Dorset Knob Throwing – its origins and the benefits

Dorset Knob Throwing & Frome Valley Food Festival

1. Background to the event

Dorset Knobs are little round biscuit-textured buns made by Moore’s of Morecombelake since before 1860. Originally, they were made from leftover bread dough with added butter and sugar, hand-rolled into little buns and left to dry out like rusks in the dying heat of the oven. They probably took their name from the hand-sewn Dorset Knob buttons that were also made locally. They have an extraordinary keeping quality – long before sell by dates were invented. There’s a technique to eating though! First insert a sharp knife into the centre from each direction and then gently prise open. Then add lashings of Blue Vinny and enjoy.

Traditionally they are also dipped in tea or cider or taken with honey & cream – known locally as “Thunder & Lightening”.

Well, that’s the Dorset Knob, but what on earth is the “Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival?”

It all started when the villagers of Cattistock realised that they needed to do some serious fund raising if they wished to keep their Cricket Club, Football Club, Playing Fields and Village Hall not only surviving but to be in a position to replace and upgrade much needed equipment. They also realised that they needed the event to be different and yet wanted to retain a traditional Dorset Country Fair feel.

Sometimes things are just meant to happen! Shelley Collins who has a passion for cooking had a vague idea that they would like to run a food festival to help promote the food producers of West Dorset and neighbouring South Somerset.  Her husband Nigel also has a passion (when not eating Shelley’s dishes) for classic cars. This passion led to them watching Robbie Coltrane on TV in his series ‘B-road Britain’ where he squeezed his impressive frame into an open-topped sports car and drove around Britain meeting different people who indulged in some decidedly obscure pastimes.

Shortly after that the couple were returning from the Dorset Cheese Festival at Sturminster Newton in their classic MG sport car. Robbie’s TV antics at a Yorkshire Pudding Throwing Competition were recalled with the realisation that Dorset Knobs are much more aerodynamic than Yorkshire Puddings!

David Winship, MD of Moores was keen to help and, right from the start, Nigel was encouraged by the help received from Katharine Wright of Dorset AONB. So the ‘Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival was born with inaugural event taking place in May 2008.


2. The benefits

To date the total sum raised by the Dorset Knob Throwing for the Cattistock village is in excess of £50,000.