Free entry for foodbank donations in honour of historic Mayor

Posted on: Thursday, March 2, 2023

The legacy of a 17th century Mayor of Newark is being honoured this month with a day encouraging foodbank donations at the town’s National Civil War Centre. In a drive led by re-enactment group Colonel Robert Overton’s Regiment of Foote, anyone bringing a foodbank donation to the Centre on Saturday 11th March will receive free entry, enjoying fascinating galleries, fun interactives and games and the chance to meet the re-enactors in full Civil War costume.

Hercules Clay Day is marked locally each year, named for the Mayor of Newark in 1643 when the town was besieged by Parliamentarian forces. On the evening of 11th March, he dreamt that his home was on fire and was so moved by the vision that he insisted his family depart the house, making it to safety just as a fireball flew from the attackers and burned it down. In gratitude for the apparent premonition, he bequeathed £100 to fund annual bread donations to those in need.

Councillor Rhona Holloway, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Visitors at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It’s wonderful to see the legacy of kindness left by Hercules Clay still being felt to this day. With the cost-of-living crisis upon us, this spirit of generosity and goodwill is more important than ever and we are delighted to be repaying residents’ good deeds with free entry to the wonderful National Civil War Centre on this day for those bringing a donation.

Tom Carson, a member of Colonel Robert Overton’s Regiment, said: “The people of Newark are rightly proud of their town’s history, and we’re proud to honour it with our event at the museum. Hercules Clay left a legacy long ago to help the disadvantaged of Newark, and it’s a privilege to honour his name and continue that.”

The Regiment will be making their own donation to the foodbank and laying a wreath in remembrance of Hercules Clay on the Sunday. Visitors can meet them in their full regalia when they are at the National Civil War Centre, from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 11th March.

This will also be the first weekend of the Centre’s exciting new Tubthumping exhibition and those who bring a foodbank donation will be among the first to enjoy Emilie Taylor’s stunning display of ceramics, adorned with powerful images of women, for free.