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Gloucester History Festival programme announced

All Areas > Entertainment > Culture

Author: Patrick Baines, Posted: Monday, 23rd July 2018, 12:00

The Civil War re-enactment will be one of the most popular events of the entire festival The Civil War re-enactment will be one of the most popular events of the entire festival

Gloucester History Festival returns this Autumn with a wonderful array of guest speakers attending the event which gets underway on the first day in September.

As well as spanning a huge range of history, the festival, which runs from 1st-16th September, also celebrates more than 2,000 years of Gloucester’s past, including the 375th anniversary of the Siege of Gloucester in the English Civil War and the 1100th anniversary of ‘Warrior Queen’ Aethelflaed. Inspired by Aethelflaed and the 100th anniversary of the first women to gain the vote, this year’s festival has a focus on ‘Women and Leadership’.

The line-up of guest speakers was announced this morning, with historians, politicians, broadcasters and authors visiting Gloucester to give talks on the ancient history of the city. Richard Graham, Gloucester History Festival Chair, said: “The 2018 Gloucester History Festival adds dozens of talks, events, and music in more venues, ranging over a thousand years of history that has changed our city and nation.

“Famed leaders, historians and academics will rub shoulders with community representatives, resident families and visitors for what is Britain’s best urban celebration of history brought alive.

Britain’s longest-serving female MP Harriet Harman will join Helen Pankhurst to discuss the lives of the women who fought for female suffrage and their legacy. Broadcaster Kate Adie will be exploring the role of women during the First World War while former Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen speaks about Churchill and the 1940 War Cabinet.

Closer to home Gloucester’s history will be commemorated with several talks from distinguished speakers. This year’s festival features three specially-written talks about Gloucestershire’s history. Gloucester MP Richard Graham will tell the compelling story of Major General Sir Edward Massey, the soldier famous for defending Gloucester for Parliament at the Siege of Gloucester in 1643. Phil Moss will uncover the intriguing stories of the great figures in Gloucester’s history. Gloucester City Archaeologist Andrew Armstrong will tell the fascinating story of what happened to Gloucester between Roman times and the tenth century when Aethelflaed re-founded the city.

More than 120 of Gloucester’s finest historic buildings will be open free to the public over the Heritage Open Days weekend. There will also be the traditional Gloucester Day parade marking the end of the Siege of Gloucester in 1643, a huge two-day Civil War re-enactment, free exhibitions and family fun activities.

The two-week festival boasts more than 230 events including talks, parades, tours and family fun, attracting more than 20,000 people to the city.

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