Kit Berry and Ronald Hutton at Crabchurch Conspiracy 2014
I was honoured to be invited to take part once again in the annual Crabchurch Conspiracy weekend in Weymouth, Dorset. Organised by local historian Mark Vine and Steve Booth, the weekend commemorates events that happened in the twin towns of Melcombe Regis and Weymouth during the Civil War in 1645.

Unfortunately the exceptionally bad weather (storms causing dangerously high winds and severe flooding) meant that many of the Civil War re-enactors who were intending to take part, couldn’t get to Weymouth. We nearly didn’t make it either, and had to come down later than planned. Portland, where we’d booked accommodation, had been cut off overnight and for some of the next day due to floods on the causeway.

Despite this, the event was great fun and a huge success. Re-enactors in full uniform and armed with weapons spent the day around and about the town, staging mock arrests in many pubs. The evening event, featuring a lecture by Professor Ronald Hutton on “Why Charles I lost the Civil War” followed by a Dolmen gig with narration by myself and the professor, took place in the Weymouth Pavilion. I hadn’t been there since my youngest son performed in a June Hornby dance show back in the ’90s! The mayor also took part the following day in laying wreaths to commemorate the deaths on both sides during the Civil War.

All money raised from the weekend is to go to the Old Town Hall in Weymouth – whose restoration is an on-going project amongst local citizens who care about their heritage. Many thanks once again to Mark and Steve for their excellent organisation and sheer dedication. Anyone interested in finding out more about the events commemorated should read Mark Vine’s book, The Crabchurch Conspiracy. Details can be found here.


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