This event had been held twice, in 1995 and 1996, using actors with support from The National Trust and Haslemere Museum, to bring the history of the Common and its surrounding area dramatically to life.
We have repeated the event successfully since: Sun 29th August 2010, Sun 28th
August 2011, Sun 19th May 2013, Sun 29th Sept 2013, Sat 30th Sept 2017, Sat
28th Sept 2019, Sun 12th Sept 2021, Sun 16th July 2023 see
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The cast includes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Flora Thompson; John Tyndall; Jonathan Hutchinson; Whitaker Wright; sundry broomsquires, highwaymen, murderers; and of course Sir Robert Hunter himself, resident of nearby Haslemere and key founder of The National Trust in 1895.
Suitable for schools/groups or the casual rambler - most of the trail accessible to wheelchairs (and detours available where not).
Estimates vary, and nobody really counted, but probably some 300 people gathered by the Devil's Punchbowl Hotel at the start of the walk. Sir Robert Hunter arrived in person, and led the cavalcade on a tour of the common, stopping at a number of points to tell the assembled company a little of the history of the area and the personalities who frequented it. Sometimes this was supplemented by a dramatic scene acted out in front of the crowd by a small troupe of actors, including several local National Trust Wardens and the curator of the Haslemere Museum.
Perhaps the most impressive scene was one in which two highwaymen on horses suddenly sprang from a side track and held up some unfortunate travellers.
The walkers met in turn Mr & Mrs Tyndall, Sir Jonathan & Mrs Hutchinson, Lord Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a pair of broomsquires complete with besoms, and of course the unfortunate sailor and his villainous murderers.