MUSICIANS and history lovers have turned the clock back for a musical journey to civil war Weymouth.

They have created a new album called the Crabchurch Conspiracy tracing pivotal events and battles of 1645 in Weymouth.

The Dolmen have written and recorded the CD with lyrics from historian and author Mark Vine.

Noted historian Professor Ronald Hutton, from Bristol University, introduces the story on the CD and reads part of the narrative between tracks. Mr Vine said: “The album was conceived by Dolmen lead singer Taloch Jameson and myself.

“He wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics, which are based upon my book of the same name and also the wider English Civil War story.

“To get someone of the calibre of Professor Ronald Hutton to do the narration was a dream come true as he is the foremost authority on the civil war period, possibly in the world, as well as being a well-known TV celebrity.”

Mr Vine added: “Our aim, as with the book, was to quite literally ‘resurrect’ the memory and reputations of a great Dorset family, the Sydenhams of Wynford Eagle, who lost so much and did so much for the Parliamentary cause during the civil war.

“The aim was also to recreate the legend surrounding them, a legend of brilliant and brave military leadership and political high office.

“We also wanted to use it as a showcase for the Weymouth area, which is why a lot of the songs mention local places and events.

“It is, we hope, the quintessential Dorset album.”

The CD brings characters and events to life through songs and narratives – including a battle at Dorchester, the Battle of Weymouth and the aftermath of the civil war when many left for the New World in the Americas.

The songs include folk tracks, rockier numbers and acoustic tracks and laments.

The band launched the CD with a performance at the Old Rooms on the old harbourside. They have also presented a copy to Steve Knightley from popular folk duo Show of Hands.

Prof Hutton, who was appointed a commissioner of English Heritage in July this year, has appeared on TV and radio.

His specialities are paganism and the 17th century.

Prof Hutton said: “This is a spectacular subject for a musical album, and one rarely treated in that form.

“The Dolmen make the result work really well, alternating bulletins of real history with electric folk, from high-energy dance to lament, which the band has always played to perfection.

“I felt both entertained and moved.

“It seemed at times as though a real voice was being given to the dead.”

The CD is released following efforts to breathe fresh life into the old town hall, where some of the battle took place.

The Chapelhay Community Partnership, including town hall guardian Martin Hedley, have staged events and exhibitions. There has also been a civil war re-enactment outside the hall.

Go to the website for more about the CD and Crabchurch Conspiracy.