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Poole to Celebrate Life of Alfred Russel Wallace

Borough of Poole is celebrating the life of Alfred Russel Wallace with a series of events over the next month.

Intrepid explorer, brilliant naturalist and remarkable intellectual, Alfred Russel Wallace co-discovered the theory of evolution with Charles Darwin.  In 1848 Wallace embarked on his first life-changing expedition to the Amazon and, undeterred by shipwreck on his way home, he undertook a second voyage to the Malay Archipelago.  During this time whilst recovering from fever Wallace experienced a flash of inspiration and set down his thoughts on the theory of evolution. Wallace lived at Old Orchard in Broadstone, Poole, from 1902 until his death in 1913, and Wallace100 is a celebration of his life and scientific legacy in the centenary year of his death.

As part of the nationwide events marking Wallace’s achievements, Borough of Poole’s Museum Service, Arts Service and Library Service have programmed a number of activities, highlighting Wallace’s connection to the town.

Poole History Centre has programmed a series of informative Saturday talks, as part of the Wallace centenary celebrations. On 26 October, Dr Sandra Knapp, Natural History Museum research botanist, plant hunter and explorer presents ‘Wallace up the Amazon’ and on 2 November, Dr Christine Garwood of the University of Hertfordshire discusses ‘Wallace and the Flat Earth Controversy’.

Broadstone Library has assembled a fascinating exhibition related to the life of Wallace, which will be opened by the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Philip Eades, at 10am on 7 November, the anniversary of Wallace’s death. The event will also feature a performance by Year 3 children from Broadstone First School.

Cllr Philip Eades, Mayor of Poole, said: "I'm pleased to be able to help celebrate the local connection of this fantastic explorer to Poole and look forward to officially opening the exhibition at Broadstone Library."

Cllr Judy Butt, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Public Engagement and Paryicipation, Borough of Poole, said: "It is incredible to think that such a well known and intrepid explorer spent his final years in Poole and I am thrilled that we are able to celebrate his life with so many fantastic events. I look forward to visiting the exhibition at Broadstone Library and would encourage our residents and visitors to visit if they have the opportunity."

Broadstone Chamber of Trade have sponsored a one-day only cover and postmark for 7 November 2013 marking the centenary of the area’s most famous resident.

Poole artist Caroline Parrott will be working with retailers along the Broadway in Broadstone to create an artistic response to Wallace’s work on evolutionary theory. ‘The Wallace Effect’ will be revealed on 7 November as part of the Broadstone Library exhibition. The exhibition at Broadstone Library will run until 22 November.

Finally, Welsh drama company Theatr na nÓg bring their remarkable one-man show ‘You Should Ask Wallace’ to Poole on Saturday 9 November. The show is on a worldwide tour as part of Wallace 100 and sees the Welsh actor Ioan Hefin use the power of live theatre to present science and history in a compelling way. There will be two performances in Poole, one at 11.30am in St. John’s Church, Broadstone, near to where Wallace is buried, and the second at 3pm in the Poole History Centre.