Then it was off to Marnhull which lies in the Blackmore Vale of North Dorset. Saxon charters show that Marnhull existed as a village in the 10th century, although the village's site has seen human occupation as early as the Iron Age,and a Roman settlement was established at Ashley Wood in the east of the parish. The village presents a mix of architectural styles, with post-war developments existing alongside properties dating back to Tudor times and earlier. It also lies close to East Stour, one of Marilyns ancestral homes, and her relatives now live in Marnhull. We stayed at the wonderfully atmospheric 16th century Crown Inn, complete with massive open fire, priest hole and converted stables.
Journeying on to old friends Bet n Jim in Shaftsbury, home of Hovis's Gold Hill -
by the side of which is a memorable little museum with free entry - a regular little time capsule -
But returned to some sad news. Uncle Alf, the last of my parents generation of immediate family, had passed away. Alf's passion was driving, in the early 60's he was a driver and driving force behind the successful Team Treadfast that took the team prize in the Scottish RAC rally - he was driving a Saab. Alf was also a prolific model maker and accomplished yachtsman.