Living History 101

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Bazman
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Living History 101

Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:27 pm

Hi,

Have long wanted to try out battle re-enactment but didn't know where to start.

As an ex-pat Scot living in London I am ideally looking to take part in Scottish battles ideally on the Scots side not sure if there are any societies that cater for that sort of thing down here.

If not I'd be happy to join a society North of the Border. Ideally I would like to get involved in next years Bannockburn battle so any societies which are involved with that I'd love to hear from you.

Apart from that I'm just wondering how the whole thing works? Can you hire equipment. That would be cool as I guess I could try out different historical periods.

Roughly how much does doing a typical battle cost all in?

How much commitment in terms of time are we talking about. Can you just turn up on the day or are you expected to have made preperations before hand.

Cheers

Baz



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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:50 pm

hmpf I smell TROLL or JOURNALIST


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:57 pm

not sure what you mean by a troll? but I promise you I'm no journo!

Just interested in getting into re-enactments.

I know some of your WWII colleagues got some bad press recently unfairly so imo (the bald tw*t was clearly going to get his story even if there wasn't one to be got), but I think you should relax more stop taking life quite so seriously!

Baz



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Postby gregory23b » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:03 pm

Find a group and then visit them, do not buy anything before hand, you may not like them and vice versa. Do not just go to an event without having joined or been trained etc - it does happen.

There are a few Scots members here who will guide re actual groups, also some groups may not be specifically Scots but do fight in battles of the era when required.

Cue Paul M and Alan F


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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:08 pm

As to how I conduct my hobby that's my business Iam relaxed apart from when is supect things aren't as theya re

to answer your questons


As an ex-pat Scot living in London I am ideally looking to take part in Scottish battles ideally on the Scots side not sure if there are any societies that cater for that sort of thing down here. NO

If not I'd be happy to join a society North of the Border. Ideally I would like to get involved in next years Bannockburn battle so any societies which are involved with that I'd love to hear from you. GUILD OF ST MARGARET providing of course youa re prepared to travel they are new BUT the folks in it are excellent and have high standards

Apart from that I'm just wondering how the whole thing works? Can you hire equipment. No most good groups will have loaner kit and a clearly laid out set of expectations about the timescale they expect you to have acquired stuff by usually a year for your soft kit including footwear which should eb your first major purchase

That would be cool as I guess I could try out different historical periods. If you aren't even sure which period you want to do whereabouts in London are you as there are groups all ocver it

Roughly how much does doing a typical battle cost all in? Thousands a question I ssupect should translate as whats it going to cost me answer is again thousands to do it right expect to spend c £2k

How much commitment in terms of time are we talking about. Considerable

Can you just turn up on the day NO at least not to tke part in any active manner

or are you expected to have made preperations before hand. YES training etc etc


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:09 pm

Thanks,

So I'm taking it from your post that a fair amount of training is required before hand so I really do need to find a London based club.

I'm quite keen to try it so even if I were to get involved in some English battles I guess that would give me a good enough taster are there any groups in the London region you would recommend?

Baz



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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:11 pm

wherabouts IN londona re you ?


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby gregory23b » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:12 pm

The nature and the quality of that training will depend on the group you join and its remit, no group expects actual kill to the death mastery of weapons but good safe and fun (and possible almost realistic-ish) fighting. Some groups will let you fight the first weekend, some (hopefully most) wont.


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Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:14 pm

Thanks Nigel,

>That would be cool as I guess I could try out different historical periods. >If you aren't even sure which period you want to do whereabouts in >London are you as there are groups all ocver it

I'm in Balckheath. At this stage I suppose I just want to try it. Loosely i am interested in mideval war i.e. knights swords and the like. So if you can recommend any groups I'd be much obliged.

Baz



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Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:18 pm

gregory23b wrote:The nature and the quality of that training will depend on the group you join and its remit, no group expects actual kill to the death mastery of weapons but good safe and fun (and possible almost realistic-ish) fighting. Some groups will let you fight the first weekend, some (hopefully most) wont.


Well I guess safety first I do alot of martial arts so don't mind a few cuts and bruises but lossing a limb well that's just more commitment then I feel I could give. So I suppose I can understand that some training is required beforehand even if it is a bit frustrating :-)

Baz



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Postby Jim » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:24 pm

Step 1 is definitely to find a nearby group who do the kind of stuff you want. Then you'll need to attend training with that group for a while until they deem you to be of a high enough standard to take the field. Your first few forays onto the field may well be as a banner bearer or water carrier until you get the feel of things. Some of the kit may well be lent to you either from club stock or by well-meaning old-timers with spare stuff :) You will be expected to get your own kit fairly quickly though.

For a bill, sword, belt, hose, boots, padded jack, helmet, coiff and gauntlets, which represents minimum kit, expect to pay about £600 new, less for second hand. Any other armour, well the price goes up and up to the tune of £2000-£5000 for full plate. You will also need an authentic tent which could be anything from £150 - £700 for a second hand one depending on size. Alternatively you could start by camping under plastic on a separate campsite.

Basically, this is a hobby that will take many years to perfect, in terms of kit, the living history element and your skills on the field. The best advice I can give is to be patient, take it one step at a time, let your group guide you and pace you and just be nice and friendly.


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:39 pm

But as a hobby it really is no more expensive to take up than soccer (I used to play a lot and kit, pitch fees, training wear all add up), fishing or that God awful Scotish sport of golfing does, so don't bawk at it. There are a few late medieval ie 14th and 15th century groups in and around London according to my google search (well I consider Reading pretty near anyway.)


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:40 pm

And don't be minding Nigel. He's a cranky clanky at the moment. A lot of sh** has gone down for him this year.


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Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:53 pm

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:But as a hobby it really is no more expensive to take up than soccer (I used to play a lot and kit, pitch fees, training wear all add up), fishing or that God awful Scotish sport of golfing does, so don't bawk at it. There are a few late medieval ie 14th and 15th century groups in and around London according to my google search (well I consider Reading pretty near anyway.)


Yip Reading is definitely doable. I'll Google and see what comes up. Like you say compared to most other hobbies its not that bad certainly wouldn't put me off at least trying it.

Baz

PS I can't blame Nigel for being a bit defensive but I guess you shouldn't really draw any conclusions till you meet the person. In any case I don't think the Panorama guy went in undercover? (Although I guess I don't know what was said off camera.)



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Postby Jim » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:06 pm

Bazman wrote:Yip Reading is definitely doable.


In which case, if you don't mind a short spin down the M3, there's The Hounds of the Morrigan who train in Basingstoke on Tuesday and Thursday nights. We're primarily a medieval group and very open to new members with enough spare kit to go round.

Junction 6 of the M3. We meet around 8pm until 10pm. First night is free, subsequently £2 per session. Full training is free as is any kit you borrow. Heck, I even have a spare sword and gauntlets if you can grab some welding gloves from a DIY store to go inside them - that's all you need to get going. Drop me a PM if you're interested.


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Postby guthrie » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:11 pm

gregory23b wrote:There are a few Scots members here who will guide re actual groups, also some groups may not be specifically Scots but do fight in battles of the era when required.

Cue Paul M and Alan F

*Cough cough*
I shall have to dock you some points.


Anyway, I reckon that if you are willing to sew, you can get started circa 1300 for around £100. If you want everything made for you, your soft kit will indeed end up costing what Jim seems to think. However an authentic tent is not necessary or desirable if you are starting out.
If you want circa 1300 fighting, you can get onto the battlefield with a 2nd hand helmet, aketon and spear, (and gardening gloves) which will set you back somewhere a bit over £200, but again, if you want to make it yourself and have 30 or 40 spare hours, you can substantially lower the costs by doing it yourself.
If you want to go on as full authentic knight with maille and everything, you can spend over £1000.

Just turning up at Bannockburn and expecting to take part will get you escorted off the premises. In order to take part you have to join a group. In order to fight, in most groups you have to attend some training sessions, then satisfy the captain that you are not going to go raj and injure people, or get careless or anything like that.


I don't know of anywhere that hires out real re-enactment kit that is battle ready. Fancy dress shops will probably hire you something that is completely unsuitable for what we do, but otherwise you have to scrimp and save.



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Postby guthrie » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:13 pm

Bazman wrote:PS I can't blame Nigel for being a bit defensive but I guess you shouldn't really draw any conclusions till you meet the person. In any case I don't think the Panorama guy went in undercover? (Although I guess I don't know what was said off camera.)


According to the testament of various re-enactors, the bloke was running around with a concealed camera trying very hard to get people to say silly things, and he didn't make it clear who he was and what he was trying to do.



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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:14 pm

Ok Black Heath

I would suggest the Paladins who train in Croydon excellent top flight group website type in the Paladins of Chivalry or PM Meg or Sir Rupert on here BUT given they have just got married there may be a delay in response.

Costs are a varied feast

Boots £100 or so your feet will thank you for getting good ones

Clothing depending on standards of your group but budget £400- £500

A good jack £200.00

Helmet from £100.00

£900.00 without any weapons you can always borrow those or additional armour


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Re: Living History 101

Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:28 pm

Bazman wrote:If not I'd be happy to join a society North of the Border. Ideally I would like to get involved in next years Bannockburn battle so any societies which are involved with that I'd love to hear from you.


To be involved in the Bannockburn battle you'll have to be involved in a group that is invited. The groups I can remember from this year include (off the top of me head, so I'm sure I've forgotten folk):

The Household
Gadgedlar
the Company of St Margaret/ CODDS
the Glasgow Vikings


Bazman wrote:Roughly how much does doing a typical battle cost all in?


Bannockburn would not cost as much as Wars of the Roses kit. A helmet, jack, hose, shirt, shoes, belt and pointy stick would do as a minimum (i'm sure others will disagree/amend etc)

So, at a rough guess, cheapest serviceable kit:

helmet £60
Jack £50
Hose £20 (cost of wool to make your own, which isn't hard)
shirt £10 (cost of linen to make your own, which again isn't hard)
shoes £50
belt £10
pointy stick £25

= £225

but of course you wont want to be the cheapest person on the field though would you? ;)
Last edited by zauberdachs on Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:30 pm

Ben where the hell do you get a jack for £50 from

you know how much yours cost :D


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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:32 pm

Nigel wrote:Ben where the hell do you get a jack for £50 from

you know how much yours cost :D


but if its bannockburn its easier

hose braes £50.00

Shirt £45.00

Acheton £140.00

Boots £100.00
Helmet £100.00

Pointy stick £40.00

On and if you fancy something that takes in bannockburn

www.angevin.org

A truly awesome society whoa re training in side the m25 in September


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:50 pm

Nigel wrote:Ben where the hell do you get a jack for £50 from

you know how much yours cost :D


Aye and it was a good price ;)

I got my first jack for £50 and while it isn't a duvet it's first cousin is. It does as a battlefield/WMA garment and would do for a beginner. I believe GDFB sells similar items though you can often get the same for cheaper from merchants at re-enactments.

Also I wouldn't recommend spending £50 on a set of hose. Best to make them yourself.


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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:58 pm

for both hsoe and braes

or if you can sew a metre of whatever for the hsoe and the same in linen for the braes total cost £9.00


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Postby Jim » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:01 pm

zauberdachs wrote:Also I wouldn't recommend spending £50 on a set of hose. Best to make them yourself.


My understanding is that decent fitting hose is actually very difficult to get right. I'm not so sure a novice would be able to do it, I've gone to traders asking for properly fitting hose and been quietly ushered out of their tent. Sure, anyone can knock up a pair of woolly trousers though.


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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:01 pm

Nigel wrote:for both hsoe and braes

or if you can sew a metre of whatever for the hsoe and the same in linen for the braes total cost £9.00


aye, that's the ticket.


Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

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Postby Bazman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:05 pm

zauberdachs wrote:
Nigel wrote:Ben where the hell do you get a jack for £50 from

you know how much yours cost :D


Aye and it was a good price ;)

I got my first jack for £50 and while it isn't a duvet it's first cousin is. It does as a battlefield/WMA garment and would do for a beginner. I believe GDFB sells similar items though you can often get the same for cheaper from merchants at re-enactments.

Also I wouldn't recommend spending £50 on a set of hose. Best to make them yourself.


Thanks for all this fellas. Obviously I don't want to end up looking like an extra from "let's pretend" coverd in bog rolls and sticky tape lol but the girlfriend is quite handy with a needle and thread so hopefully I can make a few economies if need be.



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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:12 pm

Jim wrote:
zauberdachs wrote:Also I wouldn't recommend spending £50 on a set of hose. Best to make them yourself.


My understanding is that decent fitting hose is actually very difficult to get right. I'm not so sure a novice would be able to do it, I've gone to traders asking for properly fitting hose and been quietly ushered out of their tent. Sure, anyone can knock up a pair of woolly trousers though.


It's easy-ish but you can't really go wrong. You make them leg shaped and they won't fit tight but are comfy (my prefered hose tightness). If you want super tight you then put them on, get someone to pin it round your leg and sew it in and there you go.

Or you can spend £50 on hose from a trader and get rubbish non-stetchy wool that needs you to properly shape it anyway and wears out in one season ... and they stung you £15 on the postage which actually cost them a £5....... not that i'm bitter or anything...


Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

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Postby guthrie » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:12 pm

Cheap but get awayable with boots, like members of CoDDs have been running around in for a few years, cost only £50 to £60, not £100.

Basically like any hobby you have to decide what is necessay to begin with and where you want to aim.

Decent hose fitting is only hard to get right if you don't fit them correctly to yourself, which is where your wife/ girlfriend comes in handy. My hose have always fitted ok, thanks to some careful work by a friend, and anyway, circa 1300 single leg hose don't need to fit the way that 2nd half of the 15th century hose do, and are comparably dead simple to make.



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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:13 pm

Ben/Jim

youa re talking about the same thing BUT differant things

Jim 15th century con joined

Ben single leg

both right but single leg easier


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Postby Jim » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:19 pm

Nigel wrote:Ben/Jim

youa re talking about the same thing BUT differant things

Jim 15th century con joined

Ben single leg

both right but single leg easier


Yeah you're right. Probably best to go for singles to start with.


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