Time to Explore Northumberland & the Scottish Borders Derek Sharman MBE. Tour Guide since 1988 Tel: 01289 330218 - Email: timetoexplore@btinternet.com
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The Hexham Riot: 1761 - June 2004

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In 2004, Derek Sharman and Time to Explore managed a project that marked a little known incident that took place in Hexham in 1761 when some 200 soldiers opened fire on a crowd of 5,000 people who had gathered to protest against the ballot for the county militia.

At least 50 men, women and children were killed and many more were wounded during the riot.

Local people were involved in researching the story of the characters and preparing the props, costumes and scripts.  The project also included a series of interactive workshops where local primary schoolchildren were able to learn about life in Hexham in the 18th century and discover the background to the Riot.

The programme culminated in a re-enactment of the historical event and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in Hexham Market Place, where the riot happened.

Around 100 volunteers from the town and members of three 18th Century re-enactment groups recreated some of the events of that day.  Among those taking part was Jane Allgood from Liverpool, who took the part of her direct ancestor and namesake Jane, wife of Sir Lancelot Allgood, the Sheriff of Northumberland in 1761.   ,

The event ended with singers from Northumbrian choirs performing a specially-commissioned song written by Terry Conway.

Re-enacting The Hexham Riot

Schools’ Workshop Sessions

Setting the Scene