June and July are the best months for picnics. With any luck you get a run of those glorious hot days when the sky is as blue as jay’s wing and the countryside is green and lush. There are no wasps yet to bother you and the birds are still singing in the woods.
With the classic 1967 film of Far from the Madding Crowd being re-released this spring as well as a completely new version in cinemas from 1 May, it seems that once again Dorset is under the spell of Thomas Hardy’s novel
The Yarn loves John Schlesinger’s romantic 60s romp starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp and Alan Bates and many local people will remember it being filmed on location in the area. Published here for the first time, Nick Gilbey shares the photos he took of the production as a film-mad teenager following the crew in his trusty Robin Reliant three-wheeler.
The paranormal tales of Eggardon Hill are almost wearisomely famous — the mass stalling of vehicle engines on the track designated at the crossroads as “Unfit for HGV”, the dogs and horses spooked by some unseen but powerfully-felt force, the three-year-old child’s tremulous enquiry from the back of the car: “Who were the men with spears, Mummy?”