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Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:50 am
by Phil the Grips
2014 is Independence voting year- could get very political very quickly whether intended or not.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:57 am
by Fox
Phil the Grips wrote:2014 is Independence voting year- could get very political very quickly whether intended or not.

I think that might over estimate the importance of the Independence debate to the denizens of the East Midlands.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:00 pm
by Mark Griffin
Oh tish, the right to pour scorn on the English is everyones right.

Yours,

Griff ap Griff, the marches.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:41 pm
by Ayliffe's Steve
Phil the Grips wrote:
Ayliffe's Steve wrote:Most people up there did not seem interested in the true history of the battle and just wanted us to re-enact Braveheart
Not "most people"- just the most vocal, publically visible and well-connected minority, unfortunately.


Fair point, I should ammed that to 'most of the people who made an impression'.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:35 pm
by Sausages
It seems that the Scottish reenactment circuit is quite different that the english one so maybe thats why you guys arent aware of the groups that are operating. There are several Scottish groups who do medieval including Medieval realm, Knights of Monymusk and the Historic Saltire Society. The Historic Saltire Society is concentrates solely on an authentic presentation of the Scottish wars of Independence and has looked at this period from all the sides involved in this period and do not simply do a Brucefest. You will find the Historic Saltire Society is probably the biggest group in Scotland at the moment, fielding over 40 people at the bigger shows. Purely Scottish Wars of Independence they are absolutely NOT about the Braveheart stuff - shudder. They have a great living history presence including food displays and a forge and calligraphy too. They are very interactive and encourage participation from the public. Dave Fyfe is currently their performance manager and they can be serious and authentic and funny and irreverant depending on the needs of the show. The Historic Saltire Society is a bit different from the rest of us in that it isnt one mans group. It is run by a committee which changes each year and it has group kit and encourages the whole group to make decisions and get involved in the shows. Seems to work for them.They do a lot of work for Historic Scotland but also smaller shows and Clan shows and have worked well with Clanranald in the past I beleive. They are at The Bruce Festival in Dunfermline next weekend. In addition they are off to Germany this summer to do The Battle of Stirling Bridge at The Hayner Burghfest at some place I cant spell!!!

They have applied for Bannockburn and are waiting to hear the last I heard.

Northern Alliance I believe has been broken up. If anyone is wanting to contact any of the groups mentioned then they are around the internet and facebook too. Hugh Robertson is the name that was missing earlier.

Hope thats interesting to you guys.... if it sounds like an advert yup they are impressive - and thats without mentioning their Bohemian rhapsody after a few drinks round the fire at night.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:02 am
by Mark Griffin
performance manager


wont find many of those in England. No bad thing on the Scottish side, I do find they are more performance and tale-telling related. All those years spent in crofts around a smouldering peat fire no doubt...

Nice web site with intro video, shows they like to put on a bit of a show.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:12 am
by Fox
Sausages wrote:Northern Alliance I believe has been broken up.

I was at Flodden with them only a few weeks ago, so I guess not.

http://www.northern-alliance.org.uk/

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:34 pm
by guthrie
Sausages wrote:It seems that the Scottish reenactment circuit is quite different that the english one so maybe thats why you guys arent aware of the groups that are operating. There are several Scottish groups who do medieval including Medieval realm, Knights of Monymusk and the Historic Saltire Society. The Historic Saltire Society is concentrates solely on an authentic presentation of the Scottish wars of Independence and has looked at this period from all the sides involved in this period and do not simply do a Brucefest. You will find the Historic Saltire Society is probably the biggest group in Scotland at the moment, fielding over 40 people at the bigger shows.

I only saw maybe a dozen at Chatelherault, but that's a good start. What other shows have you done with 40 people from your group?


Purely Scottish Wars of Independence they are absolutely NOT about the Braveheart stuff - shudder. They have a great living history presence including food displays and a forge and calligraphy too. They are very interactive and encourage participation from the public.

That's all to the good, although lots of other people do food and forging and stuff too.

Dave Fyfe is currently their performance manager

Never heard of him, although there aren't many shows on at the moment where you get to meet other groups, and I should have popped over at Chatelherault to say hi.

The Historic Saltire Society is a bit different from the rest of us in that it isnt one mans group. It is run by a committee which changes each year and it has group kit and encourages the whole group to make decisions and get involved in the shows.

Actually most groups I know work that way, because one man doing everything gets very tiring.

Northern Alliance I believe has been broken up.

I can categorically state that Northern Alliance hasn't broken up, it's just the usual real life stuff of illness and work committments getting in the way. Showing once again how poor the scottish re-enactment gossip network is.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:51 pm
by Biro
Having just done my first Scottish event at Chatelherault, there are defiantly some good Scottish mediaeval groups around.

However, there also seems to be a strange element of non-historical reenactment there too (the pirates for example).

I just got the impression that the historical element is struggling for numbers for big events, and I guess that support from the English groups would be needed to ensure that large historical events are viable.

At least that's my relatively uninformed opinion from doing just one event.....

We broke a pirate!

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:18 pm
by Fox
Biro wrote:However, there also seems to be a strange element of non-historical reenactment there too (the pirates for example).


I'm afraid that's a more general disease in Gold Age of Piracy re-enactment, both nationally and internationally.

There are lots of "Hollywood" pirates about who seem quite welcome at re-enactments.
It's a constant frustration for anyone who'd actually like to do the period properly.

Within any period you expect people who are of mixed quality; and I'm sure my 18thC kit, knowledge and skills are not as good as some people would like.
And like all re-enactment, "Pirates" includes whose research is mixture of stuff they thought was cool, Victorian misinformation and old re-enactorisms.

But "Pirates" has another level down, which is people who have no interest in real history at all, and simply acting out pirate films from the Crimson Pirate to the Pirates of the Caribbean. (They're great films, they're just not a historical source.)

This seems to have a knock on effect overall, allowing many people to settle for quite low standards all round.

Sorry for the temporary diversion.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:47 pm
by Mark Griffin
They're great films


Have to pull you up there old fruit. Number 1 was. the rest were utter bilge water. lets hope Number 5 is a final fling in the right direction...

Pirates without ships or nautical knowledge are called dressers up imho. After sitting through a rather good lecture from one soon to be Dr Fox it was interesting to see just how much is myth. Pretty much all of it unfortunately. But yo ho ho and all that...

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:05 pm
by Merlon.
Mark Griffin wrote:but yo ho ho and all that...

Ah but the pirates at Chatelherault went:-
"Oggy Oggy Oggy!Oi Oi Oi"

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:13 pm
by Biro
Pirates weren't the only ones. There was the group including the Robert the Brus impersonator (knitted mail and all). Genuinely nice people and great with the public. But the costumes were totally made up, they described themselves as 11 - 12th century (for the position in the parade), and I had an interesting conversation with a lady who very patiently explained that her spiked ball and chain was called a morning star and was used to 'roll up the arm, causing multiple small puncture wounds that would quickly congeal leaving you unaware that you would die the next day from the poison!'

If it wasn't for the accompanying costumes, I'd have thought she was just winding me up.

But, the public seemed to like it. (and presumably be taken in)

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:17 pm
by Fox
Mark Griffin wrote:
They're great films


Have to pull you up there old fruit. Number 1 was. the rest were utter bilge water. lets hope Number 5 is a final fling in the right direction...

Sorry, by "they" I meant The Crimson Pirate and the 1st PoC film.
Mostly I meant The Crimson Pirate.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:19 pm
by Biro
Merlon. wrote:
Mark Griffin wrote:but yo ho ho and all that...

Ah but the pirates at Chatelherault went:-
"Oggy Oggy Oggy!Oi Oi Oi"


True that. I'm used to seeing inaccurate groups redeem themselves with entertaining displays.
I was certainly entertained by them!

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:24 pm
by Fox
Did I hear that they were called Beowulf?

Either that's a poor knowledge of history, or they're a Vike group "doing" pirates, no?

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:02 pm
by PaulMurphy
Griff,

Do let us know if EH want to do Bannockburn at Kelmarsh ;-)

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:24 pm
by Sausages
Oh Im glad to hear northern alliance havent broken up. Thats good news for the reenactment scene. They always look great. There is a new facebook page Scottish Reenactment Network so hopefully that will improve the communication.

Over 40 at fort george, banff music and history festival, and probably this weekend at Dunfermline. 30 odd at Aberdour I think.

If you are around then pop into the Big blue tent to say hi! Dont ask for sausages - they wont have a clue lol. You ll have to guess which is me ;)

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:05 pm
by Tod
I don't think most people in the midlands really understand Scotland and in this example re-enactment. There a dozens of groups in Scotland but not as spread out as they are in England, they are all centred around the major cities and tend to do lots of local events. For what ever reason most of these groups are pretty awful when it comes to knowledge and kit. But then they are no worse than the wang medieval groups they perform at the fetes and multi era medieval fests in England. The addition of any thing tartan makes them stand out when ever they mix with the better groups (Northern Alliance, Company of St Margaret, LH Scotland to name a few). The difference is that the larger events in Scotland attract every one so the bad look really bad against the lower numbers who have made the effort. We've had in Jacobite (1745) re-enactment for years and it's one of the reasons I only attend one event in Scotland and thats because year on year its improving (Prestonpans) because Arran who runs it wants it to be a quality event.
Bannockburn will attract every one from the good guys to people in plaid. But then I stood on the field at Tewkesbury next to a "viking" who had a cardboard and leather helmet type thing. I went home from a event where a "man at arms" was dressed in fuzzy felt (I couldn't see but I suspect he had a wheel barow some where). The point is wang is every where and can only be stopped if the event manager wants it stopped. Hollywood pirates will mess up an event, so will have 17th century soldiers fighting 1745 Jacobites. I've seen pictures of that in Scotland and saw it at events in England.
In Scotland the distances involved and the lack of motorways means many groups never leave their area unless some thing big comes up and so when they do attend thier kit is years out of date or horribly wrong, maybe thats not a good excuse but it happens. In England most bad groups are bad due to lack of effort.
I won't do Bannockburn because I suspect that politics will rear it's head and I don't want grief from the locals, and pointing out (quoting form Phil) I'm more Scottish than most of them would be pointless. I just ran an event where we almost kept out the crap and politics, that was England v Scotland. My only issue all week end was a Scottish group from miles away who thought it OK to walk through the LH camp with burgers and coffeee in cardboard cups. They didn't do it twice!

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:53 pm
by guthrie
Because there's fewer events in Scotland where groups can meet up, it's harder for bad groups to be compared to good ones or for them to see others in action and learn from them. There's also a lot of good natured enthusiasm catering to the lowest common denominator, which makes telling people their costume is rubbish harder to do because to them and others it's enthusiasm that counts, never mind that if they had good kit they could do 2 or 3 things for the price of one, and not leave people with the wrong impression.

I wouldn't say there are dozens of groups, exactly, but there is a definite concentration on local events and specific places which means they don't get out and about into the wider world of re-enactment, although by now most know of gdfb and their ilk so have better helmets than they used to.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:09 pm
by Sausages
You know what guys I dont think you are being completely fair.

Different groups do different sorts of things and so if you want to see authentic medieval reenactment then you would look for that sort of show. The groups booked for that sort of show would be exactly that. Authentic as possible. Costumes weapons and know and understand the history completely. If you go to a gala day or a festival day then you will see groups who are there to maybe sing, dress up for the day, trade or just enjoy the craic. Isnt Chateherault a bit like that too? Were the pirates entertaining? Was that what they were there for rather than an accurate portrayal of piracy? That doesnt make them less good or somehow inferior, it just makes them different. Its horses for courses. An example would be my glasses. I wouldnt dream of wearing them at a Historic Scotland Event but happily wore them at the Bruce Festival this weekend as it was more relaxed and i just wheeked them off for photos.


Its true that many GROUPS dont head south for the big reeenactments but we have several individual members who do so. I have to be honest and say that the way they describe things doesnt really appeal to me but they enjoy their time.

The most important thing for all of us in our group and the reason that our group started 15ish years ago was to have fun. Thats why we do it. We all muck in and have no rank structure as such. We take pride in our knowledge and our presentation and if someone wants to think Im less important cos my underdress is not completely hand stitched and I wear my 21st century knickers then so be it.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:18 pm
by Phil the Grips
Sausages wrote:Were the pirates entertaining? Was that what they were there for rather than an accurate portrayal of piracy?

If you're at an event stating that it is a "festival" then the former is acceptable (even if my teeth would itch and my fists curl ), if it is a "festival of history" then I expect the latter, or at least a perceptible attempt toward it rather than a blatant disregard of basic facts.

If Bannockburn were marketed as a "celebration/commemoration" of the Battle then it'd be, likewise, acceptable (much as my teeth would itch &c &c) but when words such as "reenactment" and "authentic" get used then expectations are going to be justifiably higher and criticism more forthcoming.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:30 pm
by guthrie
^ What he said.

Plus, there's no inherent contradiction between 'fun' and 'authentic', despite the way people often phrase things.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:30 pm
by Fox
^ What they said.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:57 pm
by guthrie
The question, whether at the level of the event or the individual interaction, is more "What are the re-enactors presenting themselves as, what does the public expect, and what do they take away from it?"


That is, in terms of what people wore or did or said back in the days of yore.

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:50 pm
by Biro
I suspect the issue is only where re-enactors are mixed with entertainers(for want of a better word - but i'll have to add that non-accurate doesn't automatically mean entertaining) - on a couple of levels..

1. The re-enactors provide the public with a sense of accuracy based on research, providing credence to the event and therefore to the other non-historical participants. If one group backs up what they say with evidence, why would the public then suspect that another is just making it up? But if the event had entertainers only, I suspect it would be obvious that it is just entertainment - and therefore not necessarily factual.
Part of the problem is that some of the entertainers try to pass off stuff they've just made up (words or costume) as historically accurate - which as someone said to me recently 'makes a mockery of all the hard work and research we put into it'.

2. I had a complaint from a member recently where the event stated specifically that wearing glasses in period costume was not allowed. Now the member in question has a specific condition which makes contact lenses a non-option, and glasses therefore a must. And our period is too early for period glasses. But she is usually ok with it all - where high accuracy levels are required, she simply stays out of costume - Not ideal (since I believe that no medical condition should stop you from re-enacting), but no fuss. Said member still went to the event(as her partner was there too) but did not dress in costume all weekend. But then we see the 'entertainers' at the same event and the obvious question comes 'How can they allow those here and not let me wear glasses?'. I couldn't answer.

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:07 am
by Anthony of the MSS
Tod / Fox / Griff - actually, you'll find the East Midlands has more local interest in Scotland than you realise - we have Corby. Source of general local amusement on who gets it if Independence goes through. And actually a source of deep hatred for mr Salmond who has pretty much denied the Scots families there any sort of say in the matter.

I was over the in laws the other month and wondered what the racket outside was and it even has its own Orange March. Other half most surprised we didn't have them where I grew up - I explained that being an Essex boy, our orange march was when the TOWIE crowd exited en masse from the bloody tanning salon...

Back on track, I have to say this thread has thoroughly depressed me. Scotland has a rich and wonderful history, my two sons have some Scottish roots through my other half (the Eldest is even named for a scottish King) and I was up in Dunblane, Stirling, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Motherwell, and Glasgow last week visiting the various relatives and I would love to be involved in something up there. But this screams like a political hijack by the SNP brigade, and I just despair at McHalfords stuff - with such a wonderful history why for the love of God portray such total nonsense and peddle as fact. The truth will always be far more interesting...

Yours depressedly, Ant.

Re:

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:57 am
by Fox
Anthony of the MSS wrote:Fox - actually, you'll find the East Midlands has more local interest in Scotland than you realise - we have Corby.

You may be an Essex boy, but I was born and raised in Stamford.
I am very familiar with Corby and it's surrounding villages, and it's excellent police response times. :wink:

Re: Bannockburn 2014

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:35 pm
by Sausages
Phil the Grips wrote:
If Bannockburn were marketed as a "celebration/commemoration" of the Battle then it'd be, likewise, acceptable (much as my teeth would itch &c &c) but when words such as "reenactment" and "authentic" get used then expectations are going to be justifiably higher and criticism more forthcoming.


And so it should be but actually what is happening is criticism BEFORE the event. Before the groups have even been notified as to who is going and who is doing what.

It is a massive event and we are delighted that its happening and hoping that we will be involved. It will be what we make it and I am sure that the Scottish re-enactment Groups will be doing their utmost to be authentic and expert in their presentation as I am sure all the rest of those attending will be.

As for being politically hijacked by the SNP - you are absolutely wrong - it has been already stated there will be no campaigning from either side at the Event - no YES Scotland Stalls, no Better Together Stalls. If, however I was the organisers of this event, hoping for 40 000 people to pay to come in, I would be mightily fed up that the UK Government has decided to hold Armed Forces day in Stirling on the first day of my event. I suppose that you could argue thats political hijacking from the UK Government but Personally I think it would be great to spend the Saturday in Stirling at Armed Forces Day and the Sunday at Bannockburn Live but if I was trying to run the event I would be furious. If you need accommodation guys you had better book now lol

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:50 pm
by Anthony of the MSS
40,000...? Did I read that correct? Is that over the weekend or per day?

That is... A lot. I'd like to see the sums that make it viable. The biggest reenactment I was involved in was hasting 2006, which from memory had 13,000 public per day. That was in the south east, and London alone has as big a population to draw upon as the whole of Scotland.

I don't know the footfall for History Live but having done it would say its in that order of magnitude, and benefits from being centrally located.

Don't get me wrong, I obviously wish it every success but that's a lot of MOPs...!!!