Events will be taking place at Regent Circus this Sunday (28 July) to mark the centenary of the 1919 Peace Riots.
July 1919 marked the official end of the First Word War and there were celebrations across the country. Swindon’s celebrations, however, turned sour when the crowd learned that hundreds of pounds had been spent on a new flagpole instead of relief for ex-servicemen and their families.
At the time, the Swindon Advertiser reported that three nights of rioting took place and were only stopped when the Mayor introduced a curfew.
And this Sunday people will have the chance to take part in activities to mark 100 years since the riots.
Two free guided tours of the Local Studies collection will take place at 11:30am and 2pm.
At 1pm on the steps of Swindon Dance there will be a singalong to accompany the unfurling of a new peace flag. Performances will continue inside with contributions from SALOS, Prime Youth Theatre, Gemma Short School of Dance and professional musician Louise Jordan.
Primary school pupils have made 360 peace flags that will be on display alongside a new installation from Artsite and a new exhibition about the riots is open in Central Library until Saturday, 10 August.
Darryl Moody, Swindon Borough Council’s Local Studies Librarian, said: “I am delighted to once again work with Prime Theatre to help create this free commemorative event for the public.
“Events will get underway from 11am and we encourage people to come down and learn all about this dramatic chapter in our town’s history.”
Emma Barr, Associate Director at Prime Theatre, said. “We were so excited when we came across the story. The day will be a mix of history and performance for everyone to enjoy.”
Members of the public will be given replica 1919 certificates of thanks and refreshments.