We can be very flexible about the type of events we stage but most of them will fall into one or more of the categories decribed here, and we can mix and match these categories to suit venues.
Battles, or major musters as we prefer to call them, provide an opportunity for the entire membership of the Society to participate in presenting a spectacle with hundreds of foot soldiers on each side, fully supported by cavalry, artillery and camp followers.
Battles can be used to illustrate the story of historical engagements, perhaps on, or close to the original sites, or to demonstrate the military tactics of seventeenth century warfare in a typical, but otherwise fictional, encounter.
Battles are a major logistical undertaking for us – horse and heavy cannon transport, safe movement and storage of gunpowder, risk assessments, first aid arrangements, campsite accommodation for a large number of participants, and great many more things must be considered. Our experience in the successful management of these factors in over 30 years of staging large events will ensure that we have solutions that will work for many types of venue.
If there are constraints on space and time, a skirmish can be an excellent option to enhance an event. Skirmishes are smaller displays that typically concentrate on of the role of the foot soldiers in the civil war, although they can include two or three mounted troops and small cannons.
A fully scripted skirmish between two similarly sized infantry units can be staged (depending on the terrain and space available), showing the drama and excitement of conflict during the period. This can form a spectacular finale to an event, or be part of an overall scenario. A ‘Living History’ encampment and drill displays can also be included as a feature at these popular events.
Our Living History events offer an interactive visitor experience. They can show separate military and civilian areas, demonstrating activities associated with the army and their followers. These can include food preparation in the kitchen (plain fare for the soldiers and finer fare for the officers and gentry), an officers’ headquarters, a blacksmith with a working forge, an armourer making and repairing armour, a laundry or a barber-surgeon displaying the tools and techniques of his trade.
These present visitors with the opportunity to wander throughout the living history site, talking to the re-enactors, discovering the types of food that would be eaten, trying on a pikeman’s armour or handling a matchlock musket. Our members are very knowledgeable and are always happy to answer any questions.
And we don’t only portray purely military life. Seventeenthh century civilian and domestic life are also very important aspects of our re-enactments. If the location allows, we can populate an entire house for an event, bringing it to life with a range of everyday domestic activities and objects comonplace in the mid seventeenth century. We can recreate the household of a wealthy landowner, or perhaps a successful merchant, complete with retinue of servants and household staff. An elaborate meal can be served, the gentlemen can discuss business and politics and the ladies can demonstrate their skills at music and needlework.
Drill displays can be attractive events to stage in a small arena where the complex infantry weapon-handling techniques and battlefield formations of the early 17th century are demonstrated close up by a single regiment or brigade. A small cannon will sometimes be included in the display to demonstrate artillery practices. All of our drills are adapted from period drill manuals and the display would be accompanied by a full commentary provided by one of our members.
Venues for this type of event are not limited to arenas and can just as easily be staged in market places in busy towns or on village greens in rural areas. They are friendly affairs that often allow the audience to enjoy a measure of social interaction with the participants before and after the displays.
Marches and Commemorative Events
We are willing to participate in parades through towns and villages and to commemorate civil war actions with appropriate events.