All posts by Jerry

Merry Meet Magazine Issue 61 Winter 2018

MM61 coverf




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Comment – Merry Meet is Changing
News – Archaeological ‘Bad Practise’ in Somerset; Roman ‘Healing Dog’ found in Gloucestershire; Yorkshire Woodhenge Discovered; Possible Human Sacrifice in Somerset
Feature – Thomas Hardy’s Ghosts
Song – Yuletide in a Younger Time
Feature – The Devil’s Den
Article – Montem Mound Update by Eric Fitch
Article – A Maiden’s Grave
Article – The Giant’s Grave
Poem – The Paphian Ball by Thomas Hardy
Reviews - Pagan’s Progress – a Ge-Ography Primer by Michael Dames; A Dance with Hermes by Lindsay Clarke
Folklore Diary – Your guide for the next quarter


Merry Meet Magazine Issue 60 Summer 2017

MM60 cover







Comment – Tunnel Vision – the plans for Stonehenge
News – Archaeologists discover earliest-known sacred sit still in use; mapping Britain’s folklore; Odinists claim churches; vandalism at Clava Cairns.
Feature – The Magic of Hares
Article – Purgatory Fields- by Eric Fitch
Feature – Merrivale Ritual Complex
Article – The Giant’s Grave
Reviews - Witchcraft – A Hereditary Tradition by Jon Dathen; The Way into Faerie  by Rae Beth
Folklore Diary  – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine 59 Winter 2016/17

MM59 cover image






Comment – King Arthur: Who was he? Where was he? Does it Matter?
News – Wind Farm threat to stone circle; New stamps celebrate ancient heritage; Stonehenge bypass controversy; Saxon graves and Neolithic henges found.
Feature – The Dorset Ooser
Feature – The Devil’s Footprints
Article – Pagan Gods in the Bible – by Eric Fitch
Article – A Legendary Tree – The Damory Oak
Reviews - Guarding Sacred Sites: The Nine Ladies Anti-Quarry Campaign by Aimee Blease-Bourne; All of a Winter’s Night  by Phil Rickman
Folklore Diary  – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Issue 58 Autumn 2016








Comment – Pagan Heritage post-Brexit
News – Barge Inn under threat; Narrow escape for Kersey Puddingstone; Neolithic Temple at Ness of Brodgar; Dark Age Palace at Tintagel
Article – Following the Old Dog – the West Country’s 4th ‘Oss by Mark Norman
Feature – The Treasures of Whitcombe
Article – Crowley at Piccadilly
Article – Burrow Mump
ReviewsDoreen Valiente, Witch by Philip Heselton; Black Dog Folklore  by Mark Norman 
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine Issue 57 Spring 2016









Comment – Pagan Heritage Destroyed
News – Dave Swarbrick obituary; giant beer censored; English Heritage ‘vandalism’ at Tintagel; Police warning on Solstice at Avebury
Article – Following the Old Oss
Article - The Songline of LLeu, by Laurence Main
Feature -The Fairlop Oak
Article – Paganism in the Workplace, by Lee Smith
ReviewsKing Arthur’s Camlan by Laurence Main; The House of Susan Lulham  by Phil Rickman 
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine Issue 56, Winter 2015/16



Comment – Dorchester Archaeology Saved (for now); Merry Meet in Shops
News – Michael Howard (1948-2015); Terry Pratchett (1948-2015); Mystery Bronze Age Enclosure in Devon; Anglo-Saxon Leechbook Remedy Kills MRSA; Peterborough’s Pompeii
Article – Abbotsbury Garland Day
Article - Fate and the Norse Gods by Eric Fitch
Feature - In the Footsteps of a Wizard – John Cowper Powys in Dorchester
Article – Baring Gould’s Chairs
Article – The Devil’s Quoits
ReviewsThe Lost Book of Fleams by Kate Aimson; Friends of the Dusk  by Phil Rickman 
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine Issue 55 Winter 2015



Comment – Stonehenge – Should exclusion be reintroduced?
News – ITV commissions Merrily Watkins Drama, Glastonbury temple licensed for weddings, Tarr Steps featured on new stamp, Traces of new stone avenue found at Avebury.
Article – Woden and England, by Eric Fitch
Article - Campaign to save Dorchester’s archaeology
Feature - The Lost Stone Circles of Dorset Part 3
Article – The legend of the dog Gelert
ReviewsListening to the Stones by Beatrice Walditch; Night After Night  by Phil Rickman 
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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D.O.R.C.H. Campaign – English Heritage Statement


1 April 2015

Merry Meet Magazine has been supporting the D.O.R.C.H. (Defend Our Rich Cultural Heritage) Campaign to prevent developers and West Dorset District Council destroying important archaeology during the building of a new shopping centre.

The campaign now has very strong support from English Heritage, as the following document makes plain:


The site in question lies in the centre of modern Dorchester, within the old Roman walls, and forms part of the site of a unique and internationally important Neolithic henge monument, as the map below illustrates (click on it for high-res. version).

Roman Map

The developers, Simons, are in cahoots with West Dorset District Council to develop the site as quickly and cheaply as possible. To this end the latest planning application has severely curtailed the amount of archaeological excavation proposed for the site, despite the fact that the proposed underground car-parking area in the new development would effectively destroy all the archaeological layers below ground level.

Please support our campaign by signing the petition at:


Merry Meet Magazine Issue 54 Autumn 2014



Comment – Archaeology and Commerce – a Case Study
News – Stonehenge survey; Ancient Sethian Magical Papyrus Translated; Norfolk Doorstop was Offering to the Gods; Pagan Blue Plaques.
Article – An Old Mummer at the Chequers, Wheeler End
Article - King Arthur, Warlords Wizardry, History and Prophecy 
Feature - The Lost Stone Circles of Dorset Part 2
Article – The Twelve Days of (a Dorset) Christmas
ReviewsWassailing – Reawakening an Ancient Folk Custom  by Colin & Karen Kater; The Shortest Day – A Little Book of the Winter Solstice by Karen Kater; Mumming Plays in Hardy’s Wessex by Jerry Bird
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine issue 53 Summer 2014



Comment – Of Bombs and Bees
News – Ancient Welsh Yew; Austin Osman Spare Portrait Mystery; Gardner gets Blue Plaque
Article  – The Angels of Mons
Article  – Montem Mound
Article  – Midsummer Hemp Custom
Feature – The Lost Stone Circles of Dorset Part 1
Reviews  – Ameth – The Life and Times of Doreen Valiente by Jonathan Tapsell;  Pagan Britain by Ronald Hutton
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine Issue 62 Summer Solstice 2018

MM62 cover




News & Comment – Merry Meet’s new look; Brimham Rocking Stone toppled; Nighthawks loot Hadrian’s Wall; Tintagel scribe’s slate discovered
Article – Toppling the Logan RockFeature – The White Horse of Uffington
Article – An Etymological Folk Tale by Eric Fitch
Poem – A Green Thought by Katharine Towers
Feature – Exploring two lost Dorset villages
Reviews – The Green Hedge Witch, by Rae Beth; Charms, Amulets, Talismans & Spells, by Marian Green
Folklore Diary  – a four monthly guide

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Welcome to the New Website


Jerry20 May 2014

At last, a new website, which hopefully I should be able to update more easily than the previous one, which became stuck around 2012.

Apologies for the late appearence of the current (Spring) edition. It is at the printer as I speak and should be with subscribers within a week. I will endeavor to produce the next one a bit sooner, and with a bit of luck, I may catch up with the schedule by the end of the year – it does all rather depend on what other work I have to do in order to make ends meet, and whatever new disasters befall me in the meantime.

Some readers who knew her, will be sad to hear of the demise of my little dog Freya on 16 April, and a brief obit is included in issue 52. She was very old and while she did not appear to be in any pain, her last stroke left her quite disabled and disorientated, and she had obviously decided it was time to give up, as she stopped eating and drinking, bless her.

Jerry Bird

Freya's Last Portrait


Merry Meet Magazine issue 52 Spring 2014

MM52 Cover


Comment – Of Angels & Baguettes – public art and ancient sites
News – Stonehenge was ‘London of the Mesolithic’; Ancient Iron Rod was Viking ‘Witch Wand’; Farewell to Freya; ‘New’ Dartmoor Stone Circle Uncovered; Scottish ‘Wishing Tree’ Investigated.
Article  – A Holy Sea-fort St Catherine’s Chapel, Dorset.
Poem  – The Old Witch-Hare
Feature  – John Cowper Powys’s A Glastonbury Romance
Article – Who was Saint George?
Reviews  – Of Sirens and Centaurs: Medieval Sculpture at Exeter Cathedral by Alex Woodcock; The Magus of Hay by Phil Rickman; Lord of the Silver Hand by Gerald Killingworth; The Witches’ Herbal by Michael Howard; The Ceremony of May  by Rose & Garry Blakeley (CD); The Liberty to Choose by James Findlay, Bella Hardy, Brian Peters, Lucy Ward (CD)
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine Issue 51 Winter 2013/14

Merry Meet Magazine Issue 51


Comment – Badger Nonsense
News – Museum of Witchcraft Changes Hands; New Stonehenge Visitor Centre; ‘Princess’ Burial near Windsor; Hill Fort Threatened; Sad End for Hardy landmark; Mesolithic Art Discovered in Wales
Article – Mumming and Rioting in Dorset 1828-30
Feature – Cornish Mermaids and Medieval Church Imagery
Article – The Witch of Endor, by Eric Fitch
Article – The Duke of Monmouth’s Spell Book
ReviewsHedge Witchcraft and Hedge Riding by Harmonia Saille; The Burning Path by Kevan Manwaring; Paranormal Purbeck by David leadbetter
Folklore Diary & Events – Your guide for the next quarter

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Merry Meet Magazine Issue 50 Autumn 2013








Comment – Fracking Hell!
News – Offa’s Dyke Bulldozed; ‘Brunel’s’ Roman Mosaic Restored; Mars Talisman
at Museum of Witchcraft; King Arthur loses Battle of Stonehenge; Blue Plaque for Doreen
Article – The Black Dog of Lyme
Article – Paul Nash and William Stukeley by John Walker
Feature – Hares in the Landscape: Prints by John Walker
Article – Connla & the Fairy Maiden by Michael Berman
ReviewsDorset Folk Tales by Tim Laycock; Beyond the Henge by Bob Trubshaw; Days and Rites by Mark Lewis; Another Day Another Story by James Findlay
Folklore Diary & Events

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