Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wychurst, Detling, and Sherwood 2013

Despite the blog silence in the second half of the year, it was a busy summer with members of De Vey going to a range of shows including Harewood House's Medieval Fayre, Kelmarsh, Maidstone Saxon Festival, and St Albans Medieval Faire, among others.

Toki and myself couldn't attend everything, but we did attend the Wychurst work week, Detling Military Odyssey, and the Sherwood Time Trail.

Wychurst work week

Wychurst is Regia's permanent site in Kent, which a number of us visited in June for the summer show. That is one of two public shows each year, but members of the society also visit on a monthly basis to work on the site, as well as for a full week over the summer. It is during  these work weekends and the work week that Wychurst has been built and maintained.

Working outside the Long Hall. Photo by Caroline Williams.

A misty morning outside the burgh. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Sunlight in the hall. Photo by Caroline Williams.

A large De Vey contingent attended in 2013, working on everything from the wallpaintings in the Long Hall, to ground clearance, to improving the drainage and adding on-site water.

The wallpaintings have been masterminded and drawn by Disa from Sceaftesige. The actual painting has been an ongoing project involving not just Disa but many members of Regia, depending on each individual's ability to paint a straight line...or otherwise. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Disa also taught us how to do authentic pottery in the evenings:

My first attempt at a bowl. This is a coil bowl, built up from "sausages" of clay, rather than turned on a wheel. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Taking the pottery out after pit-firing. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Others got involved in basket-weaving:
Basket-weaving. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Finally, the highlight of each day is of course sitting round the fire in the evening:
Photo by Caroline Williams.

Detling Military Odyssey
Detling Military Odyssey is one of the largest multi-period events in the country, which Regia Anglorum has attended for many years. This year the society pulled out all the stops and put together an Anglo-Saxon Port display, complete with boats, sand and fish.

The bear (at the back) and one of the faerings (at the front). Regia owns a large number of replica boats, many of which are regularly in the water. Photo by Caroline Williams.
Toki built a smoke-house in which to smoke fish. I gather the public were given instructions along the lines of "go up the road until you smell fish then turn right". Photo by Caroline Williams.

Portraying a port enabled Regia to display a wide range of activities. To name just a few, we had several merchants:
Æthelgar from Sceaftesige portrayed a merchant and explained how people purchased or traded for goods. Photo by Caroline Williams.

The traders covered a range of materials, from dye-stuffs and tablet-weave (shown below), to furs, wood, bows, arrows, armour, and general trade-stuffs such as grain and beeswax.

Dyestuffs and tablet-weave. Photo by Caroline Williams.
Several people were basket-weaving:
Freya from Milites de Bec basket-weaving. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Ebb from Medwaeg ran a display of early medieval laundry:
Ebb holding soapwart which, as you might guess, can be used to produce a soapy liquid. Photo by Caroline Williams.
You may have noticed from the people above that Regia has a large number of groups. There are far more than I have mentioned here, covering the whole of the UK, not to mention parts of North America and South Africa! One of the wonderful things about Regia is that no matter where you live there is a local group near you, and then we all come together to produce fantastic things like Wychurst and this year's Detling display.

Anlaf from Grantanbrycg portrays a scribe and had a full display on writing, although he also enthusiastically portrayed the local reeve, in charge of collecting taxes.

In this period ink is made from oak galls and iron.

Oak galls. Photo by Caroline Williams.

The most common writing material is parchment, shown below. Before starting to write, the scribe would prick out the rows at the side of the page so that he could write in straight lines.
Parchment, with a rule for pricking. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Samples of writing in Anglo-Saxon and Latin. Photo by Caroline Williams.

One of the things I love about Detling is that it's a massively multi-period show, with almost every era you can imagine represented. I've included just a few photos below to give you some idea of the range of displays.

A restaurant at the Wyoming Wild Bunch. They display the American West between 1800 and 1900. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Hoplite shield. I am so jealous of the colours they had access to! The Hoplites portray life in the 5th century BC. Photo by Caroline Williams.

Being a Military Odyssey, Detling has an extensive range of 20th  century displays. Below you can see a photo of a group dedicated to the second world war in Burma.
Photo by Caroline Williams.

Sherwood Time Trail

Sherwood Time Trail is an annual event put on by Howard Giles at EventPlan. As ever, it was well-attended by De Vey, other groups, and the public. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos this year, but it's definitely one of the highlights of the De Vey calendar.

Well, that's a wrap for 2013. It's the quiet season now, but we're all just waiting for the 2014 season to start...