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Recreating smuggling days with the Portland Garrison Group
SMUGGLERS will descend on Weymouth harbour this weekend to re-enact scenes from the 18th century.
The Portland Garrison Group, based in Weymouth, aims to re-create several periods from Dorset’s past focusing on the English Civil War of the 17th century, through to the smugglers who operated locally during the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Visitors, residents and holidaymakers can step back in time with activities and presentations running from 11am until 4pm, both days of the Moonfleet smugglers weekend.
Portland Garrison chairman and director of Weymouth Heritage Centre, Dave Allan, said the idea for the group was based on Moonfleet, the tale of smuggling which was written by John Meade Falkner.
He added: “We are holding a small event this year between the Stone Pier Cafe and Hope Square, and are expecting 20 or 40 people to take part.
“The smuggling weekend is free but we ask for donations to the Weymouth Heritage Centre. We would encourage everyone to come and learn all about the golden age of smuggling in Dorset and Weymouth in particular.
“This year, our commemoration of the battle which took place in Weymouth during February 1645 was a huge success, with over 1000 people coming to watch the Roundheads and Cavaliers battle on the seafront.
“Our aim is to remember many of the conflicts that took place in Dorset as part of the civil war, with authentic re-enactments bringing to life the look, sounds and smells of the 17th century.”
In June last year, the group held a Moonfleet Smuggling Festival at Bagwell Farm in Chickerell, which ran as a charitable event for the RNLI.
Any re-enactment groups or individuals that want to take part in the smuggling event this weekend should email Adrian Clements on email@example.com
For more information, call the heritage centre on 01305 459929.
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