I have been working with Jack Drum Arts of County Durham on a Community Play based on the subject of the 1818 “Battle of Stanhope”. The play will run for 3 days in March 2012 in a barn in Stanhope.
Basically the story goes like this: the Napoleonic wars had ended and there was a lesser need for lead (bullets). Starving lead miners in Weardale turned to poaching to supplement their income. The Prince Bishop sent Gamekeepers on a mission and captured the Siddle brothers. Their friends and family took pursuit and caught up with the Prince Bishops men in Stanhope and an almighty battle took place at the Black Bull.
This all took place 193 years ago but it is still remembered in songs, stories and of course the play “The Bonnie Moorhen”. This coming Weds 7th December is the anniversary of the “Battle of Stanhope” and we plan to re-enact it in the very pub where it happened. We’re planning to stream this and it can be seen here from 3pm GMT on December 7th just click on “watch” in the top menu.