First up was Charlton Park, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire... a beautiful part of the country.
This was a full weekend event, and with Dianne being away in Singapore on business, I decided I would make a full weekend of it (no point being stuck at home alone when there's serious re-enacting and beer drinking to be done instead!)
So, early on Saturday morning (27th May), I picked up Bob, then we headed off, via a supermarket to pick up last-minute supplies (Bob only went in for a bottle of wine, but came out with what seemed like a full weekly shop!). We stopped off in Redditch to pick up Mark Allen who was coming along for the weekend... but who would he fight for? He's a died-in-the-wool Parliamentarian, so he intended to join up with a few of his pals in Manchester's regiment, which is exactly what he did... but... well, let's just say, he switched sides on the Monday for the second battle, and even carried our standard into action! Turncoat!!!
Above: Turncoat Allen!Once we'd arrived and met up with Keith and the rest of the regiment, we set up camp, and the remainder of Saturday was spent socialising in the glorious sunshine, and well into the night.
A night-time Guard duty (each regiment takes turns throughout the season in keeping the campsite secure, and ensuring all is well) meant a late start to the Sunday. So, we missed out on some drill. Result!
We drew powder, and then it was time for action.
We managed to spend quite a lot of time marching around Parliament's right flank and threatening to take their guns which they had left flapping in the breeze, unsupported for a large part of the action. Well, as you can imagine, a bunch of marauding dragoons (along with musketeers from Owens, Vaughans and Rivers regiments) couldn't resist taking them - much to the chagrin of the Parliamentary hierarchy!
Above: our unit marching on.
Below: yours truly, post battle, posing for photos and ready to tell tales of derring do!
The second battle, on the bank holiday Monday was a similar affair, and again our reputation for flanking the enemy and taking the guns (from the rear this time) was enhanced.
Sadly, the rain came down on the Monday, and although the powder wasn't affected (all muskets seemed to perform well), and the battle was unaffected, the tents got soaked!
Never mind... the joys of camping! Once I'd returned home, I laid the tents out for the day, they were soon dry and ready to be packed away.
Below: the real joys of camping... early evening on the site. Keith's large 8-man tent which we use as a regimental community hub is in the background. My new tent is in foreground. I was delighted with it. It's warm, and roomy enough for all my kit. Vango Beta 350XL, for those who want to know. Recommended.
Next muster was Cheltenham. Just a one-day affair on 10 June.
I decided to day-trip, and picked up Keith for a leisurely drive down (just over an hour), ready to draw powder, and enjoy the events of the day. The host regiment (Rivers) had really gone to town in the detailed planning of a number of cameos, drill demonstrations, and even a mock court martial, to entertain the audience. The small skirmish battle was excellent and we drove the rebels from the field. The crowd was substantial too as the event was part of the Cheltenham beer festival organised in support of the Samaritans. Held at a rugby club, I'm sure you can imagine the atmosphere. Well done to the organisers.
The next outing is not till July (22nd and 23rd) at Newark. Looking forward to it!