Sunday, 27 July 2014
Walkern Historical Society Summer Party
I had a great time the above event to which I'd been invited to demonstrate some of what is involved in bowmaking. It was held within the ring and ditch of Walkern Castle. This is on private land so it was a privilege to be granted access to the land (details of the castle on the previous link) The owner of the farm gave a very interesting talk on it's history.
I got set up with my shave horse and tiller at about 4 pm and set to working on the spliced Yew stave (see previous post).
There were two guys who got armed up as knights, Paul Thompson ( right, Captain of Company de Lanvalei ) and his mate Chris. They had a bit of a demonstration fight too, they quite got into it and were sweating profusely when they finished, there was even blood drawn from one chaps chin!
There was have a go archery too and I shot my whistling arrows from the Monkey bow, I also shot Twister and my primitive crossbow (which I let a few people try).
The great thing was the people were all both interesting and interested and a great mix of the generations. Lots of kids and some adults had a go on the shave horse trying spokeshave and drawknife (for the bigger ones) on different woods to feel the difference. they all seemed to like making curly shavings. One mum was a little concerned that her lad would castrate himself with the drawknife, but I assured her it was safe (I kept my hands on the handles to reassure her) I couldn't resist teasing her by saying I'll let him try the axe next! (I never take the axe as it's too difficult for kids to use safely). I was pretty much kept busy all the time and barely had time to eat my hog roast. I had a good chat with an interesting chap who was a geologist, we put the world of engineering to rights bemoaning the proliferation of paperwork and certification for everything, and he said he'd watched his grandchildren using the tools happily with my supervision and no paperwork risk assessments and other nonsense (it's what you actually do that matters... I generally find that what's written on paper seldom effects reality) I found time to drink a beer whilst watching the knights (cheers for the beer Mark!), the whole event had a lovely informal atmosphere and it was a joy to see kids running about being kids, a bunch of them were on their bicycles too which was better than being run about by mum and dad.
Thanks to Janet Woodall and WHS for the invitation I had a fine time.