Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Robin Hood Pageant

We spent the week running up to the Robin Hood Pageant avidly watching the weather forecast. In the end, the weather was about as good as it gets for the end of October. It was a bit blustery, but not too cold & only a few light showers on the Saturday. 
The show is run by the council at Nottingham castle to coincide with half term. There are all sorts of traders, musicians, storytellers, craftworkers and folk like us making up the 'village' as well as displays in the arena from jesters, jousters, men at arms & the like. Our dateline is around 1193 to coincide with Richard the Lionheart's return from captivity after going on crusade.
We pitched the tents on the Friday afternoon, ready for an early start on the Saturday. We soon got a fire lit & were cooking the usual bacon & sausages for breakfast. Once that was all done, our cook could start her work. She researches food from the period & then proceeds to produce wonderfully authentic fare from over the fire. (We had meatballs one day then lamb with apricots the next, as well as lots of accompaniments). 
We were joined by some friends in other groups of Regia Anglorum, who helped with the tasks  needed to put on a show. We were allocated two slots in the arena each day. This year we decided to have a tussle between the earl of Leicester (loyal to King Richard) & the earl of Nottingham (one of Prince John's men). After some heated discussion as to whose men were best, they decided to decide the matter by combat. However, the earl of Leicester's men were rather off colour & didn't fight particularly well. Leicester's men then spotted a woman in Nottingham's camp (referred to as 'the old hag'), who had been seen in their kitchens. She was accused of poisoning their men to ensure defeat. Needless to say the Nottingham camp refuted this & defended her. More fighting! Gary did a fine job with the commentary & got the crowd shouting for Nottingham, Leicester, &, at one point, even the old hag! On the Sunday we had a shire reeve trying to see fair play, but only just succeeding.
Josh brought his film crew up from his university & they were around all weekend, filming various aspects of the event. We await the end result with anticipation! 
All too soon, the weekend drew to a close & we were packing up again. Due to the clocks going back overnight, it was dark by the time we'd finished, so the last check round was done by torchlight!