Bonny Sartins Smugglers Tales
Wednesday 24th March
The Town Hall, East Street, Bridport
This year's show by The Yetties front man will explore the illicit deeds of the smugglers of Dorset and Hampshire.
Bonny said: “Smuggling is usually thought of as a few cheeky chappies earning a little on the side but during the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries it was big business along the south coast. There were times when smugglers virtually ran the town of Christchurch, and gangs of 50 or 60 men roamed the countryside with little chance of being challenged by authority.”
“Most of the population were on the lawbreakers side and they were considered to be simply 'Freetraders'. Many farm labourers turned out to help carry the contraband inland. They could earn as much in one night working for the smugglers as they could all week on the farm.”
“But there was also a dark side to the trade. Many smugglers weren't averse to intimidation and violence. Revenue men were often beaten up and sometimes they were simply heaved off a cliff top or drowned.”
Bonny will tell their story, and how the trade was just booze but basically any imports with a tax sufficient to be worth avoiding, at one time it's reckoned that two thirds of the tea coming into Britain was brought in illegally.
Presented by Friends of Bridport Museum
£6 Adv. / £7 on the door / £5 for Friends of the Museum
Tickets on sale from Bridport Local History Centre (01308) 458703
or Bridport Music (01308) 425707