Last weekend I became a Parliamentarian musketeer once again at a large reenactment event at Newstead Abbey near to Nottingham. Luckily the photographer Carl Blythe was on hand to take a picture of me marching with my fellow Tower Hamleteers. (I will admit our average age might be just a tad over the average age the soldiers would have been – at 48 I myself am an ancient soldier!)
And the photographer Steve Liddle caught another image of me close up and looking somewhat pensive. I have no idea what was on my mind!
I can learn a lot by reading history books, but I gain a different kind of knowledge, also useful, from taking part in these reenactments: How small one feels when the horse soldiers are galloping by; how your ears ring when even a small field piece goes off close to you; the ease with which one can fall into step with the drums during a march (and the aching legs and back that comes with it); and the disorientation when suddenly the ranks and files around you have lost their form.