Power to the people – Joseph Arch memorial walk on Sunday


HISTORY will be recreated with a walk from Barford to Wellesbourne on Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of legendary local hero Joseph Arch who championed the rights of farm workers and the formation of their union.

Born in Barford, Joseph Arch was one of the first commoners to become an MP. His ground-breaking speech in 1872 under the Chestnut tree outside the Stag’s Head in Wellesbourne proved a pivotal moment in social and political history, helping to improve the rights of agricultural labourers which until then were non-existent and described by the Countess of Warwick at the time as “appalling”.

To mark the anniversary of his death, members of Wellesbourne Allotment Association (WAA) will be joining the Barford Heritage Group for a commemorative wreath laying in Barford and then go with other walkers on the Joseph Arch Way, passing the cottage where he lived and walking to the Stag’s Head at Wellesbourne where they will be met by the Hereburgh Morris Dancers and a modern day Joseph Arch.

Wellesbourne Allotment Association is inviting local people to join them on a free walk and festivities on Sunday 10th February to commemorate 100 years since the death of Joseph Arch.


9.15 am At Joseph Arch’s grave in St Peter’s Churchyard, Church Street, Barford. (CV35 8ES) – Wreath laying and words spoken by Rev Neville Beamer. At 9.30 am walk along High Street to pay respects at Joseph Arch’s cottage. At 9.45 am tea or coffee in the old Scout Hut, Wasperton Lane. 10.15 am walkers start towards to Chestnut Square, Wellesbourne via the River Walk – estimate, five miles. 1pm to 3pm, The Wellesbourne Allotment Association event will be held outside the Stags Head in Chestnut Square, Wellesbourne includes Morris Dancing.