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Election fever at Workhouse

Posted onPosted on 16th Apr
Election fever at Workhouse

Another opportunity to cast your vote presents itself in May as The Workhouse at Southwell is recreating controversial events surrounding a local by-election of 1851. The storytelling event, ‘Paupers and Politics’ which is part of Museums at Night, will take place on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 May from 6.30-8.30pm.

The actions of the then Master of The Workhouse, Mr Thomas Weightman, caused a local scandal as he flew a coloured flag from his quarters promoting one of the candidates in the local election. Then, as now, no political allegiance was to be shown by those in charge of The Workhouse and Mr Weightman’s actions exposed him to the risk of losing his job.

Pauper inmates, although not entitled to vote, held passionate views about the two candidates, Viscount Newark and Mr Barrow which often resulted in banging of metal plates and hurling of potatoes at those who held opposing views.

Visitors can have their ears bent by the paupers, hear Master Weightman’s defence and listen to the case put forward by each candidate before casting their vote. Only men over 21 and owners of property will be allowed to vote.

Advance booking and payment is required for this popular event. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children (suitable for over 12s) for more information and to purchase tickets please call 0844 2491895 or visit