Tony Tibbenham's

Medieval Re-enactment

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Medieval Re-Enactment with The House of Bayard

I spent several years with The HoB. The HoB are a respected group of re-enactors who base themselves on a 15th Century French Household. The HoB lend their services to selected organisations who re-enact battles like Warwick and Bosworth.

I remember a night camped out with Flu where I woke the following morning feeling fine proving, to me, that fresh air and hitting each other with lumps of steel was good for you!

There were pleasant hours singing and chatting round the camp-fires, frantic minutes defending ourselves from all-comers and years of good company.

While I was never good enough to be a Knight I made an effective back-up during our flying wedge formation: Rapid advances which were guaranteed to decimate the opposing line.

The HoB were last heard of practicing down in deepest Surrey which is a little far to travel from North of London.

Suzy, my wife, has the honour of a single-handed charge onto the end of an opposing line where the only comment from the opposition was "bol..." before 6 of their knights were flattened.

Robin Hood with The Bowmen of Woodland

I spent a couple of pleasant summers with The Bowmen of Woodland who, if they still exist, are based around Nottingham though they were originally formed by a couple from Bournemouth! We spent our time in Sherwood Forest relaxing or carousing as the mood took us and entertaining the tourists: It's amazing how tourists can be fascinated by actors sitting on logs chatting - they'd watch us for hours!

We had a wonderful time adding colour to the local scene though my personal highlights were the BoW being invited into Nottingham Castle as extra's for a pageant where I used a longbow better than their Robin Hood (mind you, he couldn't have shot much worse!) and going, in full kit, into the local burger bar where two citizens (male, teenage) were quite struck by Suzy and her best friend, Nean, until both ladies moved their sword pommels into view. The script, quite apparent on their faces, was 'corr - look at that, do you think they are sisters' to 'whoops, they are carrying swords, we had better leave them alone' played out in less time than it took us all to smile.

Things not to do in Nottingham Castle:

1. Eject a Norman soldier from the castle when the rest of his group are ready to throw him back in; Suzy, my girlfriend, now wife, ended up on the Rack for that and had to be rescued.

2. Visit the medieval 'dentist'. Suzy and Nean, Suzy's best friend, helped the dentist extract a tooth in with plenty of apparent agony and fake blood from some passing peasant. Parent's note - it's an effective cure for your childs desire for ice-cream.

Medieval Re-Enactment with The Lion Rampant

A wonderful bunch of people who introduced me to medieval re-enactment after I left University. They concentrate on putting on shows for organisations like English Heritage and Four Seasons Country Fairs with a mixture of Tournaments, Dancing and even having lunch! I have many happy memories including being soundly beaten in every tournay as I was never much of a fighter. I did enjoy the dancing and the off-season banquets and even a game of hide-and-seek where I won because it's amazing how comfortable a hedge is when you are weaved around it's branches with several drinks inside you: After 2 hours sleep I wandered back to the camp to discover they'd given me up for lost!

Exeter University RATS: Royalists and Traitors Society

No prizes for guessing which side we were on!

The Universities contribution to Prince Maurices Regiment of The Sealed Knot, the best English Civil War society. Prince Maurices were a bunch of dragoones (mounted light infrantry) who used no horses but still managed to find ourselves in the thick of battle on many occasions.