What a weekend, I only intended staying there the Friday night, but didn't leave till 5PM on sunday!!! arrived about 8PM fri, traffic on motorway terrible, find site, and wander around, one medieval tented encampment, one farmhouse and converted outbuildings (bar, toilets,basic chairs and tables), and a 'normal' type campsite. The bar/long room has sixty od people in it, and I find someone carrying a guitar, a girl with an accordian, and a banjo player, and Ms Lemon.
The noise level was high, chatter and laughter, the instruments almost made it, I tried a couple of loud ones... v.difficult crowd...the noise level went down just a tinge when we did a spot. We were only sitting around a table at the bar end of the room, and soon decided to sing to ourselves... after a few drinks we finally tried 'Wild Rover'.... amazing.. they joined in up to 2 tables away!!
Finished the evening chatting with Ms Lemon,and a couple of renactor types, decided that it had been wise of me to put the tent up when I arrived... well, at least I could stay to see the battle!
Next day spent the morning chasing up the people I'd met the night before, walking around the encampmemt (battle wasn't until 3)asking questions, looking at equipment, watching horse display, archery and so on. Well, watched the battle re-enactment... they were going for it! Beautiful hot sun too!
some heavy action and odd moments... two groups locke in bitter hand-to-hand, well, long pole with pointy steel thing against other pointy steel things..... then someone drops his sword. and 'enemy' guy , stops, picks it up, and hands it back,,, fight resumes!!
As they come off the field of battle, I wander around asking more questions about their armour, why they do it, how they got started,where are they from..etc... talked to pikemen, mounted horse, armoured swordsmwn, archers... even the 'wimmen' left back in camp.
Find two other people idley visiting, they were WW2 renactors , talk of machinery and bang-sticks and stuff, and decide to stay over another night and see it all again.
That night in the long bar it is 'after WW2 war film night', so basically there were 'yanks' , a guy in white dinner jacket and flippers. 15 'vietcong', an arab terrorist , Cpl. Klinger resplendent in white feather boa, helmet and rifle, several female 'mash' doctors and nurses, and even I took part, wore my black USArmy trousers & flying boots(normal attire), a USArmy camo shirt and bean-can hat, (stuff I had in my boot!).. everyone thought I had come as Castro!!! -lots of drinking, there was a blues band playing, talking about battle earlier, some people had played 'too hard', mistakes made..etc. Go back to someones tent for a cuppa tea with a german paratrooper his mate , and a mash doctor and a bottle of schnapps....... about 3AM I am wandering back thru the medieval camp, odd fires, lamps and things burning,no people.... very errie.... and I hear a girl singing...folk songs!!!!....... track her down to the last group of tents, and find four people around a fire. ask if they mind me joining them, and me and the singer try to remember the words to songs!! Around dawn we break up...
Up with the lark at 11, it had been chucking it down for at least 3 hours, really heavy, didn't rain for the rest of the day.. watched the battle again, talked to other renactors some more, swapped names, contacts, bought a nice lidded pewter tankard... and finally went home!!
So, you didn't miss anything !!!