2,000 years later, the Romans are back in Winchester!

There will be free family fun at Winchester museum this half-term with a mini-invasion of Romans, including a legionary soldier in full military dress and a lady in all her finery.

Winchester was once the fifth largest Roman town in Britain and one of the first to have defences, so it's very exciting that from Thursday 22 February to Saturday 24 February Romans from the Legio Secunda Augusta Living History Society will be back in town.

Visitors will be able to find out how the people of Venta Belgarum, the old Roman city of Winchester, lived nearly two thousand years ago.

Sher Kent from Winchester City Council's museum service said: "During the three day 'invasion' there will be lots to see and do, including handling replica Roman objects and seeing the museum's displays of real Roman jewellery, coins and beautiful mosaics.

She added:"We are delighted to be working with Legio Secunda Augusta Living History Society again as we are always impressed by their high level of historical accuracy."

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, said: "This event portrays a fascinating and influential period of history in Winchester - the birth of the modern society as we know it today."

This year's family fun event will be sponsored by Venture Photographers of Winchester.

Manager of the Parchment Street studio, Andy Lakin said: "We are really excited to be working in partnership with Winchester Museums for the first time on this fantastic family event.

"We hope many families will come to the museum and learn a little bit more about the place in which they live."

In a special half term deal, Venture is offering 50 families visiting the Roman event the opportunity to have a family portrait session, preview of images and a complimentary 10x8inch print.

The offer will be open to the first 50 families who bring a promotional flyer into the Winchester studio from the Roman event in the museum.

Cllr Stallard added: "I particularly welcome the partnership between a Winchester business like Venture Photography and Winchester Museums. I hope the success of this event will encourage other companies to work with us in 2007 and beyond."

The event has also been supported by Arts & Business South East.  Winchester Museums and Venture Photography have received match funding from the A&B New Partners scheme which is designed to encourage first-time sponsorship of arts and heritage projects.

Admission to this event is free - just turn up. Opening hours: 10am - 5pm each day.

For more details call (01962) 848 269, email: museums@winchester.gov.uk or visit www.winchester.gov.uk/heritage.