Numerous incidents have happened over Christmas in South Dorset.

Drunks have been thrown into the stocks, ships have sunk and villagers turfed out of their homes in years gone by.

On December 27, 1617, five people were sitting in the stocks for Christmas drunkenness.

And on December 24, 1818, the then Recorder, Giles Templeman Esq, donated pews and bibles to the Corporation for the parish church because the existing pews were nearly worn out'.

These and other Christmas facts have been unearthed by historian Maureen Attwooll.

In the 1880s Sir Henry Edwards set up a fund to provide a dinner for the aged poor which usually took place at Christmas or in early January.

About 500 attended in 1897 and the fare at the Jubilee Hall included 42 huge plum puddings.

Christmas has not been a good time for ships.

The GWR paddle steamer South of Ireland was wrecked in fog on Christmas Day 1883 on the rocks of Worbarrow Bay. All aboard were saved.

The barque Heroine fared no better at Lyme on Boxing Day 1851 when she was wrecked outward bound for Australia.

All were saved but a small craft involved in the rescue capsized and four of the five rescuers were drowned.

Christmas Day 1930 saw the French ketch L'Arguenon stranded on Weymouth Sands.

Food parcels were delivered to the crew and she was eventually refloated.

There was precious little festive cheers for Tyneham residents in 1943 when they were told that they had to quit their homes by December 19 so that Second World War military training could take place in the village.

One of the British coastline's biggest landslips took place on Christmas night 1839 when eight million tons of cliff slid down at Lyme Regis.

Weymouth's cross-harbour swim had its origins in a 1948 bet between former Duke of Cornwall pub landlord Reggie Butler, his successor RS Laker and Jim Stephens.

They each bet against the others' ability to swim across the harbour on Christmas Day.

Shownight is familiar in modern times but can trace its origins back to the late 19th and early 20th century when shops were festooned with festive wares from sides of beef, boars' heads and suckling pigs to fat geese, huge iced Christmas cakes, clockwork toys, oil lamps, mistletoe and paper chains.

And it was more than your life was worth in olden village times if you did not have your Yule log.

This massive chunk of wood - some were so big it took six men to get it into the house - was traditionally kept burning all through the 12 days of Christmas for maximum good fortune.

Then a small piece of the embers had to be kept to light next year's fire.

The presence of the ember was believed to be a protection against fire for the coming year.

The piece was taken out and burned for a short time on Candlemas Day - February 2 - then doused and put away again until next Christmas Eve.