Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tollerton village event 2010

Our local show came rund again in June. We opted for an earlier dateline this year, and went for 937AD. This was the year of the battle of Brunanburh, a pivotal battle. The English are lead by Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, with his half brother, Edmund. His troops are all from England, basically south of the Trent. This is effectively Wessex & Mercia fighting side by side to form a national English army) Against them is the great Northern army, comprised of Vikings, Britons & Celts. The site of the battle is unknown, with loads of suggested places being named. One of the possible sites is in the East Midlands. This battle is a key moment in the emergence of an English nation-state. It is a great victory for Aethelstan, but there are heavy casulties on both sides.
Bearing in mind that Tollerton lies within the area known as the Danelaw, and the Vikings were only pushed out of Nottingham some 20 years earlier, we envisaged men from the local fyrd loyal to Aethelstan mustering & marching off to join him, but having to pass through an area whose population still had a significant Viking bias.  
Our first arena display showed the arms & armour of the time, with some single combat and fighting in 'circles' ( a kind of melee) to show how the weapons were used. The local ATC sent some volunteers into the ring to be drilled Anglo-Saxon style. 
In our second display we had a young nobleman dropping behind his warband to sample the local ale. The local ladies kidnapped him & held him to ransom. A botched rescue led to a standoff, and a fight ensued....

After this we settled down to relax on the wic, having eaten earlier. We passed the mead horn round & enjoyed the sunshine before packing up.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nottingham Castle show

Due to the launch of the new Robin Hood film (starring Russell Crowe), Nottingham city council decided to make May their Robin Hood month. Subsequently we were quite busy at various events throughout the month, culminating in a national Regia show at the castle.  To fit in with Robin Hood, our dateline was much later than usual, being 1190s. This enabled our norman ladies to wear their fashionable droopy sleeved dresses. 

It also meant that we were joined by some friends depicting a Knight Templar & a Knight
 Hospitaler (the green cross depicting that he works with lepers). 
He is holding a turkish style mace/club, which Trevor turned on his pole lathe at the beginning of the show.

In the morning, a series of one on one tourneys were held. This was a new type of competitive fight for us as they were marshalled, with points being awarded. 
The winners then fighting against each other in an elimination contest. 

As usual we had the wic set up, cooking on some days, with 
pre-cooked meat pies & other cold dishes on others. When not cooking, folk kept busy with craft work, or catching up on gossip (or even discussing things of great portent!). An exhibition of items from the film was on display in the castle, as you can see from the poster in the background.

In the afternoon we had a Robin Hood themed display in the arena, with Will Scarlet & Guy of Gisborne verbally & then physically abusing each other.

A masses fight was then staged.  Debs & Jamie valiantly helped block a boar snout attack by the opposition.

In the aftermath there will always be a few bodies & Sarah played the part of the grieving widow to good effect.
At the end of the day we gathered together for a Regia group photograph, before packing up & heading off home, tired but happy.