February 2019

History Centre Workshop: Monday 11th March 9.15 to 1.00

I have just received the following details from Jacqui Halewood, Senior Archivist, of a workshop organised by the Dorset History Centre, on which they are offering us several places. If you are interested in going, please contact me as soon as possible on and NOT Gill Dillistone, the sender of my Chairman’s Chat. You could choose to attend either or both the morning and afternoon session. Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis. The costs of the workshop can be met from Society funds.

See below for a programme for the Cataloguing and Preservation Workshop that we are holding on Monday 11th March 9.15 to 1.00 along with an optional afternoon palaeography session.  These sessions are aimed at Local History Groups such as Cerne who hold archives.  Whilst we would always recommend that archives are best stored and made accessible here at DHC, we recognise that some groups have archives that they want to work with and so we have devised this workshop to provide advice on how best to catalogue and preserve the archives for the future, which might also include deposit at DHC in the fullness of time.  In addition, if you are working with documents, an opportunity to learn about reading old handwriting may be of help.

We will be making a charge for this workshop of £10 per head for the morning session and £5 per head for the afternoon.  I am offering places for this date to another group as well but would be able to offer Cerne up to 7 places in the morning and 5 in the afternoon.

Archive Cataloguing and Preservation Workshop

        Lecture Room – Dorset History Centre

9.15        Arrival

9.30        Introduction to DHC and the training session

9.40        Principles of cataloguing – Mark Forrest, Collections Archivist

This session will include a demonstration of cataloguing common types of documents and what information should be recorded to ensure that items can be easily identified for future consultation. There will be a practical exercise to try to put some of these principles into practice.

11.00     Break

11.15    How to preserve archives – Jenny Barnard, Conservation Officer

This session will include information on the types of damage that documents suffer, including attacks by pests. Guidance will be given on document handling and the environmental conditions that are required for documents to be preserved in the future. There will also be a practical demonstration of the types and use of packaging to protect historic documents.

12.30   Questions and optional tour of DHC

We plan to have only 30 minutes break so please bring along something for lunch, or there is a mini Sainsburys 5 minutes walk up the road.

Possible additional session

1.30 – 3.00      Palaeography for beginners (Mainly 17th to 18th Century handwriting)

February Talk

The first talk in our 2019 programme will be on 28th February. As an introduction to our activities later this year to celebrate the centenary of the sale of the village by the Pitt-Rivers family, Adrian Green, director of Salisbury Museum, will be giving a talk on the life of General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers. He is often called the ‘Father of British Archaeology.’ An army officer for most of his life, the General retired in 1882 and in the following year embarked on a series of excavations of pre-historic Roman and Saxon sites on the family estate in Wiltshire. His large-scale excavations were models of organisation and painstaking care where some of the underlying principles of archaeology were developed.

His son, William Augustus was the head of the family at the time of our village sale in 1919. William’s grandson, Anthony is the present head of the family. He and his wife Valerie, live at Hinton St. Mary in the manor house which for four centuries has been the property of the Pitt-Rivers family and their predecessors.

1919 Centenary

We expect to hear from the Heritage Lottery Fund whether our bid for funds to support our celebratory activities this year, has been successful, within the next few weeks. A condition imposed by the Lottery when considering whether to award funds, is that the project must not have started. All of our scheduled activities are for later in the year and we are currently firming up on some of our plans and  will be able to give further details when the funding position is clearer.

Society membership

If you have not re-joined for this year, you may do so at any meeting. If you decide not to re-join, please let us know so we can remove your name from our distribution list to receive this newsletter.

Mike Clark, Chair CHS

You can get in touch with Mike via the Contact Us form on this site.


December 2018

Film Show

Thursday 13th December at 7.30pm in the village hall. See your CHS Chairman’s Chat email for the title chosen. The film gained both popular and critical acclaim and won four Oscars, including best picture. Running for two hours and eight minutes, it is described as the romantic and chivalrous adventures of an adopted illegitimate child in eighteenth century England. Tickets are £5 from Cerne Stores. This includes mulled wine and mince pies.

Pitt-Rivers Sale

We are working on a range of activities and events next year to celebrate the sale, in over 70 lots, of most of the village on 24th September 1919. A centre piece will be an exhibition, to be held in the Church for 12 days, beginning at the exact centenary of the date and time (1.30pm) of the original auction in Dorchester Town Hall. Using the original sale particulars and plans, maps newspaper articles, other records, photos old and new, together with recent research carried out by member of the Historical  Society, the exhibition will provide details of  the properties sold in the auction, those who purchased them and the prices paid. We are interested in not just how the sale affected the people involved, but also the impact of this momentous event on the life of the village just after the Great War. A re-enactment of the auction will be held on Saturday 28th September, also in the Church, with Garry Batt, who many of you will know is a former resident of Cerne and a partner in Dukes auctioneers, taking the role of auctioneer. All parts of the community will be encouraged to take part in this and other events and activities throughout the year. This will all cost money, so we are applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Bids are unlikely to succeed if applicants are unable to obtain funding from other sources, so we are asking Open Gardens if our activities can be considered to be the recipient of the share of the profits that come to the village next year.

Annual General Meeting

This will be held on 24th January when we combine a business meeting with a social occasion. Traditionally, members help with offerings of party food. The alcohol is free!

Mike Clark, Chair CHS

You can get in touch with Mike via the Contact Us form on this site.