A FAMOUS English actor will be returning to Dorset to share his memories and recollections of his time here.

Terence Stamp who is known for his roles in Superman, Star Wars and Far from The Madding Crowd as well as many others, will be the highlight to an international conference being held in Dorchester.

Delegates from around the world will be descending on Dorchester as part of the Thomas Hardy Society's 50th Anniversary Festival and International Conference later this month.

The event combines academic studies directed by professor Jane Thomas alongside a programme of entertainment, music and walks organised by the society's secretary, Mike Nixon.

In keeping with the spirit of the 1968 Thomas Hardy Festival, the first two days of this year's event will be held at Kingston Maurward College. Following that the event will move to the United Church on South Street.

The celebrations will official launch at the college on Saturday, July 14 at 7pm. It will be followed by a performance by The Wessex Consort.

What will continue during the week will be a variety of walks, talks, tours and performances all centred on and around Thomas Hardy.

On Tuesday, July 17 there will be a showing of the original Far from The Madding Crowd starring Terence Stamp and Julie Christie. It will be shown at the Plaza Cinema on Trinity Street at 6pm.

On Saturday, July 21 Terence Stamp will be the closing speaker of the festival and conference.

The talk will be held at the United Church at 11am.

Other highlights include a Country Fair at Kingston Maurward College on Saturday, July 15 from 12pm until 5pm followed by an evening performance of The Trumpet Major by The New Hardy Players.

On Monday, July 16 Tim Laycock will be joining town crier Alistair Chisholm will be giving an insight into the relationship between Hardy and the Thorneycrofts. It will be held in conjunction with the Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange.

For the first time the Thomas Hardy Society will be launching a novella - The Maid on the Shore. It will be centred on Hardy's first wife, Emma Lavinia Gifford Hardy.

Marilyn Leah, a member of the society, said: "We hope it will be a week to remember and one in which Dorchester gives support and the warmest of welcomes to our guests from home and abroad."

The Festival and Conference will run from Saturday, July 14 until Sunday, July 21.

A full programme of all the events will be available from Dorchester Tourist Information Centre, Waterstones, Max Gate and Hardy's Cottage.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit hardysociety.org/society-conference, call 01305 251501 or pop into the United Church.