SO YOU TAKEN THE KING SHILLING, LAD!!So you pay your subs and fill in the form; Soon will come the day of your first muster, what will become of you now?
Unlike the soldiers of the English Civil War, you are not expected to march from battle to battle. You will need to find transport. Perhaps you own a car, in which case the first step is simple. Otherwise, generally Sealed Knot members are generous with their car space, but don't forget to offer a contribution to the cost of your journey, petrol these days is expensive, not to mention wear and tear on the car. One day, you may be a car owner too, dont forget to take your share of the driving when that moment comes! If you are transporting a large family, or sharing your car with some of your friends, you may find a luggage trailer or roofrack useful for extra kit.
|Packing your Kit
If you're not taking a car, you need a good ruck sack to pack your kit. The best sorts come with a detachable frame, if you have one of these, don't forget to remove the frame when you're going by car, otherwise you wll take up an inordinate amount of space, and the driver might not be quite so keen to offer you a lift again. On the other hand, if you're travelling by train or coach then the frame will spread the load over your back better making it easy to move distances on foot.
Building your uniform
As a new member you will not have much uniform, no doubt you will be trying to acquire this over the course of your first couple of seasons. The first thing you should look for is footwear, as feet size varies substantially from person to person, making it impractical for the company to carry a large stock. Desert boots are cheap and acceptable for new members, but you will need to buy a proper set of authentic soldiers shoes from a campsite trader or from the traders market as soon as you can afford it. Shoes are available from:
| Camping Equipment
You will need camping equipment, at minimum a sleeping bag, and either your own tent or a firm arrangement to share with someone else. In the long term you may want to acquire your own 'authentic' tent, but most Sk members are content with modern tents, which are less expensive and lighter and more compact. Sort your transport out before committing to a bulky authentic soldiers tent!
Membership Cards and Licences
And in this bureaucratic century, you need your paperwork. Sealed Knot Membership card is essential, and should be brought to all events. Also, if you have passed the musket test, you need Shotgun Licence, Black Powder permit and Musket Test Certificate (Issued by the SK). Other certificates are also issued by the Sealed Knot for Sword users, Artillery and Cavalry and these should also be available for inspection if required.
|Marching on your stomach |
While you may not want to burden yourself with too much food, some survival rations are in order, either to keep the cost down, or in case the muster is a long way from the nearest supermarket, or is a small event lacking food traders. In any event, we recommend that you take or acquire en route, something for the First day's breakfast
Planning your Route
Finally, you need to know where you are going. For the main musters, basic directions are included in 'Orders of the Day' the regular Sealed Knot magazine as part of the 'Warning Order'. This is usually duplicated on the members section of the SK website. Take a copy of this with you, easily accessible by the front seat passenger. Look the site of the event up on a good road map or use one of the excellent online routing services on offer. Remember to allow time for stops if the distance is greater than you are comfortable with
|Pack as much as possible the (?Thursday?)night before you leave. This is where a trailer becomes invaluable, as it can be packed and left on your drive while you go to work|
IT IS BETTER TO TRAVEL HOPEFULLY THAN TO ARRIVE
Well perhaps not, but be sure that you travel comfortably and stop on the way to rest or change the driver. One of the benefits of reenacting is that it will take you all over the small towns of Wales, England and beyond, to places which otherwise you would likely never see. Be sure that your eyes are open and that you get some benefit from this!
|At last you will near your destination, now you and all your passengers should be alert for the 'SK' Signs which mark the approach to the camp Sites. The majority of our musters are well marked, but sometimes the local council get awkward about temporary signing, or you arrive from an unexpected direction. Use your head, and the instructions from the Warning Order|
When you arrive at the campsite, you will be asked
to stop while the Gate guard inspect your Sk Membership
cards. If for some reason you have not yet been issued
these, then they should have been provided with a list
of new members etc. for the occasion. If in doubt,
contact the company on our mobile phone number 07929
870885 and we will try to assist.
All being well, you may be provided with a rubbish bag, and perhaps some notes on the details of the weekend's arrangements. You should ask where our Tertio(Brigade) may be camped, remember that Vaughans are a company of Prince Rupert's Tertio (sometimes known as Palatines). Sometimes this is a difficult feat of navigation as Sealed Knot Campsites after dark can be confusing places. Follow the roadways and look for the Ruperts Colour which is quite distinctive.
Having located Prince Ruperts, now all you need to
do is find Sir Henry Vaughan's Company. Ask any member
of the Tertio for the company, if you think that you
are the first to arrive, then ask for the Tertio Camp
Commandant to assign you a camping space.
Now you have found your space, pitch your tent(s), remembering to conform with fire regulations they must be 10ft from the next. Remember you are amoung friends, hopefully some of Vaughan's company will be able to help you even if they have never seen you before
Enjoy your evening, camped in the open air amoungst some very interesting people. If your journey has not tired you too munch, there will likely be a beertent, or a local hostelry where you may carouse a while, and possibly hot food available. But remember when returning late to the camping area to have respect to the way sound travels on a campsite, and for those, perhaps with young children, who have already retired to bed to recover from a long journey.
EARLY IN THE MORNING, WITH THE SUMMER SKY AGLOW,
REVEILLE O REVEILLE , the CHANTING BUGLES GO
|Except at the smallest musters, Breakfast is available at a price from the food traders, but you can skip the queue and some of the Cholesterol by bringing your own!|
|At 10.00 am the company will practice its arms(Drill), either on its own or in conjunction with other units within the Tertio. This normally takes about an hour. At the end of the parade you will be reminded of the appointed time and place to form up for battle|
|After Drill, you will for the moment have some time to yourself, and we recommend that you browse the 'Traders Row' which is the heart of most large Sealed Knot Campsites. Unless you are already blessed with a great deal of knowledge about Seventeenth Century artifacts, take an experienced Reenactor with you, as not all of the items on sale are of the same quality or designed for the exact period.|
Also, if you havent already eaten, please do so
now. Reenacting a Seventeenth Century Battle is a
fairly strenuous activity, and the run up to one is not
the moment to be watching calories. Please do not
consume alcohol when waiting to go on the
And then the hour of battle approaches. Report to the assigned point, dressed and equipped to go on the battlefield. Unless you are taking the field as a pikeman, remember to carry some water, wearing woollen clothes in the heat of an English Summer can lead to dehydration.
THE ELEPHANTIn the Nineteenth Century, a circus slowly moved from small town to small tonw across rural America. Its only major exhibit was a Single African Elephant. The Promoters Said
|Soon, you will see the Elephant. If you have never seen it, then we cannot tell you what it is like, but once you have seen it for yourself, then you need no description.||<||<\tr>|
So I waste no time here, describing a battle reenactment. Once you have seen it yourself, you need no description. So I pass quickly to your return.
AFTER THE BATTLE
You will return as an unit, to the campsite. The strangers of the previous evening are now your comrades, and by now you will know some of the faces of your colleagues both in the Royalist Army, and of our valiant but misguided opponents as well. Enjoy your evening, whether it be at the beertent, Sampling the pleasures of the local ale house, or perhaps having a quiet barbecue with your new friends at the campsite
THE JOURNEY HOME
Most musters last a whole weekend, sometimes on a Bank Holiday, the displays may be over 3 days.
On the last day of the muster the company will take part in Tertio Training, where we shall practise manuevers on a larger scale than those possible to the company alone.
Please take the advice of an old campaigner though, use the spare time on the last day of the event to strike your tent and pack your car
Please check your camping area and put all rubbish, whether you generated it or no in the Bin Bag provided. Leave the Field as you found it and perhaps Reenactors will be welcomed here again.
Have a safe and satisfied journey home. Remember, don't drive when you are tired.
TO FIND OUT MORE: Contact
|More about Sir Henry Vaughan of Derwydd|