their voices have spoken for Wimborne Minster for more than 350 years, others for barely 50, but there is no doubt that the Minster’s collection of organ pipes is among the finest, most historically important of its size in the country. The earliest date from 1664 and were made by Robert Hayward of Read More…

Tyneham after 75 years of the Army

The world has changed more in the 75 years since anyone last lived in Tyneham than it had done for hundreds of years before. Even so, the village’s declining population following World War 1 had already seen the school close in 1932 and in the months before the evacuation, the introduction of tractors to Tyneham Read More…

Tony Hancock, the Lad and Dorset

‘Tony Hancock ended his life in such tragic circumstances that it seems to be forgotten he was once a young man filled with a young man’s hopes and dreams and aspirations and with his whole life before him,’ says Lyn Phillips who, writing as LM Evans, has published Tony Hancock: The Bournemouth Connection. ‘I wanted Read More…