Members of Crewkerne & District U3A’s Local History group visited Portland Museum, which has links with author Thomas Hardy and Dr Marie Stopes, founder of the UK’s first birth control clinic. Dr Stopes bought two derelict 17th century thatched cottages and later donated them as a home for the museum, which opened in 1930. Dr Stopes was the first honorary curator and maintained her association with Portland Museum until her death in 1958. Thomas Hardy was a friend of Dr Stopes and one of the cottages features in his novel, The Well-Beloved, as the home of his heroine Avice Caro.
Member of the Local History group, who organises the educational day trips, Jan Eagles said: “It was a very interesting visit. We learned about the archaeology of Portland and its famous stone, shipwrecks, the Jurassic Coast and its fossils.” The group of 19 U3A members were taken to Portland Lighthouse for lunch and enjoyed a walk before heading back home to Crewkerne.