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Town Steps Back in Time

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The Levels (playing fields) of Bolton School have witnessed some competitive clashes over the years but nothing quite like this as dozens of pikemen, musketeers and drummers re-enacted “The Storming of Bolton” which took place during the English Civil War. Over two days, a thousand people enjoyed the free spectacle which saw cannons fire, swords clash and drums roll. Earlier, over 500 local children from Years 5, 6 and 7 had enjoyed two special education days at Bolton School which taught them about the violent clashes during the 1640s between Parliamentarians and Royalists. They learnt how Bolton was attacked in May 1644 by forces led by King Charles’ nephew, Prince Rupert and how, after defending themselves against the first assault, the Parliamentarians hanged one of Rupert’s officers, which led to a notorious massacre when the Royalists finally stormed the town. A regional grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote (part of the Sealed Knot charity and re-enactment society) enabled the event to take place. Over the weekend, there were many living history displays and exhibits showing what life would have been like during these traumatic times.

Headmaster of the Boys’ Division, Philip Britton, said: “I am so pleased that the weekend had turned out to be such a success and so many people have enjoyed it. The aim was to bring living history to an audience who would not always be able to enjoy it and we have been successful in that.

“As well as this weekend, there have been two educational days with more than 500 pupils attending. It has been a pleasure to provide a venue and support for this event so that, in partnership with the Sealed Knot and with the lottery grant support, we have been able to realise that vision.”

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