Some of the Swords and Spindles team will be at Buckland Brewer fete, North Devon on Saturday afternoon, with musket, pike and drum. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to try on costume or armour. Then, just after six o’clock, we will be mustering an army for the king on the amenities field. Pikemen (or women) of all ages required, no experience necessary, training will be given.
Five Swords and Spindlers were on hand to introduce the good folk of Bideford to their way of life yesterday. Mistress Mary performed the makeovers, seventeenth century style, whilst Sir Francis advised on the wearing of armour and sword etiquette. There were tense matches of Nine Men’s Morris, whilst Mistress Abigail spoke of food and drink. Meanwhile, Master Christopher removed troublesome mumblepins on demand. He was also observed inspecting the urine of good folk to diagnose their ills.
Mistress Agnes was in charge of crafting plague rats and masks, ably assisted by Mistress Abigail, who did also most thoughtfully ply the team with beverages. Those who crossed our threshold seemed most entertained by our activities. We thank all those who joined in, some traveling across moor and mountain (well moor anyway) in their horseless carriages to be with us. Thanks too to Bideford Bay Creatives, specifically the Way of the Wharves project for their support.
Swords and Spindles are available to attend Heritage Days and Fairs and would be pleased to stage a similar family fun day in a town near you.
Mistress Agnes hath been busy with scissors and glue, fashioning various items of an historical nature. These will be launched on an unsuspecting public tomorrow when Swords and Spindles will be out in strength to provide merriment, entertainment and hands on history for folk of all ages. To be honest she is finding that ‘safety glue’ is really not up to affixing noses to plague rats or sequins to headdresses. Mayhap she should boil up a few bluebell bulbs or fish bones instead but methinks the elves and safety folk may disapprove.
Saddle your horses then good folk and head for that wonderous Pollyfield Centre, East of the Water in the town of By the Ford between the hours of half of ten o’clock and four. Skirmishes of the civil war mean that there be soldiers in town – best keep a close eye on Mistress Abigail. We be near to the fort of James Chudleigh, built as a Parliamentarian measure to control the busy trading river. We do hear tell though that in later times James did change sides and support the king. If the day be fine you can observe Master Christopher shooting a few Parliamentarians and you will be impressed into the army of the king to wield pike or sword. We do have pikes large and small so there is no escape. Master Christopher can cure all battle wounds (be warned the usual cure involves an axe).
Gather pomander, tuzzy-muzzy or charms as plague do abound in the town, brought in ’tis now believed, with a cargo of wool from Spain. Many have perished in this pestilence but our worshipful mayor John Strange be quarantining folk so we hope for survival. We will however let you through the barricades if you be stealthy (crossing our palms with groats always helps). Fear not, Mistress Mary doth have a wealth of herbal cures for any who succumb. John Davie did settle here, though his country estate be inland at Buckland Brewer, trading in tobacco and becoming wealthy. His former home is now a tavern of some renown. Sir Francis may take a pipe of tobacco with him, or imbibe the fortified wine but the mistresses need to have a care as John Davie did also testify against those of the town who were accused of witchcraft.