The Companye has returned from a glorious weekend celebrating the feast of St George at Kenilworth Castle.
The Castle is a particular favourite of the Harrington’s – we regarding it as our ‘home’ castle and have a great relationship with the custodians and the public alike.
We were joined in our endeavours by Mark Vance’s excellent team who were entertaining the crowds with the story of St George and the Dragon. It was also a delight to bump into Kay and Tony Rouse who were showing Medieval Toys and Games.
As per usual, we were encamped on the green adjacent to the Earl of Warwick’s stables. There was a busy throng of members of the public throughout each day, the venue is popular with people both local and from further afield.
As well as our award winning living history,we undertook two arena displays. The first was a demonstration of archery from the fifteenth century. Tests of accuracy and speed were shown to the assembled throng, before the Reduced
Shakespeare Harrington Companye staged a recreation of the Battle of Agincourt. Thousands (kind of..) of French knights (missing the odd horse, well all of them actually) strode manfully up the hill to face to onslaught of hundreds of English archers (well, we exaggerate a bit, it’s twelve inches don’t you know!). As each shaft crashed home the french army came to a halt, before being polished off in the mud by grubby English archers with daggers. The Horror.
In short, the crowd loved it – so much we had to do it a second time for them. Great Fun.
In the afternoon, the we displayed Arms and Armour from the Fifteenth Century. Two different styles of harness were shown and discussed, various weapon types were introduced, before combat circles were joined.
The unabashed highlight of the show was the final combat circle on Sunday. At the start of the round, totally unscripted and totally unnoticed by everyone, Stan snuck into the ante room of the castle wall at the edge of the arena. One by one, the combatants were eliminated, until only Howard – our grizzled veteran from the wars in France – remained. As Howard roared his triumph and turned to take the applause of the crowd, Stan dashed from hiding and opened him up with a dagger. No one was more surprised than Howard, the crowd showed its appreciation for such a winning stratagem and we guess that’s what happens when you train the Companye to fight in the woodlands and use the terrain to one’s advantage. Fair play Stan.
Following on from the combat display it was the turn of the kids from the public. Grown men were reduced to quivering wrecks against the “little darlings” of Kenilworth, who had obviously been drinking far far too much energy drinks and Haribo…
Overall, it was a fantastic event and one of our absolute favourites on our calendar. Despite weather warnings it had been a sunny weekend and no one really wanted to leave on Sunday night – modern life is hard to return to after great events like these.
One final thing – the event clashes with the local Horsefair in Kenilworth, and each year on our return home we pass the ground were it is held and see the state the occupants leave the place in. We pride ourselves on leaving no trace (we are a pioneer companye after all!) and you can see this for yourselves below – if only others in this beautiful country of ours treated it with similar respect..