Celebrate the Snowdrop at Gold Hill Museum

Anna McDowell, seen here [left] with her cousin Catherine Erskine planting snowdrops in the Gold Hill Museum garden in October, returns for two Dorset Button-making workshops on Friday 19 February 10.30a.m. – 1.00p.m. and Saturday 20 February 2.00 – 4.30p.m.  Participants will leave with their own Dorset Singleton Button featuring snowdrops or a Dorset Cartwheel Button in snowdrop colours. Tickets are £10 and available from the Shaftesbury TIC or Shaftesbury Arts Centre.

“Lots of messy fun” is promised for accompanied children aged 3 – 12 who attend the Snowdrop Clay workshops on Tuesday 16 February and Thursday 18 February 10.00 – 12.00. An Arts and Crafts session is scheduled for Wednesday 17 February 10.00 – 12.00. Tickets for each workshop are £3 from the TIC or Arts Centre.

Prior booking is essential for all these events.


BBC Radio Solent Visit Gold Hill Museum

Steve Harris, “Breakfast in Dorset” radio presenter based in Dorchester, is seen here talking to Marjory Kellett in the Gold Hill Museum Library on 27 January. Steve was collecting sound-bites to illustrate the answer to the quiz question: “What connection does Dvorak’s New World Symphony have with the town of Shaftesbury?”  The answer, well known by locals to relate to Shaftesbury’s most famous landmark, is likely to be broadcast on BBC Radio Solent in March.

Standing Room Only For Julian Richards

TV archaeologist and Shaftesbury resident Julian Richards attracted a bumper audience to his engaging January Gold Hill Museum talk on “Operation Warhorse.” Late-comers and obliging members had to stand at the back and in the corridor to hear Julian describe his 2014 dig at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain. No substantial remains were found of the temporary buildings of the horse hospital, but Julian’s workforce, including 350 local schoolchildren, young soldiers in training, and disabled veterans, uncovered hundreds of evocative small finds. “Do horses suffer from seasickness?” wondered Julian over photographs of horses being shipped from Canada, as he placed the Larkhill site in the context of the 1914-18 War effort. Some images of horses in the front line were too graphic to show. This Heritage Lottery Funded dig and educational project clearly made an enormous impression on its mainly young participants, aided in no small way by Julian’s charm and enthusiasm.

The local archaeological theme continues on Tuesday 02 February at 2.30p.m. at Gold Hill Museum with Jane Ellis-Schon describing the progress of Salisbury Museum’s “Finding Pitt-Rivers” project. In 1880 soldier Augustus Henry Lane-Fox inherited Wiltshire estates rich in archaeological remains and became a pioneer of scientific excavation. Part of his vast collection of artefacts was housed in a museum at nearby Farnham until dispersed in the 1960s. The major part formed the basis of the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford. This lecture is free to Shaftesbury & District Historical Society members, while visitors may pay £3 at the door.