5:05pm Sunday 2nd March 2014
AROUND 120 people turned out to re-enact the Rebecca Riots, sing and a have a dig at the price of tolls across the Severn Bridge on Saturday.
To mark St David’s Day, singing clubs from both sides of the Severn came together to re-enact the Rebecca Riots in a sing-along on the M48 toll bridge.
Men dressed in traditional Welsh women’s clothes as the men of the Rebecca Riots did 175 years ago, while women went along to the peaceful protest dressed up as coal miners.
The march started at the Severn Bridge Social Club, Bulwark at 10am and marchers crossed the bridge and walked from the Aust services in Gloucestershire to the public footbridge over the toll booths where they sang before holding a St David’s Day Concert at 7.30pm in Usk Memorial Hall.
Members of singing clubs from Chepstow, Usk and The Forest of Dean recreated the unrest which saw men dress as women to protest against unfair taxes.
“We had a fantastic turn out,” said Karl Daymond, spokesman for the group. “Around 120 people came along to the toll bridge and all dressed up. We really made our voices heard, and someone up there must agree with us as the weather was beautiful, a proper spring day.
“We are making this light-hearted and entertaining vocal protest on St David’s Day to highlight the very high tolls on both the bridges, the gateways to Wales and The Forest of Dean. The tolls have an enormous impact on local communities, individuals and businesses.
“We are singers and local residents of all political hues who are coming together to make our voices heard."
Charges are applied on both the M48 Severn Bridge and the M4 Second Severn Crossing for motorists heading into Wales.
Drivers of vehicles up to nine seats are charged £6.40, rising to £12.80 for vehicles up to 17 seats or 3,500kg, and £19.20 for bigger vehicles.
Motorcycles and UK disabled badge holders are exempt from charges.
The M48 connects Gwent to Gloucestershire.
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