200 years of Leamington explored as history festival returns

The Pump Room Gardens in Leamington will be taken back to the Victorian era for a day as part of the Leamington Looks Back history festival.

The Pump Room Gardens in Leamington will be taken back to the Victorian era for a day as part of the Leamington Looks Back history festival.

People from across Warwickshire are being invited to step back in time to the Regency, Victorian and Edwardian periods as the Leamington Looks Back festival returns to the town.

Heritage Matters, the voluntary group which has been organising the two-week festival in Leamington every summer since 2012, is this year particularly focusing on the town’s history over the past 200 years to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Pump Room.

As well as a programme of around 60 (mostly free) events - including walks, talks and exhibitions at various locations across the town - the festival, which runs from June 21 to July 6, will include three big events being run in conjunction with Leamington Art Gallery and Museum: the Regency Ball on June 27, World War One Day on June 25 and a Victorian Fun Day on June 29.

Ticket-holders for the Regency Ball are being encouraged to dress up in the styles of the period and then dance the night away to period music and tuck into a Regency-inspired supper.

Among the attractions during World War One Day will be Living Military History, a group of re-enactors who will show people how the wounded were treated on the front line. There will also be a refurbished World War One vehicle for people to have a look at.

On the Victorian Fun Day, people are being invited to dress up in Victorian outfits and bring a picnic to enjoy while listening to period music, watching Punch and Judy shows and listening to a talk about Victorian Leamington.

Jenny St John of Heritage Matters said: “When we started the project three years ago, we wanted to create a legacy for Leamington and the response we have had has been tremendous. We have had thousands of people coming to different events. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate Leamington’s history.

“The beauty of the events is that they are dotted around the town, so people can pop along to whatever interests them.”

The festival, which is run by a small team of volunteers, has been sponsored by the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens, the Leamington Society, Warwick District Council and Leamington Town Council.

Anyone who would like to volunteer at any of the events can contact Jenny on 774373 or email jennystjohn1@gmail.com

To see the full programme of events, pick up a free leaflet in libraries, tourist information centres and other public places across the district or visit www.leamingtonlooksback.co.uk




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