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PICTURES: Infamous bread riots re-enacted in St Austell street spectacle

By bevcoumbe  |  Posted: July 07, 2013

  • Bread riots re-enactment of the 1847 raid on St Austell

  • Starving people rush St Austell in the hunt for food

  • Taking charge of looters

  • Bread rioters in St Austell

  • Acrobats with SWAMP circus perform in St Austell

  • St Austell's wandering minstrels, The Butter Thieves.

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Visitors to St Austell town centre were surprised by a re-enactment of the infamous bread riots of more than 150 years ago.

Starving clay workers and their families of 1847 marched on Fore Street looting and pillaging. Actors brought the harrowing events to life in Saturday’s live street spectacle that also included a performance by SWAMP Circus.

The group put on a daring show of fire-eating and acrobatics in the grounds of the Holy Trinity Church. There was also music from the local wandering minstrels, The Butter Thieves, and traditional wool spinning.

The riotous starving mob descended on the town's Market House where they were greeted by the High Sheriff of Cornwall who restored order.

Local schoolchildren also performed in the Market House.

The bread riots also feature in Restormel Arts new community play, written by Miracle Theatre’s Bill Scott, and involving the local community.

The play also based on the 1847 riots runs from July 9 in the Rum Cellars of St Austell Brewery, Trevarthian Road until July 13. There is wheelchair access. Tickets available by calling 01726 879500. For further information visit: www.breadriots.com

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  • emurfitt  |  July 08 2013, 3:43PM

    Hungry 21st century Cornish people have food banks to prevent this sort of thing. What progress we have made!

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