Residents in Warwick district invited to remember a local hero

Joseph Arch. Photo submitted.
Joseph Arch. Photo submitted.

Residents in the Warwick district are being invited to walk in the footsteps of a local hero.

The Wellesbourne Allotment Association (WAA) is encouraging people to join them on a free walk and festivities to commemorate 100 years since the death of Joseph Arch.

Joseph Arch lived in Barford and was one of the first commoners to become an MP. His ground-breaking speech in 1872 under the Chestnut tree outside the Stag’s Head in Wellesbourne proved a pivotal moment in social and political history, helping to improve the rights of agricultural labourers.

Members of WAA will be joining the Barford Heritage Group for a commemorative wreath laying in Barford before joining other walkers on the Joseph Arch Way, passing the cottage where he lived and walking to the Stag’s Head at Wellesbourne where they will be met by the Hereburgh Morris Dancers and a ‘modern day Joseph Arch’.

They have commissioned the new Wellesbourne community choir to lead participants in the singing of songs around the time Joseph Arch found in a rare book in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Speaking about Joseph Arch, WAA chair Ian Hope said: “He stood up for the rights of agricultural labourers at a time when for many their lot was pitiful. He was a true local hero and we hope many others will want to join us in remembering him.”

The events will take place on Sunday February 10 and the walk will be guided but it is across country so suitable clothing is essential.

The Wellesbourne Allotment Association will be providing free transport from The Stag’s Head in Wellesbourne to Barford for those wanting to join the walk in the morning but places are limited and must be reserved. The walk will take around two and a half hours.

Festivities outside The Stag’s Head will begin at 1.15pm and will be free.

To book a place for the minibuses email: wendy@wellesbourneallotments.co.uk

To find out more about the festivities click here.