There seems to be some sort of magic about Castle Rising that always produces a great event and this August's bank holiday event was no exception. In fact, the custodian said that it was the best event he can remember in his 5 year tenure, his assistant who had been there even longer upgraded that to 8 years, which is high praise indeed considering the stonking events that we have put on at Castle Rising in the past. I think after our performances at Skipton and Castle Rising we can be rightly proud of how we have pushed on and improved in recent times.
I arrived on site on Saturday afternoon, already sunburnt during the drive over by the glorious sunshine that showed summer had finally arrived. We pitched the main camp inside the castle walls with the open display tents and arms and armour nearest to the public entrance. While we were setting up our six new recruits arrived and were introduced to the group, we quickly worked out the 6 degrees of separation - Ann, Francis and John from Derby; Gina joining independently from Derby she works on the same site as John; Elle returning to the UK did an event with us around 10 years ago at Barnard Castle, and her husband Heath who has been posting on this site longer than I have and is finally emigrating from OZ. In honour of the new arrivals from Australia and to make the most of the short summer, food on the Saturday evening consisted of a barbeque, we were planning to play cricket as well as we figured that between us twenty odd English men should be able to beat one aussie but the barbie went on longer than expected and bad light intervened.
The early part of the season seemed quite quiet. My highlights would be playing with a trebuchet at Warwick, with the Romans at Bolsover and to authentically play medieval games while listening to a sermon given in Latin. None of these events had particularly large crowds of public for the numbers of re-enacters present, which meant we were not as driven to perform as we often are.
So where to start writing about 4 days of fun, interesting weather, hordes of public and actually being on the winning side?
So Thursday night we were lucky with not getting the heavy rain that was forcast. Unfortunately during the night the wind got up to near Whitby proportions causing a 4am dash to put the cook tent back up (it turns out the metal barrier stakes are very effective tent pegs!). Morning brought continuing wind, but accompanied by quickly alternating hail and blue skies. Saturday was hail and sleet without the blue sky, but more exciting was Sunday morning. Waking up at 6am to find snow falling and settling was an experience. Warwick looks even more beautiful in the snow! The rest of the day was gorgeous - blue skies with little wind. However the good weather didn't last, the heaviest hail came on Monday especially in the afternoon when we were forming up to do things! Typical! Anyway, I think that's enough of the weather. So to other busines...