Childhood Theme to Reminiscence Afternoon Tuesday 26 April 2.30 – 3.30p.m.

The focus for the next Reminiscence Afternoon at Shaftesbury Library on Tuesday 26 April at 2.30p.m. will be “Childhood”. Ann Symons and Claire Ryley are hoping that contributors will recall their own experiences, and stories told by older family members, about growing up in the early twentieth century. Ann and Claire are currently putting the finishing touches to an Exhibition entitled “Shaftesbury Remembers the Great War” in the Large Exhibition Room at Gold Hill Museum. This will illustrate the considerable progress of the Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project. Ann and Claire can be contacted on 01747 852157 or via

Tea and Talks at Gold Hill Museum

The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society concluded their winter season of lectures on 05 April with three impeccably researched presentations by S&DHS members. Ken Baxter (centre) revealed how the Housing Act of 1935 led to a national Overcrowding Survey, one of the greatest ever undertaken. In Shaftesbury 40% of the houses examined were deemed inadequate. The original survey forms are now held at the History Centre in Dorchester, but digital copies can be accessed in Gold Hill Museum Library. Jo Rutter (right) led the 40-strong audience along the map of the north side of Bimport, arguably the oldest street in the town, giving an entertaining history of the properties and their owners. Matthew Tagney (left) paused at the top of St John’s Hill to consider the chequered history of a “churchyard nearer heaven than the church steeple”, according to Hardy. The case was admirably put for the preservation and conservation of Bury Litton, with its notable ancient yew and mushroom-shaped gravestones.

Tibetan Monks to Create Sand Mandala at Gold Hill Museum

Visitors to Gold Hill Museum from Monday 27 June are promised a free visual and cultural spectacle as Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery create a Sand Mandala in the Anna McDowell Garden Room. Using millions of grains of coloured sand, the monks draw intricate designs representing a fabulous palace into which they invite the Buddha as part of a traditional meditation. After a dedication and blessing the Mandala will be ceremonially destroyed and dispersed at noon on Monday 04 July.

Tickets for an evening performance of masked dance and sacred chant in Shaftesbury Town Hall at 7.00p.m. on 04 July are available from Nature’s Treasures at 15A High Street and on line at

Hands-on Activities for Younger Visitors

Cup and ball, yo-yo, kaleidoscope, slate and chalk: all these toys are now available for visitors to handle from an Activities Basket in Room 4 of Gold Hill Museum. They are really intended for younger visitors, but some adults may wish to rekindle memories of their youth. The caps and bonnets from a dressing-up basket in Room 2 will definitely be too small for grown-ups. Children are however invited to transform themselves into Victorian boys and girls.