SIR Richard Grenville and native American Rawley are to walk the streets of Bideford again next year – some 450 years after they originally set foot there. The Bideford 500 group are gearing themselves up for Heritage Day 2011 after the roaring success of
SIR Richard Grenville and native American Rawley are to walk the streets of Bideford again next year - some 450 years after they originally set foot there.
The Bideford 500 group are gearing themselves up for Heritage Day 2011 after the roaring success of this summer's Medieval Day in the park.
Their theme for 2011 is the Elizabethan period and the main event will take place on Saturday, July 2.
While details are yet to be agreed and funding needs to be put in place, ideas already include an Elizabethan banquet with traditional food and ale, characters in period costume, stalls depicting everyday life such as quill writing, a physician and musket demonstration, a street market selling Elizabethan style goods, street theatre and live music.
A procession is also planned through the town to commemorate Rawley, the native American brought to Bideford by Sir Richard Grenville in the 16th century. He was baptised and buried in the parish church. It is hoped that children and townsfolk will take part, dressed in Elizabethan costumes and carrying banners.
Bideford 500 is a not-for-profit community group which is celebrating and promoting Bideford's past through a series of activities and events.
Project Development Worker Sadie Green said: "The Elizabethan period was such a key time in Bideford's history as a port, when there was a lot of trade in pottery, tobacco and other goods with Ireland, Canada and the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. This 16th century trade is what made Bideford a hugely prosperous and important place and contributed enormously to its development as a town.
"For Heritage Day 2011 we are keen to put on events that involve the local community. We've got lots of ideas and hope it all comes to fruition as we are dependent on receiving funding, but we hope to run a series of schools visits and give local children an opportunity to star on the day.
"We would like to involve local businesses, encouraging them to to take part and dress up and to encourage local musicians and theatre companies to perform. There will also be a series of associated events."
For more information about Bideford 500 go to the website www.bidefordtown.co.uk/about