IT was a case of pirates ahoy as Chippenham Museum made Saturday a day to remember.

The Museum in Chippenham's Market Place turned the town into a carnival with its pirate-themed events.

They included the Allsorts Community Choir singing pirate songs and sea shanties at the Butter Cross in the Market Place.

Organiser Claire Selman, Chippenham Museum's visitor services officer, said: "We've had a whole day's worth of free events with a pirate theme.

"We've probably had about 500 people in the museum today and just over 300 at Yelde Hall.

"It has been a lovely that the community has come out to support our events and we hope they will come back in the future."

The old gaol in Yelde Hall was opened up so that visitors could see where a bunch of pirates had been imprisoned in 1709 - probably on their way from Bristol to London for trial.

Visitors were also able to take part in pirate crafts such as peg-making, and visit the Crime and Punishment Exhibition in the museum.

The displays celebrate 180 years of Wiltshire Police, the country's oldest county force, and the exhibition runs until September 28.

Captain Jack Sparrow and his pirate mate Smee gave three talks in the museum about pirate life and exploits to visiting children and their parents.

Captain Jack, who started giving talks 14 years ago after being inspired by the Pirate of the Caribbean movie series starring Johnny Depp, said: "The kids love it. They have listened and they have learned a lot.

"They love hearing about all the gruesome stuff about pirates which they don't get told about at school."

In addition, there were pirate-themed storytelling sessions, activities and games at Chippenham Library and at Waterstones bookshop, where children heard 'The Treasure of Pirate Frank' by Mal Peet and 'The Pirates of Scurvy Sands' by Jonny Duddle.

In Borough Parade there were pirate circus skills, face painting and balloon modelling.

One of the museum visitors was the Costello family from Colerne - dad Matt, 39, with son Max, 12, and daughter Phoebe, 7.

Mr Costello said: "We've been to the storytelling session at Waterstones and the children got to make a pirate peg.

"We also listened to Captain Jack Sparrow in the museum. It has been very good and we will be coming back."

Jackie Coathupe, 27, from Calne, also visited the museum with her two children, Ava, 5, and Sienna, six months.

She said: "Ava loves coming to the museum and she convinced us to come again. We didn't know anything about what was going on until we got here."

"We arrived just in time to hear a talk from Captain Jack Sparrow, and we've been doing the face painting and balloon modelling in Borough Parade.

"It has been brilliant. It's amazing that all the activities are free and they are all child-friendly.

"The sun has been shining and it's been nice to do something different."