‘What a great day out. Utterly, utterly charming.’ On Sunday 9 June 2013, 1400 people got the message that commons are fun.
Visitors helped to build a makeshift home (hovel) by bashing chalk for the floor and enthusiastically daubing the wattle walls. They crafted willow hurdles, lace, candles, bodged broomstick handles and made bread over an open fire. They heard about how commons were used for military training, and the growth of the non-conformist religions. When wrong-doers were caught the bailiff admonished them! They auctioned off their family as milkmaids, farm labourers and farriers at the hiring fair, watched sheepdog demonstrations, listened to the wandering minstrel and storytellers and pelted their family with wet sponges in the stocks.
This short film about the history of commons was made by volunteers from Reading Film and Video Makers club using footage filmed during the day.
We hope you'll enjoy the pictures in this gallery. Thanks go to Colin Drake, Julie Hopton, Peter Davis, Cathy Rose, John Morris and Chris Smith for their photos.