THE HORNIMINT COMPANY
The Dorset Historical Romance Association (DRHA) was founded in 2004 as a vehicle for promoting interest in, and encouraging the writing of, romantic fiction in the West Country. Originally a grass roots movement of amateur readers it was nurtured in the fertile soil of the Women's Institutes and Scout Huts of Dorset, and might have remained there were it not for the enterprise and vision of one of its younger members: Mrs Amanda J Threadbone. It was she, together with her sister in law Mrs Edna Whisky McNightly and Miss Lavinia Henessey-Cork, who harried the Abbotsbury Arts Council until they agreed to a grant of £12, a reconditioned Gestetner and a (yet to be invented) home laminator (delivered in 2012).
In 2006 the Association adopted a new constitution which, in addition to making Mrs Threadbone Honorary Secretary (for LIFE) and removing Miss Henessey-Cork from the public record, widened and redefined the Association's mission to include: "the promotion of romantic literature, generation of tittle-tattle and pursuit of unreasonable interference in the lives of its members".
Shortly thereafter the DHRA set about canvassing academic libraries throughout the United Kingdom in an effort to secure an increase in the representation ofromantic literature in their otherwise over-factual collections. The Geography Department in the University of Cambridge proved a particularly challenging but in the end landmark case. Ironically, it was at the suggestion of the then Librarian of the Department that Mrs Threadbone together with her late husband (the late Mr Threadbone) undertook a perilous trip along the entire length of a well-known South American river in a (fruitless) search for an internet book seller. Though initially deemed a failure the expedition was to lead to the foundation of The Orinoco Company, an experimental analogue media enterprise dedicated to bringing romance, sticky fasteners and soft-porn to the hunter-gatherers of the damp forests.
DHRA Offices at Great Heaving, Dorset DHRA Reception
Rejected design suggestions for a modernised DHRA Logo submitted to the 2016 Competition by Fiddleford-based graphic artist Seymor Fleisch. The panel decided to take "a more traditional route"
Though the DHRA is based in Great Heaving it continues to maintain branches in Cripplestyle, Lanton Herring, Piddletrenthide and Turners Puddle. Over the years it has sponsored a number of favoured authors (in particular Rowena Westlake, Susan Stourpaine and Dornford Sittingbourne) whose works have formed the basis of several thrupiecevideo and thrupiecefilm productions. Working in close collaboration with The Threadbone Press, it has also produced newsletters, pamphlets, books and annual calendars (including cut-outs for children) most notably between 2008 and 2013. It was one of the first organisations within the thrupiece/Threadbone umbrella to make use of the experimental Threadbone Narrowband Dial-Up Internet Service and thus to enter the digital era.
A competition held in 2016 to modernise the image of the DHRA and bring new members into the fold was not a success.
The Piddletrenthide branch of the DHRA. A bust of Mrs Threadbone stands to the left of the picture in a grove dedicated to those members of the Association considered worthy of memorialising. A second bust was discussed but received insufficient support.
Tried and Tested. After spending more than £50 on a rebrand, members of the DHRA voted to retain their traditional logo.