A CREATIVE display of performances and art exhibitions will honour Dorset's Tolpuddle Martyrs next month.

Weymouth College students studying creative arts will march through Dorchester before holding performances at the Shire Hall Courthouse Museum.

The project is being run in partnership with the Courthouse, where the Tolpuddle Martyrs were convicted in 1834.

The Martyrs were a group of six Dorset farm workers campaigning against pay cuts. Trade Unions were outlawed at the time, and the six were convicted for swearing an illegal secret oath as members of 'The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers'.

Sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia, their conviction triggered widespread outcry; thousands of people marched through London to demand their freedom, as well as petitions and protest meetings being organised.

The group's name is the inspiration for the new 'Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers'. Led by artist Simon Lee Dicker, the 150-strong group of fine art, photography, dance and music students have joined together to bring the Martyr's legacy to life.

Simon Lee Dicker, leading the project, said: "It's the first time students of Weymouth College have come together to unite with the same passion.

"This partnership between Shire Hall and Weymouth College will enable them to learn about collaborative and cross disciplinary practice, inspired by the museum's stories.

"Rather than a collection in a traditional sense, Shire Hall brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life, through the stories that are scratched into the walls of the cells and echo through the grand architecture of the courtroom."

On Friday, March 6, The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers will march through Dorchester, leaving Maumbury Rings at 3.30pm before parading through South Street and reaching Shire Hall by around 4.30pm.

There, an exhibition and special events will be held from 6.30pm until 9.00pm. For one night only, the display will include various performances and installations in the court house and will take residents on an exciting journey of artistic experiences.

Some of the exhibition will remain in place until April 3.

Booking in advance is recommended. Tickets cost £5 per person with all proceeds going towards the Shire Hall charity trust.

For tickets visit shirehalldorset.merlintickets.co.uk