Well this event was always going to be eventful, would I have a dress to wear, would Andy lose the beard, and was his hair about to be sacrificed as well? The dress was finished at midnight on the Thursday, as I am sure any of you who contacted me in the week running up the event realised as you all got, must go sewing to do. Andy has Vez to thank for saving his hair from the chop, but the beard had to be sacrificed for the greater good! much to the amusement of the rest of the group when we all arrived at Skipton. You can always rely on Paul for the ability to jump in with 2 feet “yikes, who are you”

Sebastian proved to be a very good host, with some indoor accommodation, real toilets and hot running water. He even arranged for the church next to the castle to turn its bells off through the night. Unfortunately that didn’t hold for the Sunday morning bell ringing marathon, I think they must still be going strong now.

Friday night went very well, what a pleasure to arrive in daylight to set the camp up, and there was more room than we had expected. As for the mussels in the pub – the edible variety if you will notice the spelling they were delicious and recommended when we return.

It was also nice to be joined by a few “old” faces, Sam, Rich and Random Northern Bint, or Zoe to the rest of you.

Saturday dawned dry, the morning wakeup call from the veloceraptor (Jessica) started at 5 am, how is it when I get up at that time am I still rushing to get ready when the public arrive?

Buckingham’s rose to the challenge of holding 2 courts with 2 kings admirably, Rich played a wonderful Henry VIII, much to Rachel’s delight as she was spared Darren growing a beard. Sam was a gorgeous Ann Boleyn. A special mention goes to the time travelling Weasel, medieval cook/wench in the morning, the delectable Jane Seymour in the afternoon. I did enjoy the spats between her and Sam. There were inevitably the odd ownership issues, “my castle,” “no mine I was here first” and the occasional request to rid the castle of ghosts, but on the whole the 2 courts managed to avoid each other.

Our Sheriff, Andy Howes held the structure of the day together, and Dean did a good job of herding cats as I have heard it described on more than one occasion. Hats off to Rima though who really was our time traveller extraordinaire, managing to appear in several locations at one time, i am sure she was seen in the camp cooking and dancing simultaneously whilst preparing for the costume talk. Nige took his life in his hands allowing Tom to attack him in the Arming a Knight talk, I think he will drop down from falsetto by his wedding.  Laura showed endless patience in being trailed around by 3 little people, Ben and “his girls” as he referred to them.

The day closed with a lot of happy public, tired Buck’s, pleased owner and the traditional ice-cream in the shop, before the spectacle of Sam being assisted out of her corset, no there wasn’t an auction for the honour, missed opportunity there.  Once again Louise excelled in the evening meal, a feast for all, and a relaxing night spent around the campfire.

Sunday continued in much the same style, with the welcome addition of Vez to Richards court, along with her make-up. This talk went down very well with the public, and her lip balm was wonderful.  Cleggy seemed even shorter than normal as he was made to look up a flight of stairs to address Richard, bowing at the same time.  Although how those folk from Stanley ’s island kingdom might feel about being described as “truculent sheep fettlers’ can only be imagined.  Those of us in Richard’s court managed to stay in the dry and consumed another bottle of wine in the process, Henry was stuck with blackcurrant squash - sack the maid if you ask me.  Another successful day with a feast fit for 2 kings thrown together by Louise, the way to Buck’s heart is through their stomach is such a true sentiment, you only have to look at Hadfield to confirm this. Dancing today brought the surreal experience of Dickon and Jane on recorder, with Andy Howes dancing, Jessica declined the offer of his hand, thought about it then after picking her nose accepted. Jessie was to star later in the costume talk when she decided that the floor just really had to be washed, as well as Dean’s and Steve’s boots, start them young is all I can say.

 Fortunately the rain stopped early enough that the tents had dried out when it came to packing up, and in true Buck’s style we were finished, ice-creamed, packed and gone by 8pm, leaving behind a very happy Sebastian.  A return visit is already agreed