Event Review – Goodrich Castle Tournament of Foot

By Guest Reporter Peroni.

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For the second time in the history of the Harringtons, the Companye have returned from Goodrich Castle, only a week following the esteemed Ashby De La Zouche. Suffice to say it was a busy August for some!

The Companye performed a fighting knights tournament for English Heritage and the lively public.

Given how enjoyable this event was for us a couple of years ago, it was only a matter of time before we accepted a second invitation. But onto the first hurdle! The moat, aka, our home for the weekend; amazing in theory, a bit of a struggle in practice given the amount of kit we had to lug down there (reduced this year, due to our experience previously). But we are Harringtons, and no job is too big!

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We began each day with an archery tournament, where our skilled men (and ladies!) competed for their teams by trying the simple task of putting an arrow into a target. This, on the first day however, was no easy feat for some, with Sir ‘Poncy’ Pilkington competing for himself in the team of the white, and only managing to bag a single point. Esquire Mark, representing the blue team got a few more points, gaining him the honourable title of 3rdplace, and in a jaw dropping standoff between the beautiful archer of the gold (myself) and the dastardly archer of the black, the archer of the black team *grumbles* gained a two point lead.

On Sundays tournament of archery, Sir Poncy Pilkington switched things up by bringing another lady into the mix (talk about female empowerment!). With this archery contest came a despicable display of cheating during the speed shoot, in which our newest addition threw one of her arrows, giving her equal points to the fabulous gold archer, who absolutely genuinely loosed 23 arrows, no word of a lie. Later came the test of accuracy, in which, after a heinous display of hair by the archer of Sir William Harrington and the lady archer of Sir Pilkington, the white team came in fourth place (again), the blue came in third, the gold in second and the black (don’t make me say this again) got first place.

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Later each day came the tournament of foot, in which there were five rounds; the sword and buckler round, mainly for squires who couldn’t afford much armour; the longsword round; the axe and shield round (lots of violence and shouting; definitely a crowd pleaser); the poleaxe round; and the grand melee. On both days, with Sir Poncy Pilkington coming in last in the archery, he was at a disadvantage throughout. This however did give him the choice of opponent, and knowing that the blue team was unable to provide a contestant for the pole axe round, he chose the easy points, progressing to the next round with less exercise by nominating blue on both days. On the first day, after an awesome clash of the grand melee, it was, once again, a standoff between the team of gold and the team of black. The gold team’s fighter was victorious, not only winning the round, but winning the entire tournament for the gold team, a phenomenon which had never before been seen by the Harrington Companye. The second day brought a win to the black team, after some awe inspiring fighting on the part of all teams (again, apart from the white team in the poleaxe round).

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Goodrich also saw a new addition to our event routine, where we took part in the Angelus ceremony in the Goodrich chapel. This was a first for the companye, and although our latin was a little rusty, it was a lovely ceremony and it certainly added a new dimension on how our ancestors would have lived.

As a whole, this was a spectacular event, and the crowd, despite the rainy weather, were simply incredible. Thanks to everyone who made this event, and here’s to many more like it in the future.

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