This first section of the Guide book looks at many of the practical questions you may have about attending one of our events as a new member. As you become more familiar with medieval re-enactment many of these things will become natural, especially the advice contained in the looking medieval section.

Expectations for all Members

Every society has its own guidelines and rules and Buckingham's Retinue is no exception. All members of the group are expected to conform to these regulations, as stated in our constitution and rule book, together with the basic authenticity rules. Although the following rules may seem strict, they are not noticeable to our members - these rules are there only to let everyone know where they stand and prevent future problems developing. What we want from future members are friendly and adventurous people with an interest in historical re-enactment, who will fit well into our activities and camp.
We pride ourselves in portraying medieval people in varying situations, from military encampment to middle-class households to Richard III's court. We need to be as authentic as possible at all types of events, so we are looking for like-minded individuals who would like to join in the variety of events that we do. During many of our events we portray a military encampment that is made up of soldiers and camp followers. All members are recommended to intially aim to fit in to this type of scenario before attempting other characters (however, other ideas can be discussed). Please remember that what looks pretty is not always correct for you!

Buckingham's Retinue and Finances

Buckingham’s retinue is a non profit organisation. Although there is an appearance fee for Buckingham's Retinue as a group, all money received covers the season's expenses or is recycled into the group for the purchase of new equipment. After the costs of the food, black powder, van and petrol have been taken into account, there is very little left. If there is a sizeable amount of money remaining at the end of a season, we have a feast during the off season for all of our members to enjoy.


As members of Livery and Maintenance we are covered by their public liability insurance, and at Wars of the Roses Federation events by their insurance.
Important Facts:
1. If you are working within the health and safety advice of the group it is unlikely that a claim could be made against you. Public liability insurance covers the group for claims made against them, in simplistic terms, when they have been negligent, i.e. when they have not followed H & S advice and this negligence resulted in injury or property damage to third parties.
2. Most people will have individual personal liability insurance as it is usually incorporated into their household contents coverage. They need to check to see whether any activities are included. You may also want to review your household insurance to make sure your policy will cover your camping equipment etc.
Further clarification on insurance can be gained from a member of the committee.


Our aim is to portray medieval people accurately, not recreate the Hollywood concept of medieval people - anyone interested in this style of re-enactment should look for another group to join. Those who want to try their best to represent the medieval period authentically will receive plenty of help in choosing their kit and developing their ideas within Buckingham's Retinue.
As a new member, we understand that you may be unable to come fully 'kitted out' in appropriate clothing to your first events. We recommend that you contact a committee member, before an event, so we can arrange for the use of spare kit. As we have made and purchased this kit specifically for new members, there is a small fee associated with its use. As you can imagine spare kit can be at a premium, so we expect our new members to arrange their own kit as soon as they can.
andy pole   Very Old Image of Andy
Anachronism means something that is out of place historically i.e. a digital watch in the medieval period. As a group, we try to avoid anachronisms during our display time, to help with this please remember to: -
  • Remove your watch.
  • Put in contacts, or just remove your glasses (although rare, medieval glasses can be made if you are desperate).
  • Take out modern earrings and remove your jewellery.
  • Cover any tattoos.
  • Don't smoke in view of the public (note some sites have none smoking policies where no smoking is allowed on site)
  • Don’t use cameras, phones or any other electronic device.
  • Ask before you use anything you are not sure of.
  • Remember modern food should be consumed in private.
  • Use leather thonging or linen braiding to tie back your hair, which is generaly kept covered.


We do recommend that members eventually buy their own tents - but we can supply authentic tent space for new recruits until they can afford their own (modern tents can be used but they must be removed from the site during the day unless there is a specific 'plastic camp' - usually only at multi group events). Priority for group tent space will be given to families and new members first, but we will try to find other willing hosts within the group if you have not yet got your own tent. 


As we participate in battles and military displays, we have various weapon regulations, i.e. training sessions, inspections and, of course, authentic weaponry has to be blunt before usage. Before purchasing a weapon, it is advisable to ask our weapons officer for recommended items, the best traders and prices.


We expect all members to behave responsibly and in accordance with our constitution and rule book - members and provisional members who cannot do this may be asked to leave the site; these instances may affect their future membership