November’s illustrated Bygone Days local history talk is by Stephen Clews, Museum Society Chairman and retired Manager of the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms. He will be looking back to the world of Marching Banners from Somerset and beyond. Almost every local town and village had at least one Marching Banner.

Images of some beautifully designed and crafted local banners will be shown at this talk. You will discover why marching with banners was so important to local people in days gone by; in times of stress and strife, in times of celebration, to express commitment to the Christian faith or to represent clubs and societies providing for the sick in times of need.

In a time before modern media, marching with banners would be one of the few ways to get your message seen and heard.

The talk explores their origin in the early 19th century and through their changing styles and decoration, traces patterns of social change in the villages and small towns of Somerset, but also takes in the national picture as political reformers, like suffragettes, adopted banners to shout their message.

Miners famously marched behind banners, and we look at a special case from South Wales. Finally, the talk considers their demise, but also looks to where the art and craft of the banner makers has survived, lives on and has even been revived.

Stephen Clews is an experienced public speaker whose research and delivery of his subject is captivating.

The talk takes place on Tuesday, 7th November, 7:30pm at The Somer Centre, Midsomer Norton.

For details go to their website. All proceeds go to Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum charity no: 1151573.

Lucy Tudor