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December 2018: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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The Fair-Minded Fairies of Guernsey, Guernsey

Guernsey (and Sark which is part of the same Bailiwick) has a folklore rich in stories of the fairy people; several of its ancient landmarks, prehistoric burial sites and the like, are linked to the little people. Two stories illustrate the fair-minded nature of the fairies.
In the first, two such beings made use overnight of the baking oven in the house of Colette and Jacques; in recompense the fairies, Le Petit Colin and Le Grand Colin, would leave offerings every morning: sometimes a fresh white loaf, sometimes Guernsey Gache. Colette, aware of the situation but perhaps wishing her husband to think it was she producing the delicious baked goods, didn’t let on for some time. But eventually Jacques found out the truth and determined to capture the fairies. Insulted and annoyed the little folk left and never returned there.
The second tale relates how two workmen starting to plough a field find their plough sticks and they cannot move it; looking around they notice a broken baking-kettle, and when they approach it a disembodied voice asks them to get it mended and return it to the same spot; out of curiosity and fear – as it appears they have broken this fairy artefact - they sort the repair at the local blacksmiths and duly replace the pot. Now their plough moves, but it soon sticks again. Investigating, they find their reward for helping the fairy-folk: steaming new-baked bread and a cold bottle of the finest cider.

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Drake Starts round the world voyage - 1577, Battle of Alton - 1643, Battle of the River Plate - 1939, Jackanory First Broadcast - 1965
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