One is actually stunned beyond belief by the outpouring of support and offers of help from every compass point to the point of - please let me walk away with some dignity here, by limiting the admission to "physical emotional reaction".
Cannot begin to describe the emotional rollercoaster of the last few days. This thread, combined with those elsewhere, leaves me lost for words (Duke watchers, take note, a first here, 50 points in your I Spy Book). The email and messages makes me wonder if I haven't accidentally hacked someone else's mail server, I do not see me here, I do not understand the praise being meted out, I just spent rather many years writing an address list which got too heavy and excessively out of hand.
There has been much talk elsewhere of donations of £10 a head, buckets being put round. Poor Bucket, I say what! Why are we putting him round? As trusting and generous and overwhelming as your offers are of £10 per head are, I cannot accept your gifts. History Fund needs a war budget of £25,000 to launch, that is before I declare war and start mugging the usual poor suspects like my long suffering fellow traders. The idea of micro-funding is wonderful, the reality is a lot colder and more painful. Here's why:
1.) We can no longer be a "for profit" operation. It is unfair to ask a sponsor - any sponsor - to donate and then walk away with the profits. [Waits for Hollow Laughter to die away] Let us pretend there was an outside chance of running at a profit. If profits are made, Donors are repaid. This has always been the principle, the honour.
2.) There is a built-in resentment among the wider community to "pay to play". Does not affect the hardcore here but the general feeling in the British re-enactment community is that we have no wish to go down the North American route taken by the "Ren Faires". One is personally not in favour of the concept, but not for selfless reasons, just the belief that the participants are providing a service for the love of it, it is upto the show organiser to create an income stream from visitors, not the participants.
3.) Even if I was not agin' it, the mathematics win the argument. I have 1,000 friends basically penniless friends who would rip their sofa to bits to give me their last £10, One needs 2,500 friends, I'm not that popular.
No indeed. But what you can do for me is this. Think of everyone you know. Think of everyone they might know. £25 k in corporate terms is chicken feed. "Call to Arms (Events) Ltd." is a legitimate company. We are a genuine point of tax write-off, I am below selling out to a corporate sponsor. I will cheerfully plaster a ringside with General Widget Company banners, I will cheerfully smother re-enactors with General Widget Company stickers - if they will give me £25 k to give all of you a cracking good party at their expense. We are a tax write-off - give me money, I can spend it for you and provide the VAT invoices. Why pay this diseased and corrupt government which is busy drinking the blood of our lives and liberties it's ill deserved taxes, when you could bring happiness to and win the eternal gratitude of five thousand, maybe more re-enactors, all potential customers.
Now be done with your lavishment of praise, and put your moth eaten note back in your purses (the moths are staving already). Instead, place your collective minds together and let us find, impress someone with a finger on their company money, who finds the concept of paying Fred Goodwin's pension with taxpayer's money, sticks in their throat. [Carefully deletes comment about points of sword at one throat, tempting though it is..] Have them contact me via the usual channels.
Go forth, my friends, my companions-at-arms, noble warriors, my Ladies, my Lords, dearest to me that you are, track them down for me! BRING THEM TO ME ALIVE... and we shall party! For if my war chest exceeds the base line, I can begin to activate other plans, and misdeeds I am plotting! For verily, thou ain'teth seen nothing yet!
This link - http://penkat.com/temp/rockingham%20viewing%20page
- may prove VERY useful. Load it - bookmark it. Remember to screen it to potential victerrrm... "sponsors". Good luck for all of us!
Hys Grace, Duke Henry
"Call to Arms"
[Edited for spelling, rogue HTML]