Home Newsletter - August 2000 Mortier House Great Yeatmans,
New Road Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8QL
Tel: 01747 852408. Fax: 850957 Ê

Dear Fellow Dorset

As announced in the February newsletter, the Annual County Dinner will be held at the Crown Hotel, 'Sealy Suite', Blandford Forum, on Saturday 28th October, 6.45 p.m. for 7.15 p.m.

The reservation form, together with details of the arrangements accompany this newsletter. The cost is £20.00 per person. Those wishing to attend, please complete the reservation form as necessary. I recommend an early application to avoid disappointment. It will be the usual main course - 'Roast Sirloin of Prime Dorset Beef' so should a vegetarian meal be required, please indicate on the booking form.

The Chairman has invited the counties top police officer, Chief Constable Jane Stichbury BA.MA.QPM. to propose the toast of Dorset our County. Mr John Cossins CBE.DL., will reply, and propose the toast of 'Our Guests'. The Right Honourable The Earl of Jellicoe KBE.DSO.MC.FRS. will respond for the Guests. George Jellicoe was booked to attend our dinner last year, but had to cry off at the last moment due to a family illness, he was sorry to have missed the occasion and he gladly accepted Roy's second invitation. Jane Stichbury, became Dorset's first woman Chief Constable in May 1999, one of only three female Chief Constables in the country. She received a Queen's Police medal for distinguished service in the recent Queens Birthday Honours list. She took up her position in Dorset after 22 years with the Metropolitan Police. John Cossins is a Vice-President of the Society, a farmer from the Tarrants, presently Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers, a Livery Company which stimulates the development of agricultural education through apprenticeships. John has been involved with many farming organisations, he received the CBE for services to agriculture in 1985, and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset in 1991.

The Society's 96th Annual General Meeting was held at the Crown Hotel, Blandford Forum, on Saturday 1st April last. Sir Anthony Jolliffe, President, welcomed all those attending, also taking the opportunity of congratulating Roy Adam on the award of the MBE, for services to the community of Blandford, in the New Year's Honours list. Mr Roy Adam, our Chairman, gave a resume of the Society's activities over the previous 12 months. As was the custom in the past at our annual London Dinner to have a 'Toast of remembrance' which was honoured in silence, Roy thought it appropriate to do so on this occasion "not so much with sadness and regret - but to remember those good sons or Dorset, for their love and loyalty to both County and Society - We cherish their memory" The Chairman congratulated Sir Anthony Jolliffe on completing sixteen years as our President and Gordon Hine for serving 21 years as Hon. Secretary, equalling the period served by the Societies first secretary William Watkins. The Hon. Treasurer, M. John Rousell, presented the audited accounts for the year 1998/9, which showed a surplus of £4,407.00. Mr George Lanning stepped down as Hon. Editor, Mr Peter Pitman being elected in his place, George to assist Peter as necessary. In appreciation of his stewardship of the Dorset Year Book for the period 1995-2000, Mr George Lanning to be made an Hon. Life Member. Mr Stewart Waite was elected to the Committee. The President in concluding the meeting, suggested that next year the Committee might consider making the AGM into a lunch, Ladies to be invited, and following lunch, still seated at the tables, proceed with the meeting - sounds a good idea. An interesting talk on volcanoes followed, given by Dr Michael Le Bas. The meeting ended with tea and sandwiches.

The Society held three social events during the summer, all well attended. At the Kingston Maurward evening on the 30~ June, Terry Holland gave a very interesting talk on the Royal Naval Cordite Factory at Holton Heath. The Sunday Lunch at the Amity Banqueting Hall on the 6 August also proved very popular. The Purbeck area dinner for members only, took place at Mortons House, Corfe Castle, on the 8th March. North Dorset Members and families held their Sunday lunch at the 'Pines Hotel', Swanage on the 30"' April. Has anyone a photograph taken at this event which I can use with the article to be printed in the supplement to the Year Book. Tommy Suttle tells me that he has booked 'The Pines' again for 22nd April 2001. North Dorset Members to note. I recently came across information of which I certainly was not aware, Charles Bennett, Shapwick born, was Britains first ever track and field success in the Paris Olympics in 1900, winning the 1500 metres.

A sporting event is planned for 23rd September to mark the achievements of this Dorset Man, as the 2000 Olympics get underway in Sydney, athletics enthusiasts are organising the Bennett Centenary mile as a sporting tribute to this great athlete. Besides an invitation event for elite runners, there will be races for boys, girls, seniors and veterans held on a road course around Shapwick. It is expected to attract top international milers and the hope to produce Dorsets first four-minute mile. Charles Bennett was an engine driver working from Bournemouth Central Station, later became landlord of the Dolphin pub (now Gulliver's Tavern) at Kinson, Bournemouth. He died in 1948 and is buried at Kinson, his grave being recently re-discovered having been left unattended for some 15 years, by the only surviving grandson, Chris Bennett. Other details known about Bennett are that he added an Olympic 5000 metres team gold and a steeplechase silver medal to his 1500 metres victory. That he captured Amateur Athletic Association titles at four and ten miles and also won the national cross-country championship in 1899. He is the first and last Olympic champion from Dorset. Bennett had neither a track to train on nor a nearby club to run for. So little is recorded of his life, even his Olympic medals have been lost, but a manuscript in scrawled handwriting, showing his achievements still survives. I see that our Cerne Abbas Giant brought further discussion in the press on its origin during April/May.

The BBC's new History magazine, says research indicates that the Giant dates from just before the Restoration, and was carved by a local landowner and MP, Baron (Denzil) Holles of Ifield (1599-1680), a bitter foe of Cromwell. The hillside on which the Giant stands was part of the dowry of Holles's second wife. The attempted arrest of Holles and four other MP's by Charles first triggered the civil war. Baron Holles was impeached for high treason in 1642, purged from Parliament and forced to flee to France. But he quarrelled with Cromwell when the Lord Protector became too ambitious". Academics believe Holles had the giant carved while he was in exile or when he returned in the 1650's. Hutchins -"History of Dorset" written in 1751 credits the Giant to Holles. However I noted a response from Simon Welfare, of Ellon, Aberdenshire, that he is not convinced. A scientific survey carried out some 20 years ago, showed that the ground around the giants' left arm and hand had been disturbed.

When the area was pegged out, they found that it formed a distinctive shape, just like the lion skin that Hercules wore. He argues that, those who think that it is a creation of a i7"' century landowner, are on the wrong track. I have heard that some Poole Members may have received recently literature from the British National Party, I can certainly assure them that no permission has been given for the use of the Society's list of members by this organisation. Congratulations to Laurence Keen, Member, former county archaeologist, who was awarded the OBE in the Birthday Honours List, for his role as president of the British Archaeological Association.

Congratulations also to Cyril Hill, who received the Honorary Freedom of Blandford recently. Many tributes were paid to Cyril, who was a town councillor for 25 years and three times Mayor of Blandford. Annual subscriptions payments will be due on the lst October next, a payment form is enclosed for those Members who do not pay their subscription by standing order form. There are a few Members, who still have outstanding, this yearÕs subscription, a separate slip as a reminder is enclosed for them. I was asked some years ago, if I would make enquiries about a Society blazer badge, I have now received a sample, very good indeed, a silver castle on a red shield with a motto 'Who's a'feared', value at £15.00, including p & p. If you wish to order, please send me your cheque, you will not be disappointed. Society Ties available in various colours, at £6.00 each including p & p. All enquiries re: Christmas cards, to Mr F.P. Robins, 9 West Street Wareham (Tel: 01929 552818) To end: Thoas comes hoppin' that it will vind'eo as it do leave I now, thy true Vriend an' Sarvant Gordon E Hine - Hon. Secretary Home