Tamworth is going all out to celebrate the life of one of the most powerful and influential women in Anglo-Saxon England – and we are taking advantage of this year’s Staffordshire Day celebrations to spread the word even further.
The now annual Staffordshire Day event aims to raise the profile of the county and tell the world what a wonderful place Staffordshire is to live, work and visit. Usually held only on May 1st, this year’s celebrations have been extended to cover a week of events from April 29 to May 6.
A whole host of activities and events are taking place in Tamworth and the wider Staffordshire area to help boost tourism and put the county on the global map.
As this year also marks the 1,100th anniversary of the death of Tamworth’s Lady of the Mercian’s Aethelflaed, we will be raising awareness of this Anglo-Saxon warrior and the pivotal part she played in the history of England.
The anniversary of Aethelflaed’s death in Tamworth on June 12, 918, will be marked with a number of major events, including the unveiling of a new six-metre statue which is due to be erected on a roundabout near Tamworth Railway Station this month.
To celebrate the homecoming of the statue, which has been affectionately named ‘Our Aethel’, and to mark Staffordshire Day, we’re asking people to join a social media campaign and #DotheAethel.
Simply take a picture of yourself, or with your friends, replicating the pose of the impressive steel statue and share it on social media with the hashtag #DotheAethel. The hope is that the campaign will attract attention across Tamworth and beyond to raise awareness of this incredible female warrior and the part she played in the making of England.
That means the bigger, the better. We’re looking for individuals, groups, businesses, schools and celebrities to join the celebrations and ‘Do the Aethel’, maybe even at an interesting event or location.
The campaign got off to a great start during a brief Anglo-Saxon interlude at this year’s St George’s Day celebrations in Tamworth Castle Grounds on Saturday, April 21, where our very own Aethelflaed led the crowds in a mass #DotheAethel.
It has also started gaining momentum on Facebook and social media with a number of local businesses and groups already sharing their own #DotheAethel pictures. We’ve had tweets from Edinburgh and Paris and we’re looking to go even further if we can.
To join in, share your pictures with us on social media, tagging @VisitTamworth, using #DotheAethel, #Tamworth and this week #StaffordshireDay too.
We’re hoping as many people as possible will join and share the campaign on Twitter and Facebook so that people all over the country can find out about Aethelflaed as we build up to the unveiling of the statue (date to be confirmed) and a packed summer programme of events to celebrate this fascinating part of the town’s rich Anglo-Saxon history.
Events include the creation of the town’s biggest ever piece of community art, a major commemorative church service with VIPs and celebrities from across the country, talks, a special guided walk, a commemorative ale and an academic conference weekend drawing academics and delegates from all over the world. For more information about the weekend of events and full instructions on how to #DotheAethel, please visit www.aethelflaed.co.uk. You can also find out more about Aethelflaed by watching this video here: https://youtu.be/usmjVm2BiZg
For a full list of all the activities taking place to mark Staffordshire Day, including a Tamworth world record attempt to make the largest oatcake, visit www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffordshireday.