Willow Walk Programme

Timetable of Displays and Shows for Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th 2021

Willow Walk 

11.00am – 11.30am               Association of Crown Forces 

11.30am – 12.00pm               32nd Regiment

12.00pm – 12.30pm              Taking the Kings Shilling (32nd Regiment of Foot) 

12.30pm – 1.00pm                 Royal Navy Drill (Society of King George III

1.00pm – 1.30pm                   95th Rifles 

1.30pm – 2.00pm                   Association of Crown Forces 

2.00pm – 2.30pm                  32nd Regiment 

2.30pm – 3.00pm                  Royal Navy Smuggling Cameo (Society of King George III)

3.30pm – 4.00pm                  Royal Navy Drill (Society of King George III)

4.00pm – 4.30pm                  95th Rifles

End 5 p.m.

Georgian Military displays and encampments 10 – 5 p.m. each day

Meet Soldiers from the period, representing a number of regiments (and sides!) will set up an encampment and provide activities and demonstrations of military and camp life, including; drill parades, musket firing, cooking and food preparation, soldiers and officers tents, cameos, roll calls and pay parades, to illustrate the period and the military conflicts in which Britain fought.  At this site you will be able to wander and learn about life for Napoleonic military families.

2nd Battalion 95th Rifles

Since its formation in 1998 the group’s aim has been to represent the riflemen of Wellington’s army just as they would have been whilst on active service during the Peninsular War (1808-1814) and the Waterloo Campaign of 1815.

The uniforms and equipment are based on examination of original examples, research into the uniform regulations and study of contemporary images in order to create as accurate an image as possible. Drills and tactics are also taken from extensive research into, and experimentation with, the drill manuals of the time.

Living history displays will demonstrate the way of life of women and children of the unit through living history re-enactment you will see for yourself the way of life for a family of a Napoleonic soldier. Meals are based upon period recipes and cooked over an open fire, which is at the heart of the camp.

The 95th Rifles become quite famous in the public eye through the popular television series ‘Sharpe’ starring Sean Bean in 1993, which was based upon novels by Bernard Cornwell.

Society of King George the Third

The society of King George the Third aspires not only to recreate the look, dress and lifestyle of the late 18th century Royal Navy. They bring to life some of the aspects of 18th century life with a focus on The Queens Rangers. At their encampment there will be talks, and tactile learning and in particular you can hear about the gory subject of surgery of the period. You will be able to watch their static drills in the arena.

32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot

First raised in 1702 by Colonel Edward Fox as ‘Edward Fox’s Regiment of Marines’ to fight in the War of Spanish Succession, the regiment was renamed as the 32nd Regiment of Foot in 1751.  During the Napoleonic period, from 1808 to 1814, the 32nd Regiment was heavily involved in the Peninsular War, fighting in a number of key battles including Salamanca.  In 1815, two days after helping to halt the French advance at the Battle of Quatre Bras, the regiment was stationed in the centre of Wellington’s army at the Battle of Waterloo.  They fought stoically, eventually helping to defeat Napoleon’s troops, but suffered the heaviest loss of any British regiment; starting with 647 men of all ranks on 16th June 1815, after two days of fighting reportedly just 131 men were left standing.

Association of Crown Forces

Formed in 1982, following several years of in-depth research, the Association of Crown Forces (1776) became the first UK re-enactment society to specialise in the American War of Independence. Over the years they have visited just about every English Heritage site, many of the National Trust, county shows and individual historical venues such as Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the national Army Museum. Television opportunities have also presented themselves with such programmes as ‘The Border Country’, Richard Holmes excellently presented ‘War Walks’ and Simon Schama’s documentary ‘Rough Crossings’.

The group portrays the flank companies of the Coldstream Guards, the light infantry and grenadiers, as they appeared at the start of the American War of Independence and also have a number of members who portray the non-combatant camp followers and families in their living history encampment.

Napoleonic Redcoat Soldiers

British Soldiers from a number of regiments will set up a series of Napoleonic encampments and provide activities and demonstrations of military and camp life, including; recruiting for King George and taking the King’s shilling, drill parades, musket firing, cooking and food preparation, soldiers and officers tents, cameos, role calls and pay parades, to illustrate the period and the military conflicts in which Britain fought.   The weekend will also include a look at life on campaign, a Soldier’s Wife’s story, the opportunity to meet the soldiers and camp followers and a full timetable of arena displays.

HMS Royal Marines

You will be able to witness Musket displays and drill demonstrations. Meet Admiral Nelson’s Jacktars and the Royal Marines of the late 18th Century, and find out about life on board in the times of Trafalgar and Waterloo!

Georgian Trades & Crafts 10 – 5 p.m. each day

Pole-lathe Turning

Watch our professional pole-lathe turner make furniture of the period using a man-powered pole-lathe, an exciting and visual method of working.  Find out about furniture of the era and the cost of producing chairs and tables in the Georgian period.

Georgian Dyer

Discover about dying clothes and other items during the Georgian period.  Find out about the use of various plant dyes and minerals to dye cloth.  Watch as our dyer prepares various colours and the variety of colours available during the period.  An amazing display that will educate and entertain visitors.


The 18th century was a particularly exciting time for studying the cosmos, as Isaac Newton had finally settled that the earth circles the sun!

Early in the century Edmund Halley, the Astronomer Royal, had predicted that a strange comet seen several times in history would return in 1758 – Halley died in 1742, would his prediction come true?   Meanwhile a common clockmaker called Harrison had proposed to the Royal Astronomical Society that one of his clocks could solve the difficult problem of measuring longitude at sea! Naturally the Society was scornful of this idea, believing that only learned astronomers could solve the problem, so they refused to take him seriously. Who will turn out to be right?

Many other matters interest our Georgian Astronomer, Mr Greene, such as predicting and observing eclipses of the sun, how to use astronomy to measure the size of the earth, and the uses of the ancient Arab instrument called the astrolabe. He will be only too pleased to discuss these matters, and if the moon is really made of green cheese, with anyone who cares to enquire.

The Square Programme

By the beginning of the 18th century, the influence of British naval power had opened up trade routes across the known world, merchants and traders often became very wealthy by using these routes to import new, luxury goods into England.

The cost of protecting this trade fell to the Navy, and thus to the British government. It seemed obvious that those who were profiting from international trading should contribute to the cost of policing it. So a list was drawn up of luxury items that would be subject to import tax. By 1760 this list numbered over 800 items. This, plus the Excise Duty, which had been introduced during the English Civil War in order to offset the cost of the conflict, (which still exists today as VAT!), meant that a large proportion of the cost of most luxury items, were taxed!

The opportunity for making money from smuggling was great and provided the perfect venue for “free traders” to operate in.

Isaac Gulliver – King of the Smugglers 10 – 5 p.m. each day

Come and meet Wimborne’s famous, or infamous, smuggler and find out about his life and adventures! Discover about smuggling gin, silk, lace and tea and all dressed in Georgian smock clothing.

Come and meet his crew at the Smuggling Boat a 27ft long Georgian Smuggling Boat will take centre stage on the Square, the boat would have been used to ferry smugglers, like Isaac Gulliver, and his supplies from ship to shore to gain access to the small coves on the Dorset coastline and avoid detection by the Royal Navy and Customs & Exercise men.

There will be interactive displays, talks and demonstrations with the smuggling crew on hand throughout the day to tell you all about navigation, seafaring, sea-cooking, net and rope making, trade and life on board ship during the period.

Children’s Pirate Cannon Game 10 – 5 p.m. each day – children can fire a mock cannon and learn all about the role of smugglers!  Great fun and no loud bangs!

The Minster Green Programme

Georgian Puppet Show Show times are 11 a.m. 1 p.m. 3 p.m. 4.30 p.m.

Punch and Judy, but as you have never seen them before.  Mr Punch is confronted by the Duke of Wellington who proposes to enlist him into his army to fight against Napoleon!  Bring a blanket and enjoy the show.

Children’s Georgian Pottery Making Workshop 10 – 5 p.m. each day.

The Georgian period saw a growing trend for tea drinking with its accompanying pottery, and also the very first Toby jugs appeared for the amusement of beer drinkers, where the fashionable tricorne hat worn by the pottery figure provided a perfect lip for the jug. Capturing their imaginations through art and design this drop in pottery workshop gives children an opportunity to try their hand at making a pot and take home their finished item.

Children’s Georgian Games 10 – 5 p.m. each day

Have a go at a traditional game played during Georgian times– play with ball and cup, quoits, peg dolls and hobby horses, and discover nine mans morris and post-mills!

The Museum of East Dorset Programme

The Museum will be open and entry will be free, so this is a great opportunity to come and see the amazing transformation that has taken place at the Museum of East Dorset (formerly Priest’s House). The Cafe will also be open where you can enjoy refreshments in the beautiful Gardens.

Georgian Surgeon (Medicine) – both days 10 – 4.30 p.m.

Learn about health and disease from our Georgian Surgeon, demonstrations will show how wounds and diseases were treated, using traditional methods and practices of the period.  Discover blood letting – great fun for all the family!

Dr Coffin – both days 10 – 4 p.m.

We have a local Doctor and Surgeon in the gardens – Dr Coffin who will be available throughout the weekend to answer more gruesome question about medicine during Georgian times.

Crafts & Children’s activities

Dorset Button Making (for ages 11+) on Saturday 4th September, 10.30 – 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 – 3.30 p.m.

Georgian themed crafts for children, both days, 10.30 – 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 – 3.30 p.m.

Allendale House – East Dorset Heritage Trust Programme

Georgian Pastimes, Hobbies, Games and Handicrafts – Both days 10 – 5 p.m. (not 3 – 3.30 p.m.)

How did people while away their time in Georgian days?  Come along and find out what card games were fashionable, what stitching ladies did and more.

18th Century Tea Making – Both days between 10 – 5 p.m. (not 3 -3.30 p.m.)

How much did tea cost, how was it sold and what was the etiquette for making, serving and drinking?  A fascinating demonstration of this time-honoured tradition in the Georgian era.

18th Century Food & Diet – Both days between 10 – 5 p.m. (not 3 -3.30 p.m.)

Learn about Georgian recipes learn about the ingredients and who would have enjoyed the treats on offer.

Georgian ‘Fashion Show’

3pm on Saturday 4th September    Georgian ‘Fashion Show’ with the Mannered Mob

3pm on Sunday 5th September    Georgian ‘Fashion Show’ with the Mannered Mob

Join the Mannered Mob at 3pm each day for a fashion show with a difference as they parade the fashion’s of the Georgian era. Seating is limited for this free event, so to ensure your place please register using the links below.

Allendale Centre Programme

Saturday 4th September only 10 – 5 p.m.

Longsword and Maypole Dancing

Longsword dancing is a little know English dance tradition that have been performed in England for over 300 years.  It’s a complex dance in which the swords are woven into different patterns. Historically, swords were made from many things: miners drills, old saw blades, barrel hoops, ‘scutching’ knives, etc, as real swords would have been too expensive for most people. Longsword dancing at the History Festival is performed by Southern Star Longsword Dancers.

Longsword Dancing – 10 a.m. 11.30 a.m. 2.15 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. (each display 15 minutes)

Maypole dancing for everyone – 1 – 1.30 p.m. and 3 – 3.30 p.m.

Free sword dancing workshops are available on request – just ask. No experience required. 
Come and relax on the green outside or indoors at the Allendale Centre if wet, enjoy magical tales and legends with Storyteller Madeleine. Suitable for any age child that enjoys a good story.

Sunday 5th September

Storytelling for children with Madeleine Grantham

Performances times are:

11.45 a.m. 1.45 p.m. and 3.45 p.m.

Walford Mill Programme

Wander down to the Mill to enjoy the open studios and meet the Makers at the Mill, which will be open throughout the weekend, there are no entry charges, pay and display car park is next to the Mill.

Saturday 4 September 10 – 5 p.m.

Bread Making and Corn Grinding Demonstrations

Come and have a go at Corn grinding and watch bread making demonstrations at Walford Mill. You will find them in the Mill courtyard in their colourful tent. Come and enjoy the activities and enjoy refreshment at the Happycino cafe.

Saturday & Sunday 12 – 1 p.m.

Street Scenes with our Georgian Wimbornians by State of Play Arts

Come and meet three characters who lived in Georgian Wimborne: widow, Mrs Elizabeth King, silk merchant and owner of Priest’s House,  William Castleman, solicitor and owner of Allendale House, and Gerald  Rowe, Guardian of the Wimborne and Cranborne Workhouse. They will be visiting Walford Mill for an hour each day and will interact with the public giving insight into their lives and times. If you miss them at the Mill they will be performing at Allendale House, The Museum and Walford Mill, Willow Walk and the Model Town throughout the weekend. This project has been funded by Dorset Council cultural funding and produced and directed by State of Play Arts.

Sunday 5 September only 10 – 12 noon or 1 – 3 p.m.

Create the Ghost of Walford Mill!

Children and families can join Emerald Ant on Sunday at one of two craft workshops which is part of a WHF project ‘Magnificent Mills’ to learn about the heritage of the Mill through craft. (Arts Council England funded)

Come to the mill and create a large-scale Georgian Miller. Children will work with parents to decorate sections of the miller’s smock using cotton fabric, string, PVA glue and other materials. Patterns will be based on mill motifs used in Georgian smocking. Expect to spend between 20 to 40 minutes on your creation. Dress for mess! 

Free event but please book to ensure your place(s) on the workshop, remaining places will be available on the day.

Click on the time to book the relevant session: 10 – 12 noon OR 1 – 3 p.m.

Wimborne Model Town programme

Tom Fool

Georgian Jester and Juggler

Saturday 4th September

Tom Fool from Tingtang Theatre Company

Meet and greet sillyness throughout the day and three fire show on stilts and an amazing apple feet – called “napple on the numbskull

Performances of Napple on the numbskull are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Model Town only.

Please be aware that normal entrance charges apply to the Model Town today although the performances provided by Wimborne History Festival are free.