Entries by Ian Kellett

On The Parish: Life in Dorset’s Workhouses

The question of how society should address the problem of poverty is still with us. In 1834 the Victorians attempted to resolve it by creating a system of workhouses in which the living conditions for inmates were made deliberately unattractive. The New Poor Law principle of Less Eligibility was intended to deter the able-bodied poor […]

Cancan and the Invention of Gay Paree 1867-1914

Dr Jonathan Conlin of Southampton University ushers in the New Year at Gold Hill Museum at 2.30pm on Tuesday 07 January with an illustrated talk subtitled “Fancy liquors and sky-high kickers.” Dr Conlin will consider “how an unlikely cross-Channel coalition of skirt-dancers, purity campaigners, magistrates, music hall starlets, and visual artists conspired together in the […]

Dorset Museums Volunteer of the Year Award

Long-serving Gold Hill Museum steward and gardener Jill Sumner received a well-deserved accolade at the AGM of the Dorset Museums Association, held at Poole Museum on Thursday 21 November. Along with several other volunteers who form the indispensable staffing backbone of most of Dorset’s museums, Jill received her Volunteer of the Year Award from Dr […]

Stonehenge, Shaftesbury Abbey, and SAVED

BBC4’s Digging for Britain, broadcast at 9pm on Wednesday 20 November, features local archaeologist Julian Richards in a report from the SAVED Project at Shaftesbury Abbey. This innovative scheme, part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has involved an extensive radar survey of the Abbey grounds, the training of volunteers in archaeological techniques, and the participation […]

“Shaftesbury Remembers” Website Expands Coverage

The Shaftesbury Remembers website, created by Gold Hill Museum with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to reflect the locality during World War 1, has become established as a source of reference on an international scale. Volunteer Chris Stupples, who has researched many of the soldiers’ stories featured on the website, is now seeking information […]

Shaftesbury Miller Meets Unfortunate End

Oxford Professor Steven Gunn gave a polished and pacy Teulon Porter Memorial Lecture to an appreciative audience in Shaftesbury Town Hall on 24 September. Based on his findings from the Everyday Life and Fatal Hazard in sixteenth century England Research Project, Steven was able to cite several local examples. Robert Mitchell was killed by a […]

Bumper September Mailing Includes Bonus Pamphlet

Members of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society should have received a bumper September mailing including the Byzant Newsletter, the 2019-20 Lectures & Events Programme, and a separate illustrated pamphlet on the 1919 Sale of Shaftesbury written by member Matthew Tagney. There is still time to see the exhibition on the Sale, curated by Matthew, […]

Tudor Disregard for Health and Safety at its Peak in the Summer

Professor Steven Gunn of Merton College Oxford is leading a project to sift through 9,000 sixteenth-century coroners’ reports from all over England held in the National Archives and has found that most fatal accidents occurred between April and September. On Tuesday 24 September at 7.30pm he delivers the Teulon Porter Memorial Lecture in Shaftesbury Town […]

Perfect Weather for Garden Party

The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society chose one of the hottest days of the year for their Annual Garden Party on Tuesday 23 July. At the preceding AGM, Chairperson Elaine Barratt paid tribute to the indispensable contributions of numerous Society members and volunteers, including retiring Trustee Claire Ryley who would continue to volunteer for both […]