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See What The Victorians Did For Us
The Staffordshire town of Tamworth is stepping back in time to the days of Victorian England as it prepares to celebrate the reopening of its iconic theatre. Tamworth Assembly Rooms in Corporation Street was first proposed as a fitting monument to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. It was officially opened to the public in October 1889 and therefore celebrates its 130th birthday later this year.
The historic theatre is currently undergoing its most significant transformation to date, with a multi-million-pound refurbishment and expansion project to ensure its long-term future. And, in order to commemorate both the birthday and reopening of Tamworth Assembly Rooms later this year, the town will be shining a spotlight on all things Victorian with a number of events planned throughout the year.
Victorian Tamworth to be celebrated with a series of events
As well as giving Tamworth its Assembly Rooms, the Victorian period, which ran from 1837 to 1901, also had a significant impact on the shaping of the town that exists today, including the development of key buildings, the birth of influential people locally and nationally, and historic events which forever changed the town.
This Victorian heritage and Tamworth Assembly Rooms are key themes of the 2019 Tamworth in Bloom campaign of 'Blooming Tamworth – More than just flowers' which involves a celebration of the town's community and heritage. This will include a raised flower bed on the Moor Street traffic island at the end of Lichfield Street with a special tribute to Queen Victoria, particularly as this May also marks the 200th anniversary of her birth.
Further events include a free concert in the bandstand of Tamworth Castle Grounds on Saturday 6 July. Music Under the Stars, which features Sonic Harmony, Liam Rhodes and Daniel Hatton, will pay tribute to some of the amazing acts which have graced the stage at Tamworth Assembly Rooms over the decades, featuring music from The Beatles, the Rolling Stones among others. and many more. There will also be street food and drinks vendors.
The bandstand will also host a celebration taking place on Tamworth in Bloom judging day on July 16, where every group that has supported Blooming Tamworth, and anyone else who wants to view the beautiful flowers in the grounds, will be invited to bring a picnic and enjoy an afternoon of free music by Amington Band. Then on September 15 and 16, Victorian history will be brought to life at a special Victorian Living History Weekend at Tamworth Castle. Visitors will be invited to join the governess, housekeeper and servants as they go about their daily tasks.
Throughout the year, Tamworth Borough Council will also be sharing information, milestones and anniversaries of other key Victorian people, buildings and events that have shaped the town. These include Tamworth Railway Station, built in 1839, the 19-arch viaduct which celebrates its 180th anniversary this year, and Tamworth Castle being given to the people of the town in 1899 in commemoration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
Tamworth was also influenced by local MP Sir Robert Peel, who went on to serve twice as Prime Minister, including during Victoria's reign. As well as inventing the modern police service and repealing the Corn Laws, Sir Robert also issued what became known as the Tamworth Manifesto, which is widely credited by historians as having laid down the principles upon which the modern British Conservative Party is based. This year, Tamworth Peel Society celebrates its 40th birthday having been founded in 1979 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force.
How the refurbished Tamworth Assembly Rooms will look