ON Saturday there will be celebrations held around the world marking 50 years since man landed on the Moon.

Last week we shared memories of Buckland Newton resident Keith Wright, who worked on the in the US on the original Apollo 11 rocket. Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the Moon. A few hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. Around 650 million people watched the moment on television.

While Keith had direct involvement as one of 27 British engineers travelling to Cape Canaveral, Florida, to work at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for the historic moment, most of us were not closely involved, but still harbour fond memories of the landing, one of the most important moments in history.

With the focus on Dorchester this weekend as the county town hosts the spectacular touring artwork Museum of the Moon, it seems appropriate to share 'moon landing memories' of Dorchester people.

The celebratory events at Maumbury Rings in Dorchester this weekend - renamed Moonbury Rings for the occasion - will include a specially written piece of music to be performed by youngsters and choirs in Apollo - One Giant Leap!, open air cinema and a Be An Astronaut Day. The events have been organised by Dorchester Arts.

A memory contributed by Jane Hawkins, mother of Dorchester Arts’ marketing manager, Elizabeth Evenson.

"1969 was the year that I was pregnant with my first child, Julia. She was born on July 8 and in those days we stayed in hospital for quite some time after the birth.

"I was in hospital for 10 days, so had only just brought this precious little girl home when the moon landings happened. We were all interested, and certainly watched it on TV, but if I’m honest, I was a little pre-occupied with quite a momentous occasion in my own life at that moment in time!"

Jacky Thorne, Dorchester Arts fundraising and development manager, remembers: "In 1969 my father was an insomniac, and stayed up into the early hours to decorate our living room while waiting for the moon landing announcement.

"I was under five but he woke me up to come downstairs to watch it. Fascinated by the fact that all the furniture had been piled in the middle of the room to allow him to paint the walls, I made a great fort underneath the table. I will always associate the first step on the moon with being under a table surrounded by dusty books…."

Barry White (of Apollo sponsors Humphries Kirk) remembers that memorable day well.

He recalls: "The moon landings might have been the big global news story of 1969, but I remember that year for other reasons too. I remember watching it on TV with Christine shortly before our engagement on August 2 and here is a picture of us leaving St. Matthew's Church, Chelston, Torquay, after our wedding on December 27, 1969 – a freezing cold day in the middle of a flu epidemic!"

Ellie Velazquez, project manager of Apollo – One Giant Leap, watched the moon landings with her rabbit Bunnikins.

She said: "I remember thinking…..wow, this is an important moment about to happen…..what shall I do to celebrate this historic event? (I was five years old) So, I rushed into the garden to find my gorgeous, enormous and very special rabbit, Bunnikins (he was a refugee – I didn’t give him that name) We hurried back into the house together and sat in front of our (now very cool and vintage) black and white television to watch as Apollo landed.

"I remember sitting so so still, everywhere was quiet except for the crackling, beeping coverage of the dialogue between Apollo astronauts and planet Earth….to see the surface of the moon, the darkness of Space…..I knew that I was watching a very special moment in the history of mankind, and I was so proud to watch it with Bunnikins, possibly the only rabbit in the world to watch the first lunar landing?"

Mark Tattersall, artistic director at Dorchester Arts, watched the moon landing with his mum and his brother and sister.

He remembers: "Here I am with my mum, brother and sister setting off on holiday in 1969. I’m the smallest one, by the way. It was July and we were heading for Scandinavia, which meant being away from home (and hence TV) for the moon landings. I don’t remember being upset about that – after all, going to Scandinavia was a pretty big adventure too.

"I remember listening to the broadcast from the moon on the radio in this car while we were on a campsite in Odense, Denmark – so exciting. Heaven knows when I actually saw moving images of the event itself – no YouTube or 24 hour rolling news back then, so it might have been ages afterwards. But I had my model Saturn 5 (alongside my model Gemini) in my room, so I could always dream.

"In September of that year I went to see the samples of moon rock that were touring the UK – they came to Durham because the university has a superb physics and astronomy department. The queue at the Gulbenkian Museum was literally a mile long a times. My dad couldn’t come as he was working. But we took him some gravel from the car park…and just for a split second I think he believed us."