Entries by Ian Kellett

Slow and Dirty? Swift and Delightful? or Sabotaged and Defeated?

On Tuesday 05 December at 2.30p.m. at Gold Hill Museum, Professor Colin Divall takes as his subject “The Puffing Billy of the Hedgerows” – the politics of the Somerset & Dorset Railway closure, c.1951-67. Colin writes: “The Somerset & Dorset’s closure in March 1966 was one of the most bitterly fought of the Beeching cuts […]

The Impact of the 1914-18 War on Children

Historian and broadcaster Dr Vivien Newman will shed new light on the experience of children across the combatant nations in her illustrated talk at Gold Hill Museum at 2.30p.m. on Tuesday 07 November. The story of (evacuee) British children in World War Two is familiar, but their part in the First World War is much […]

An Expert View of the Dissolution of the Monasteries

On Tuesday 03 October at 7.30p.m. Professor James G. Clark of Exeter University will deliver the 2023 Teulon Porter Memorial Lecture at Shaftesbury Town Hall. In 2021 Professor Clark published a New History of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, to great acclaim. Reviewers typically described it as The best history yet written on English monasticism […]

Two Hundred Years Since A Second Outbreak of Fonthill Fever

On 09 September 1823 the sale by public auction began at Fonthill Abbey of most of the contents of reclusive slaveowner William Beckford’s fantastical Gothic creation. The initial sale of Beckford’s estate, including the house and its artistic treasures, had been advertised for 17 September 1822. Captivated by Beckford’s acknowledged reputation as a wealthy connoisseur […]

Last Two to Three Weeks for “Women of the World”

This 1913 photograph from Miss Dunn’s Grosvenor House School for Girls features in a selection of images currently on show from the stories of three secondary schools which disappeared in the Shaftesbury reorganisation of 1983. Historic School Photographs On Show During July and August – Gold Hill Museum The print in our archives was labelled […]

A Unique View of Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Elaine Barratt captured this view of one of the most photographed streets in the world on her way to open up Gold Hill Museum on Friday 21 July. It’s not a view that is likely to grace any future calendars showing Dorset beauty spots. It does, however, serve to remind us that Gold Hill is […]

A Dynasty of Shaftesbury Clockmakers, All Named Jasper Guy

In April Gold Hill Museum was delighted to receive the generous donation of an antique Shaftesbury-made longcase clock from Historical Society member Phil Proctor. Painted on the clock face above Shafsbury was, it was reasonable to assume, the name of the maker, Jasper Guy, though he might only have been the supplier. The installation of […]

Historic School Photographs On Show During July and August

Forty years ago in 1983 three local secondary schools were merged into Shaftesbury Upper and King Alfred’s Middle Schools. A current temporary exhibition of photographs from the Gold Hill Museum archives provides snapshots of life at each: the Boys’ Grammar School, Christy’s School, and the Girls’ High School. Prior to the 1944 Butler Education Act […]

Architectural Oddities of Swanage Revealed to The S&DHS

25 members of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society enjoyed glorious weather and expert leadership from Sir John Stuttard and Martin Cross during their visit to Swanage on Thursday 08 June. Many of the architectural curiosities they were shown came back from central London as ballast in the ships of John Mowlem and his nephew […]

Museums Education Team Help Abbey Primary School Celebrate a Big Birthday

Claire Ryley and Penny-Jane Swift looked every inch Victorian schoolmistresses as they helped students and staff of Abbey Primary School re-create activities appropriate for 1873, the year of the School’s foundation. Claire writes: In the morning Penny-Jane (with her Steps in Time hat on) taught country dancing to well over a hundred children, and then […]