It's the middle of August and I haven't made a post on this blog since early June. Just goes to show how damn busy the summer gets around here. My work is pretty full on in June and July. And Reenactment takes up all our spare time. In fact since the end of April we have only had one weekend when we have not been doing something reenactment related. I finally have a moment to try and order some of it so here are some of this summer's highlights so far:
This year it is 1553 a crucial moment in Tudor times as Edward dies and Lady Jane Grey almost becomes queen. At Kentwell Hall the Master's Natal celebration becomes a celebration for the new queen and the highlight was the Azincourt Pageant, which was mostly a ruse to get heavily armoured men (and one woman, my wife) getting shot with blunt arrows for the pleasure of the crowd. This was not a battle reenactment, it had nine and ten year old boys as the French cavalry and Gentry ladies shooting Men At Arms. the Tudors loved pageantry and shows and this was a pretty good attempt. A great success, warmly received and a hell of a lot of fun, getting shot at close range by your mates.
Immediately after Kentwell was the Battle of Tewkesbury. The largest Medieval battle during the English season and an incredible experience. This year was no let down. I was knighted at the start of the battle as Sir James Tyrrell, won a champions' duel against a French brawler. And received my first blood wound on the field when my helmet was torn off by another French man in the defence of the Anjou banner. A brilliant weekend, great company, got to see Schelmish one of my favourite bands and witnessed some real wizardry when a guy called Ironhead fixed my my wife's shoulder injury in minutes. Even a sceptic like me had my thinking challenged.
Festival Of History
Straight from Tewkesbury one weekend to Kelmarsh the next. The English Heritage Festival Of History is a huge multi-period event. Roman gladiators mingle with Men At Arms, Redcoats and Tommies at the bar. We were there to take part in the huge Battle Of Bosworth spectacular. Which was great fun. Our Household represent the De La Poles and John de la Pole (Jr) was the Earl Of Lincoln and heir to the throne in 1485 so we wore our own colours and fought under our own standard, oh and were mercilessly cut down by Lancastrian scum.
In the evening we headed for the beer tent where all wear their finest. Most of our mob went in Steampunk gear, just another little something we dabble in.
Knights' Tourney of Foote
It was going to be quiet for a couple of weeks, but then I was rung out of the blue to take part in the Knights' Tourney of Foote at Dover Castle. The conversation went something like this: "So you want me to camp at Dover Castle with my family, do some archery, put on some armour and hit people around the head? And you'll pay me? hmm let me think about it..."
So off we went to Dover and had an absolute blast. I squired on Saturday, did a pretty good job in the archery (only the second time I have shot this year) and then had a riot in the club melee, a two man teams, in an all against all four team contest where the aim of the game is to club your opponents to the floor. The most fun you can legally have with your clothes on:0)
Unfortunately Nick the Knight of the North Dislocated his shoulder and fractured his elbow in a fall. So on the Sunday I was asked to stand in as a Knight.
Saturday had been good Sunday was even better. I fought in a Crest Melee, (Something new for me as I don't fight with hand and a half swords) and then more club action. Overall the event was brilliant. Injuries from the weekend bruised thumb and damaged wrist (Ligaments I think) but as Matt, The Green Knight had his nose broken and Nick aforementioned injuries I reckon I did alright:0)
The other guys in the tourney team were extremely welcoming and we were mad to feel part of the family. Thanks Mark, Rob, Matt, Nick, Simon, Ant, Steve, Nigel, Louise, Vicky and Tim I did have one advantage over the others, my own cheerleaders.
Hoping to be out with the Knights' Tourney team next year at some point.
A longish video of the Sunday Club melee should give you an idea of the Mayhem
A very quick video to show you fast the CREST MELEE was. Blink and you miss it
So so far a pretty busy summer, no room to write about Hatfield Forest with the Company of Saint Jospeh or Bodiam Castle with the MSS, that's for next time.
Cheers for now, see you in the 15th century