South_dorset_ridgeway_festival_ by_ John_Walker16th to 31st July 2010

1300 people took part in one of the many events organised as part of the festival to celebrate the South Dorset Ridgeway Festival.  Many of the events were oversubscribed and we must thank our group of guides, speakers and walks leaders who helped make the Festival such a success.

Miracle Theatre’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet in the atmospheric setting of  Maumbury Rings, and organised by Dorchester Arts brought in the biggest crowds. Ridgeway Uncovered brought together for the first time the different aspects of archaeological work along Ridgeway . It was an enlightening day and full of new discoveries. The screening of the lilifi project works was surprising (more on page two). More than 270 people walked or toured around the churches, geology , history or landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Almost 100 walked or ran the entire 17 miles of the South West Coast Path  from Osmington Mills to West Bexington as part of the Ridgeway Challenge for the British Heart Foundation. Another 40 chose the shorter, but still challenging,  7 mile route. Congratulations to Tom Munro, Dorset AONB Manager who completed 17 miles in under 5 hours. The Ancient Wessex Network  provided  a peaceful haven along the way with arts & crafts, metal working demonstrations, pottery firing , live music and a hog roast! Tim Laycock told a tale gladly in an enjoyable evening of tall tales and traditional songs.  His dramatic finale with a squeeze box  simulating the sound of church bells raised the rafters at Portesham Village Hall.