Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Naseby - 370th anniversary weekend

The first rainy muster of the season... but fortunately I really only got wet on the Friday evening as I pitched my tent. The rain stayed off during the battles on both Saturday and Sunday, so no one had their fun spoilt.

The battles themselves were the usual mix of hurry up and form up, then wait around, then march (and these marches were unusually long), then plenty of confusion on the field... so pretty authentic!
On the final day I staged a dramatic death near the crowd line (poser!) being cut down by ironsides when our cause was lost and most others had already fled or died.
Managed to get some more practice firing in, this time with a flintlock which I may soon own (subject to a visit/ inspection of my storage arrangements at home tomorrow morning).

The Sunday morning included a commemorative service in Naseby village. Although a realistic degree of soldiers' apathy and grumblings had broken out when this was mentioned, the turnout was rather good... with a massed march to the Church green in the village where we joined the local congregation for an outdoor service. Very tasteful. And quite right too. Whilst the Sealed Knot is a hobby and all about fun, it's good to properly remember the sacrifices made 370 years ago... just as we all see fit to commemorate more modern conflicts with such reverence.

The local populace seemed friendly enough, and interested, and despite the ever-present threat of rain, our route to the battlefield each day was lined with folk wielding iPads, phones and other gadgetry to capture the spectacle and the pageantry.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the weekend...

Below: a Soldier's Life... Bob catches a few valuable zzz's before we have to     muster for action. Keith can also be seen, horizontal, on left... more zzz's!

Above: forming up. Prince Rupert's Foot regiment, with the stripey pikes of Godolphin's in the background.
Below: the pikemen of our own brigade, ready for the long march to the battlefield.

Below: members of Owen's regiment, also in our brigade.

Below: returning from battle ... "Give Way"?! The Royalist Army gives way to no one!!!

More scenes from the weekend.
Below: the start of an evening in regimental HQ! Armed with sufficient alcohol and snacks we can talk for hours... and do! Mind you, Keith's got his work cut out selling those strawberries! The Cadbury's chocolate fingers, on the other hand (excuse the pun), went in a flash!
On the Saturday evening, the chatter in the regimental tent (once the bawdy singing had abated), turned to the subject of flags. It seems that some research suggests that at some point during the wars, our regiment (at that point named Washingtons), had been issued with Infantry Colours (their role as dragoons and also occasionally as infantry perhaps mirroring our own re-enactment role which switches between the two). These colours, it is reputed, may have been green and white... Hmmm.
More news as it breaks...
Below. Breakfast Club... a Sunday morning tradition! Just 4 of us this time...
Yes, that's full English breakfast, plus a bottle of claret ... of course!.

Next big muster is Chester (August bank holiday... so 29-31 Aug). But might manage a couple of short outings before then.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, 1 June 2015

Stanford Hall Muster - 23-25 May

Another cracking long weekend - they're coming thick and fast now!
Lots of training shots fired too (20) as I await the arrival of my various licenses.
I'm at the stage where, having completed the loading sequence, I am always relieved (and somehow surprised) to hear the gun go bang!
I have to say, I'm veering towards flintlock as my preferred weapon.

The battles themselves were good fun, with around 800 people on the field I think... and this time with some cavalry on both sides.
And I'm now fully blooded too! I picked up a "war wound" on the Monday as someone whacked me on the finger with their sword... a fair bit of blood and bruising under the nail... but "only a flesh wound!" Despite suggestions from others that I should really leave the field and get it tended to, I bravely (haha!) fought on for the cause of the King!

Some pictures of the weekend, sent to me courtesy of Keith Foster...
Above: our regiment, looking sprightly despite the weekend having included "one of the most eventful night-time guard duties" anyone could ever recall.
And below: marching onto the field, with a spring in the step, regardless of the fact that on both evenings, alcohol was taken and songs aplenty were sung! A number of the unit's members are talented song-smiths. Having purchased the regimental songbook, however, I was able to join in and reduce the talent quotient to a more unacceptable standard!

Next up, Naseby. 13-14 June.
This will be the 370th anniversary of the battle so should be another great weekend.
Check out the Naseby battlefield website for details of what's happening, and come along to give your support to the event. I'm sure you would agree, it's important we keep our history alive.