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Great Fires All Over the Place!

I am currently enjoying a run a Great Fire of London visits, with many more still to come before Christmas. Most of the schools so far have had me visit as Sir William Petty visit before, including the three mentioned next, and it is great to be asked back again, to see familiar faces in the staff-room and lots of new children.

Yesterday it was Townville Infants in Castleford where I met two lovely classes who were only just starting their study of the Fire that day, yet several Year 2 scholars had already been researching and knew where and how the Great Fire started. At Our Lady and Brendan’s Primary last Friday I worked with one Year 2 class all day. They finished the day by sketching portraits of Sir William so he could decide which was his best side and other such important considerations. Luckily the class was crammed with artists, a good number already thinking about perspectives and angles. At Baildon Primary the week before the children hung on Sir William’s every word and were very keen to go off and help him by working together to complete his large design for a new London. I am hoping, when I go back to Baildon to meet some older classes as Nevison the highwayman next term, that I will get to see the designs in all their glory.

Click on the following link to find out more about Sir William Petty and the Great Fire of London.

Fame at Last!

Huzzah! At last I am famous, with my name writ large for all to see (provided they were passing the gate to Skipton Castle on the Bank Holiday weekend, and looking in the right direction, etc)

And to prove the little ones in the last news post were indeed my boys (not that I have reason to think any of you doubted the fact) here is a picture that made and makes me smile…

I am now receiving bookings for this term – they are coming in at a gathering pace. Contact me as soon as possible if you want a date and hopefully I can do just the right day for you!

Recruitment at the Castle

Sir John’s Recruitment Goes Moderately Well

Once again this August Bank Holiday Colonel Sir John Mallory was back as Governor of Skipton Castle, defending it against the rebellious roundhead army of the Northern Association.

Having scoured the wapentakes of Claro, Newcrosse and Staincliffe three times for soldiers, once to form his own Trayned Bands regiment, then to supply soldiers for the Earl of Newcastle’s army, and yet again upon the king’s orders, Sir John was getting desperate for recruits. Most commanders stick to able bodied men aged between 16 and 60, but Sir John was forced this last weekend to cast his net a little wider.

Thus it was that the training of the new recruits began in earnest. Here one rather tiny new recruit (I believe he said his name was Thomas and can only assume his second name is Thumb) watches as another musketeer-to-be learns her postures with a matchlock musket …

(Note: Worry not regarding the photographs of children here, both lads you can see are mine! I was very happy to have a surprise visit from them and their mum on the Sunday, and they seemed happy to see me!)

Click on this link to find out more about my Castle Governor character.

Another Adventure for the Highwayman Last Weekend

Recently forced to hide in Skipton Castle while a hue and cry was raised in the town, the famous Yorkshire highwayman ‘Swift Nicks’ Nevison faced an unexpected danger. This took the form of a brave young lad, armed only with a wooden sword, who thought to test the highwayman’s mettle by challenging him to a duel.

Being a courageous sort of gentleman, and having encountered many a threat in his time, from foreign mercenaries to parish constables, Nevison was undeterred and stood his ground.

Soon, however, the potential combatants developed a mutual respect, both good fellows and knowing the other to be the same. Before long the little lad was trying out Nevison’s sword to see how it compared with his own toy blade, and singing its praises as a well balanced blade.

Click here to find out more about the famous highwayman John Nevison.

Tutbury Castle Adventures

I have just returned from the Seventeenth Century Life and Times event at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire. There I played Lieutenant Colonel Peter Kniverton, the governor, defending the castle against the soldiers of Sir William Brereton, rebellious roundheads all.

It went well, apart from a certain duel. I was catching my breath just after we had been hard pressed by an assault …

… when I noticed one fellow, Captain Henry Vernon, heading my way with evil intent. Being of considerably more experience with a blade than me (not exactly a rare occurrence) he had cut me before I could defend myself. I stumbled back away from him …

And luckily a stout sergeant was close at hand to ward the fellow off before he could come at me again …

I am now recovered with little more than my pride hurt, and ready to go and defend Skipton Castle this weekend. This time I shall have my musket with me so hopefully I can deal with the foe before he get’s so close!

School holidays can’t half be dangerous, you know.

Click on this link to find out more about my Castle Governor character.