A SPOKEN word event has told the tale of a victim of Newport Rising.

As part of National Democracy Week, and St Woolos Festival of Welcome, a performance took place at St Woolos Cathedral, Stow Hill, on Thursday.

Titled 1839: A Newport Declamation: Let the Living Answer the Rollcall of the Dead it opened with a list of Newport Chartists, ending with 19-year-old George Shell. The story of the Pontypool boy who was shot dead at the Newport Rising rebellion in 1839 was shared with the audience.

During the interval the audience were invited to look at work by Welsh history students, Mali Summers and Leah Ellis. Following this was a performative reading about Private Archibald and Dorothy Beard, who drowned themselves together in protest of the war.

Both performances were written by Stuart Butler who is a poet, writer, performer, historian, and retired teacher.

Mr Stuart Butler explained: “I blend the genres of traditional history and imaginative creative writing to create the anonymous and forgotten voices of the past. I’m particularly interested in the ignored, the forgotten, the dispossessed and the powerless.

“I carried out a massive amount of reading from secondary sources to create a combination of factual history and creative imagination. It’s a textual piece, but also a performance piece, and was written with that duality in mind.”

Stuart was joined by woman’s voice feminist researcher, Rachel Simpson, and his brother, Keith Butler, in the three-person performance.

Keith said: “Me and Stuart have collaborated on a number of things in the past and we enjoy working together. It was wonderful, I really enjoyed the whole performance.

“During National Democracy Week we should remember people lost their lives in order to win the valuable opportunity to vote.”

The event was promoted by Heritage Lottery funded charity, Our Chartist Heritage (OCH) who recently held a public vote on designs of pavement roundels for the Chartist walk and will be hosting Newport’s first Newport Rising festival in November.

Chair of OCH, Pat Drewett, said: “I was delighted with the premier performance which was brilliant and intense.

“A big thank you to the performers for the passion, which brought tears to my eyes, as it breathed new life and ultimate tragedy into this Chartist epic.

“Thank you to Heritage Lottery Fund, St Woolos Cathedral and everyone who contributed to make this happen. The evening was a great success.”