All set for 2011 Roman Week

THE FESTIVAL dubbed “nearly 2000 years in the making” kicks off next week . . . bringing a wealth of history – and lots of fun – to Falkirk district.

The Big Roman Week starts on Monday, September 19, 2011 promising fun days, walks, talks . . . and lots of Romans.

(Click here – www.kinneil.org.uk/bigromanweek – for full event listings.)

Community groups and public bodies from Bo’ness to Bonnybridge are taking part in the mini-festival. Organisers hope the variety of activities, many free of charge, will encourage more people to find out about local history and local museums.

The week-long event has been organised to mark the birthday of Emperor Antoninus Pius, the Roman leader who built the stone and turf Antonine Wall from Bo’ness right across Falkirk District to Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow around 142 AD. The Wall was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

The festival starts on Monday, September 19 (the Emperor’s birthday) with “Meet the Romans” events at Callendar House museum in Falkirk and Bridgeness Miners’ Welfare (near the end of the Antonine Wall) in Bo’ness.

There are also:

• walks along the Antonine Wall;
• talks from leading historians;
• displays on the area’s Roman heritage; and
• fun days with a Roman twist in Bo’ness and at the Falkirk Wheel.

Things come to a fun close with a showing of the musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at the Barony Theatre in Bo’ness on September 24 – and a history walk from the Falkirk Wheel to Roughcastle, by Bonnybridge, on Sunday, September 25.

Full details of all the events are now online at www.kinneil.org.uk/bigromanweek – leaflets are also available from local outlets.

The Festival is the brainchild of the charity The Friends of Kinneil.

Its chair, Maria Ford, said: “We hope the Big Roman Week will make people more aware of the heritage right on their doorsteps. We want to encourage locals and visitors to go to our fabulous museums – at Kinneil in Bo’ness and Callendar House in Falkirk – and explore the countryside around the Antonine Wall.

“The Week is also about having fun – whether it’s getting a chance to pose for a photo with the Antonine Guard re-enactment group, or coming along to the film show of ’A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum’.”

Falkirk Council’s tourism convener, Councillor Adrian Mahoney, has been helping to organise this year’s activities. He said: “The Council area has fantastic remants of the Antonine Wall. Hopefully the Big Roman Week will encourage more people to find out about this amazing structure – and how the local area became the Frontier of the Roman Empire nearly 2000 years ago.”

To find out more, visit www.kinneil.org.uk/bigromanweek