Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sutton Courtenay Show

On 17th May 2009, the Vikings returned to Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire, 1,000 years since their last visit. Well, sort of. Regia Anglorum, our national group, had been asked to put on a display as part of the village show on the Sunday. However, on the Saturday, one of the replica viking longships was rowed 12 miles up the Thames from Oxford to Sutton Courtenay. They docked in the grounds of a house, part of which is a 12th century hall. Our campsite was within these gardens, giving us a lovely view of the old building. On the Sunday, we set up an arena for the warriors to do battle in, whilst I got on with the business of setting up a woad vat. The group had had some cloth woven to an authentic spec for our period, & Steve wanted to dye his in woad. We have a fair sized cauldron which we use for this, but even so it was a bit like fitting a quart into a pint pot. This meant that we had to keep turning & moving the cloth to minimise any blotchiness. Once we had achieved a good blue, we continued dyeing various linen caps, wimples,a piece of silk, skeins of yarn & even a bone whistle (just to see what happened). We even over-dyed a old brown tunic, and got an interesting sea green colour. Once the bath was exhausted, we allowed it to cool, ready for packing up at the end of the show.  It was a pleasant, relaxed show in a lovely setting where we were made to feel most welcome.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rufford April 2009

Rufford abbey is situated in northern Nottinghamshire, close to Sherwood forest. It provides a lovely venue for us. This event was organised by Eventplan as a multiperiod bring & buy. Conroi de Vey decided to use the weekend for training & chilling out, as well as booking some table space to sell some re-enactment items. We set up our wic alongside some friends from Regia Anglorum (our umbrella organisation), got the fire going to have hot food later in the day & then got settled down to some craft work. Stephen showed us how to work bone, displaying his skills with strap ends & buckles he’d made. Trevor took folk under his wing with some wood working, the weather being kind enough to get the pole lathe out as well as the shave horse. On the Sunday we did a bit of textile working. Susan progressed further with her tablet weaving, and there was the ubiquitous spinning going on throughout the day.

The guys had a break from these activities by marching off to the arena for a couple of bouts of fighting. After the face offs between lines of combatans they went on to single combat. Trevor fought valiantly (for an ‘old un’) but at the end of the Sunday session, Jamie was ultimately victorious.

All in all we had a relaxed weekend, sharing some good conversations with friends, & furthered our craft skills. We’re now looking forward to our next show in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire.