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Get creative at Dorchester's Heritage Open Day

Try your hand at pavement art, dance the hokey-cokey in the High Street, write a poem at Max Gate or come and see how photography has captured Dorchester in the past.

This year, Heritage Open Days (HODs) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with hundreds of events across the country championing this year's theme – People Power.

Join local artist, Sarah Hough, and help create a banner in Dorchester's High West Street as part of the commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. Peterloo was a massive pro-democracy rally on St Peter's Field, Manchester which was put down by troops. Sarah's pavement art will also celebrate our own People Power heroes – the Tolpuddle Martyrs – and Tom de Witt from the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum will be on hand to talk about these two events and how they shaped our democracy. Sarah invites you to join her in making the banner from 11am on Sunday 15 September.

Also on Sunday 15 September, Steve Wallis will be talking about 'Dorchester Through Time' in the Corn Exchange at 1pm. Old photographs of places can be fascinating in themselves, and particularly for locations that we know. We can use them to see how these places have changed, or maybe not changed, over the intervening decades. In this talk Steve will use old images of Dorchester and the area around, mainly from postcards of the early 20th century, to illustrate this point. He will also bring along some examples of postcards for you to have a look at afterwards – the messages on the backs often can be as interesting as the pictures themselves.

Tom Brown's pub in High East Street invites you to join them again for the giant Hokey-Cokey at 2pm. One of the most fun events of 2018, they want to make it bigger and better this year!

And for the first time Max Gate, which is owned by the National Trust, will be participating in Heritage Open Day and will be free to enter for all. On Tuesday 17 September enjoy free entry to the house where Thomas Hardy, Dorset's most famous author and poet lived and worked and which he designed himself. Take a tour of the gardens, play croquet on the lawn and meet the archaeologists who will be on site to show their finds and explore what lies beneath Max Gate.

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