Buckingham’s Retinue joined with other Livery and Maintenance groups over Spring Bank holiday at Richmond Castle for a large scale medieval living history show. The weather on the Saturday by all accounts was one of the most changeable in memory with scorching sunshine in the morning, helping draw a crowd. There were a few complaints from the re-enactors about it being too hot (it was generally cooler in England in the medieval period than it is now, so the many layers of woollen garb we normally wear can get a bit warm). Andy Cook even heated it up further, spending the day casting pewter badge using mould specifically designed and made to the Richmond event.
Jack from the Clarence’s was commenting on the on the Medieval Soldiers set piece when he became aware of the English Heritage events team signalling him to stop, and he was slightly puzzled as he though the commentary was going well and engaging with the public, but he complied and curtailed the talk. That just gave the crowd and re-enactors enough time to become aware of and take cover before the massive hail and lightning storm hit the camp, with reportedly 2cm hailstones bouncing of the tents, and ending activities for the day. The weather stayed poor into the night with gales forcing a couple of tents to be dropped at around 2am
Re-enactors are a hardy bread though and we were all ready to go again on Sunday, and the weather helped being warm and sunny all day. Our gunpowder supply also arrived on Sunday, allowing us to add Guns and Cannon to the firepower display, given the horrific events at Manchester a week before we had to work closely with the Police and English Heritage to ensure that this aspect of the display did not cause any concern for the public – but we kept the noise of the cannon quieter than normal, and the castle walls helped to keep the sound in, so that the noise of the fun fair outside covered it up for people outside of the event.
Livery and Maintenance events concentrate heavily on the living history aspects, and Buckingham’s contribute as ever with Ellie made an intricate wooden stamp that she will use to print hangings for her tent hangings, Zoe and Becky cooking throughout the weekend, Kyle making cheese (which reportedly delicious and soon eaten), Fran spinning, Emma embroidering, Andy woodworking, Graham and Matt talking people through medieval weapons, and others who will have undertaking activities that I will have missed while I was doing other displays. Young master Robert also took part in the Archery display for the first time, and is hoping to be able to take part in upcoming battle events.
Monday showed just how professional all the Livery and Maintenance groups are, as the rain started around dawn and lasted all day, but we the same a full range of activities that we had done on the Sunday, including firing all the gun powder weapons without a single miss-fire. In addition, some members took part in a parade through Richmond (no mean task in medieval shoes over cobbles).
Thanks to everyone who supported us in this event. The weather was against us most of the weekend but feedback from the public who did brave was that they had a great time.
We will take a break from living history for the next few events, with battles at Tatton Park, and Tewkesbury.