Part 1 here
Part 2 here
So, what does the Company of Chivalry do at these living history events?
One half of the company provide living history market stalls with everything displayed from grinding wheat to making leather goods, spinning wool to hammering coins. The other half (mostly men) provide the military insight into 1370. We have a small set of soldiers who display drill, fighting techniques and weaponry. We also include a small tournament usually pitting one Knight against another with the support of their troops.
Some photos of our company:
On the right is Lord Berkeley, and on their knees are his supporting soldiers.
This is my Lord Thomas Hungerford, with his trusty soldier Master Caunsfield.
Ah, the Young Lord Hungerford (son of Hungerford, above) engages with Lord Courtney.
This is the melee, with the soldiers from both sides engaging. This was an illegal act and the master of ceremonies would have withdrawn and washed his hands of the whole affair.
One of our neighbour's tents with their weaponry stacked up.
And finally, the soldiers supporting My Lord Hungerford, and a familiar looking woman peasant (ooh, that would be good ol' cq!) on hand to hand out water to ensure the soldiers are properly hydrated in the heat with their thick padded jacks and mail/plate shirts.
Of course, it being a medieval fair and joust, it would be unfair not to include a photo of the jousters in combat.The Knights of Royal England were very popular over the weekend. A couple of the Knights even joined our Company for drill practice - a bit of a show of 14C military drill with the opportunity for kids to join in and have some fun. The punters told me they thoroughly enjoyed the jousts, but I didn't get to see any, as I was either helping arm My Lord, preparing water supplies or hammering coins.
So, the successful weekend drew to a close, and my time limit had arrived - I gave myself a year to see how I felt about re-enactment, perhaps find a skill and see if I liked it.
As I prepared to leave on Sunday evening, I nipped into My Lord Hungerford's tent to say farewell and I let him know my decision.
But what was it? Will I be returning next season, or am I preparing to sell my kit?
(Thank you to Graham of Berties World on Flickr for giving me permission to replicate his photos here. I understand they had a wonderful day out, and it was amazing to be a part of that.)