Celebrating 309 years of Samuel Johnson

Published: 16 August 2018

Samuel Johnson 

On Saturday 22nd September the Museum on Breadmarket Street will be open from 10.30am – 4.30pm and admission, as always, is free of charge. The beautiful historic house will be decorated by Flower Design of Lichfield and a slice of Birthday cake supplied by local bakery Hindleys will be available for all visitors (while stocks last!) The theme of this year’s Heritage Weekend event is ‘100 years of…’, and the Birthplace will be turning back time and inviting visitors to experience the house as it would have been in 1918. Special displays will explore the early years of the Museum, including items from the stored collection which are rarely on display. Find out how Lichfield responded to WWI, how the Museum committee viewed the Suffragettes, meet caretaker Mrs Davoll and learn about the life of Alleyn Lyell Reade, who survived some of Europe’s most gruesome battlefields to return to researching his famous ancestors and went on to donate his rare Johnson collections to the city.

Everyone is invited to ensemble on the Market Square for 12 noon when the civic party and Johnson Society members will gather to watch the Mayor lay a wreath on the statue of Johnson, accompanied by traditional hymns from St Michael’s Church Combined Choir. One of Lichfield’s long-standing traditions, the ceremony was cancelled 100 years ago when the Great War was still underway.

This year, the ceremony will be followed by an afternoon of entertainment on the Market Square including performances from Fired-Up Theatre, Blast Off, the City of Lichfield Concert Band, the annual Young Town Crier Competition and more. The Johnson Society will also be marking Johnson’s Birthday with their traditional supper at Lichfield Guildhall on the Saturday evening. Current President, writer Michael Bundock, will be handing over the honour to Henry Hitchings, columnist and author of many fascinating books.