CELEBRATE the works of William Barnes with the Ridgeway Singers and Band at Stalbridge Village Hall on Sunday, February 23, from 2.30pm.

Dialect poet William Barnes relished the country dances, folk songs and carols of Dorset, often writing about community celebrations where music was a key part of the proceedings.

Born in Badber, in the Blackmore Vale, on February 22, 1801, William attended school in Sturminster Newton. With the knowledge of more than 70 languages, he went on to become an innovative schoolmaster, as well as a parish priest, artist, inventor and engraver.

William is also the author of more than 30 books in prose.

Led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries, The Ridgeway Singers and Band will be joined by guests from the Barnes Society to celebrate the sounds and stories of old Dorset, performing dance tunes from the repertoire of Blackmore Vale fiddler Benjamin Rose, and reciting some of the poems that keep alive the rich dialect of Dorset.

Tickets include tea and refreshments, and are available from Williams Florist in Stalbridge, or online at www.artsreach.co.uk