Monday, 25 July 2011

Dipping My Toes in the World of Napoleonic Re-enacting

You may remember that last month I went to Apsley House for their Waterloo Anniversary celebrations. There I met a group of Napoleonic re-enactors who are based in London. I was so happy to finally find a re-enactment group that was based in London and I was really keen to join. However when I returned home I couldn't find any information about the group on the internet, which I thought was odd as they claimed to be a member of the Napoleonic Association. I forgot about it for a couple of weeks, but then decided to check the website again, and lo and behold, there was the group's name and website. It turns out that they are a rather new group and have only just joined NA. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I ended up going to one of their events on Saturday. It was at Hatfield House, the childhood home of Elizabeth I, and was a BBC Battle Prom, so a concert of military classical music. I drove down with the guy who runs the group and we met up with some of the other members in the grounds of the house. We then put up modern reproductions of Napoleonic era tents, got changed and waited for the public to arrive. What can I say... the event was wonderful but one of the oddest experiences I have ever had in my life.

Apparently the re-enactors are usually cordoned off from the public by a fence but we were not, which meant people kept coming up to us and taking our photographs, staring, and asking if they could have their photograph taken with us. It felt a bit like we were a cross between animals in a zoo and celebrities. Not sure if I liked the feeling!! I realised that I would not like to be famous. Anyway apart from that and the rather chilly weather, I had a wonderful time. The music was beautiful, the re-enactors were a lovely group of people, and the fireworks, the riding performance and the lone Spitfire that zoomed over our heads looping-the-loop were amazing!!! I would love to go to another re-enacting event.

Here are a few photos of the event:

Putting up the tents

The backs of the soldiers

One of my fellow re-enactors - such a lovely lady - her and her husband were so sweet.

The public walking through the camp

The Spitfire - It was the best photo I could get. The lady who flew it did the most amazing stunts.

The Cavalry 

Another photo of the Cavalry

The tents of the French Camp

I didn't take any photos of myself, but I was wearing my pink gown with flowers, pink and white bonnet and pink and white spencer and a pashmina (for warmth!!). I actually managed to pin my bonnet so it stayed on my head for the entire event - a feat I have never achieved before as the bonnet is on the small side.

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