Colonel’s skirmish to launch at Malmesbury with cry

This Is Wiltshire: Lord Devereux’s Regiment of Foote in a Call to Arms at Market Cross, Malmesbury Lord Devereux’s Regiment of Foote in a Call to Arms at Market Cross, Malmesbury

Town crier David Shelley will start the festivities for Malmesbury’s living history weekend on Saturday, when he proclaims the presentation of the colours of a 17th century colonel.

It will mark the launch of two days of re-enactments and other events surrounding an English Civil War skirmish that happened on June 14, 1644.

Now, 370 years later, Mr Shelley will announce the presentation of a replica of Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s colours to Malmesbury Mayor Sue Poole at 12.30pm.

Officers and drummers will then march from the Cloister Gardens to the Market Cross as the town steps back in time.

More than 200 re-enactors will be dressed in period costume for a variety of free events over the two days.

The highlight on both Saturday and Sunday is likely to be the skirmish re-enactment at St Aldhelm’s Mead.

It will be performed by the Civil War Society’s Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment of Foote.

Spectators will also have the chance to see the town as it might have been in the 17th century, with guards posted at the High Street gates and muster and drill demonstrations carried out in the Cloister Gardens.

There will also be stalls showcasing historic produce, goods will be on sale and there will be a demonstration about cooking food from the era.

Malmesbury area schools will also have history lessons brought alive tomorrow, as re-enactors visit to talk about life in the 17th century.

The event has been organised by Athelstan Museum, the schools, the Warden and Freemen, civic trust, town council and the chamber of commerce.

Chamber of commerce chairman Aimee Frankham said: “We think it will be a very good way of showcasing the town and it will be great fun for all the family.

Mayor Sue Poole said: “It is a good way of putting Malmesbury on the map.”

For event information, see www.malmesburylivinghistory.co.uk

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