A HOMEGROWN award scheme focusing on the good works of Dorset people is being launched.

Details of the new Dorset Award, which would be ‘given occasionally to individuals considered to have made an extraordinary contribution to the life of Dorset’ was announced at the Society of Dorset Men AGM.

It was the 110th AGM of the historic society, founded in London in 1904 to bring fellow ‘Dorsets’ together in the capital.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who lives at West Stafford, was re-elected as president of the group at the event, held at the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, Studland.

More than 80 members and their wives attended.

In his keynote address, chairman Stuart Adam said: “Our great Society of Dorset Men continues to thrive, despite many other organisations having problems.”

He added: “The Dorset Year Book is most valuable and the number of fascinating articles have increased. I thank Trevor Vacher-Dean for producing such an excellent publication this year. Our newsletter does great credit to the editor Michel Hooper-Immins, another vibrant part of our society.”

Mr Adam went on to announce the new Dorset Award.

Trevor Vacher-Dean from Weymouth was awarded the Bryan Challis Cup for recruiting most members in the past year.

Sir Anthony Jolliffe and Jeremy Pope were returned as deputy presidents and all officers were re-elected.

Closing the meeting, Lord Fellowes thanked Mr Adam for the work he does for the society.

There was universal praise for the high standard of food and service at the club, and good wishes were sent to Pat Russell, who was unwell and many thanks extended to secretary Hayne Russell, who was unable to attend.

Afterwards, Lieutenant-Col-onel Graham Parker, vice-president of the Western Front Organisation, talked about plans to commemorate the beginning of the Great War.