Get set for a summer of history

Wimborne’s first ever Summer of History is bringing three fascinating historical talks to the town in May and June.

As the town gears itself up for the incredible reenactment by the English Civil War Society of the Battle of Wimborne between the Kings Army and Parliamentarians over the May bank holiday (25th to 27th May), there’s an opportunity to discover more about how this conflict inspired everyday townsfolk to rise up.

On Thursday 16th May, Haydn Wheeler recounts the incredible story of the Dorset Clubmen and their peaceful uprising. In the English Civil War of the 17th Century, many people refrained from taking sides in the conflict as they saw them as unnatural wars between the King and Parliament. People grew tired of the Civil Wars, of the plunder to their property and the havoc wrought. A collective of people from all walks of society organised themselves as an association, calling themselves Clubmen.

Haydn Wheeler is passionate about his subject. Join him to hear more about the incredible organisation and communication network that developed, as word spread from Dorset field to Dorset market. All in a world without mobile phones or the internet, a rendezvous of clubmen was held at Badbury, most likely Badbury Rings in May 1645 where a staggering four thousand clubmen came together.

The following month the Summer of History fast forwards to the 20th century and joins in the commemorations for D-Day on Thursday 6th June.

On the 80th anniversary of this incredible act of bravery and defiance, speaker John Smith recalls the important part Dorset played in the preparation of the invasion of Normandy which changed the course of World War Two.

Discover how local airfields near Wimborne and the ports of Poole, Weymouth and Christchurch played their part. There will be scale model replica aircraft, landing craft and tanks on display to help illustrate this incredible undertaking.

On Tuesday 20th August, Wimborne’s Militia take centrestage with a talk on the history of Dorset and Wimborne Militias by Militia member Alex Compiani. Historically, militias were made up of ordinary men who trained part time and who fought only when called to, usually in defence of their county or town. There were several militias in Dorset which played a vital role in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.

The current Wimborne Militia, is a highly regarded historical reenactment group which this year celebrates 25 years as part of the community, bringing many of the skills and trades of the 17th century to life through its living history encampments, artillery and musketry displays.

Fiona Harwood, Wimborne BID Chair, said: “The BID has supported these events and brought them together as a “Summer of History” because our town has so much historical importance. The opportunity to help bring moments of it alive with events ranging from a full-scale battle reenactment to these more intimate and fascinating talks is incredibly exciting.”

Tickets £6 per talk, starting at 2pm. Both talks take place at the Castleman Suite in Allendale House, Wimborne and are organised by East Dorset Heritage Trust or 01202 888992

Photograph: Summer of History logo

Photograph: Historical talks covering Dorset militia, D-day and the Dorset Clubmen are happening in Wimborne this summer along with a full-scale battle reenactment of the Battle of Wimborne

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