Final countdown to battle re-enactment

Members of BETA (Basic Education and Training for Adults) promote a Sealed Knot event in Wigan in May with visitors Lee Hennesey and Chole McCoy
Members of BETA (Basic Education and Training for Adults) promote a Sealed Knot event in Wigan in May with visitors Lee Hennesey and Chole McCoy

THE English Civil War is being brought vividly to life in Wigan this weekend.

A charity group will be re-living the town’s prominent role in the country’s history complete with a re-enactment which will bring it to life.

The Basic Education and Training for Adults (BETA) charity have secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to host a day of activities and exhibitions chronicling all aspects of the Wigan and the English Civil War.

The last battle of the Civil War in Lancashire was fought outside Wigan on August 25, 1651. Known as The Battle of Wigan Lane, the conflict has entered local folklore.

A Royalist force under the Earl of Derby was defeated by Colonel Robert Lilburne and his Parliamentarians.

A monument in Wigan Lane, erected after the restoration, marks the spot where Sir Thomas Tyldesley, a well-loved Royalist officer, was killed during the battle.

The Earl of Derby escaped to Worcester after being sheltered by a local innkeeper, only to be captured later and executed at Bolton.

On Saturday, May 26, the morning will see musketeers fire from the top of Wigan Parish Church tower and a parade along Standishgate to Wigan Market Cross to drums and fife.

The afternoon will feature a living history camp, a skirmish with cannons on The Piazza and a barber surgeon cameo on wounded man.

The day is the culmination of BETA’s successful application for the grant, which allowed 10 adults who have learning and or physical disabilities to research Wigan and the English Civil War.

They published the research in a book and put on an English Civil War Day and exhibitions in Wigan town centre.

Wigan and the English Civil War takes place on Saturday, May 26 from 11am to 4pm.

For more information e-mail eileen@betanetcafe.co.uk or telephone 01942 829474.