An amazing story. How wonderful to be able to read the actual words your great, great grandfather may have spoken!

Volunteer Transcriber, Deal

The Election at Eatanswill, Pickwick Papers

The Commissioners Report which sparked our interest in dramatising the events of 1880, is a lengthy verbatim account of the three week trial that took place to investigate the extent of the corruption.

In its 396 pages, it contains over 22,000 lines of testimony between the presiding judges and the witnesses who appeared before them.

Many of those called to testify are recognisable names – the ancestors of families still living in Sandwich, Deal and Walmer today. The majority of the testimonies begin with the testifier confirming their address and occupation. In short, the document contains a fascinating and accurate social snapshot of the towns and their inhabitants in the late 19th century.

Thanks to funding from Dover District Council, this information has now been captured electronically, creating a searchable resource which future generations can interrogate.

Let us come and tell the story in your school

It is now time to get the story told and more widely known.

To that end we are now seeking interested parties who would like a presentation. In particular we wish to engage with local schools where through roleplay with professional actors we will explore how the electoral process works. There are plenty of opportunities to increase children’s research and craft skills – a particular feature of the election was the sheer amount of flags and bunting that was made and displayed, to the extent that people came from miles around to witness the spectacle! We are very happy to tailor visits to your own individual requirements, so please do get in touch!

The testimonies given during the three week trial to examine the events that took place during the election can now be read on our companion website, A Forest of Flags.

Please contact for more information.