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.
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