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Children's March 4 November 2016

Newport City’s Mayor, Cllr. David Atwell, at the very spot where 22 Chartists died on the morning of this day, addressed the children who had marched from the Cathedral .




"177 years ago, the Chartists had been planning to march to Newport, to get over their message about the right to vote.


At the same time, a Company of the 45th Regiment and special constables were arresting chartists in Newport.


The Chartist March culminated here in the City Centre. You have just walked down Stow Hill in the footsteps of the Chartists and we are now standing here at the Westgate Hotel which was the scene of the most significant event of that day.


The main force of the Chartist group assembled here in front of the Westgate Hotel and called for the release of their comrades.


A gun was fired in the struggle between Specials and Chartists, and this was taken as the sign for a full assault on the hotel. Unknown to the Chartists, a contingent of soldiers were stationed in the building, they fired on the Chartists......


Ten of those Chartists who lost their lives are buried in St. Woolos churchyard. To this day, no-one knows the exact location of those graves.


The Chartists were marching to establish a “People’s Charter” which would give the vote to all men over 21 years of age, among other proposed reforms, including a secret ballot.


The dramatic events here at the Westgate in 1839 form a powerful and unique chapter in the heritage of the city of Newport.


You have done a fantastic job today of recreating that momentous day. You were very knowledgeable, very exciting and very noisy! Well done everyone.

Cllr David Attwell, Mayor of Newport