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Welcome to the SU page for the Re-enactment Society. Here you can do many things, such as learn about this society and join us. We're an inclusive society for those who need a good history fix, a pleasant place to hang out, or just want to try something new!
What's all this about then?
Simply put, we re-enact early medieval history, from the Battle of Hastings through to the mid-13th century! At events we attend, we are usually part of a living history encampment where we show members of the public a variety of skills and crafts from the time period such as fletching, sewing, and food preparation, to name only a few, all whilst dressed in clothing of the period. At these events, we also participate in combat displays which can sometimes have hundreds of people on the field at the same time!
That all sounds fun, but do I have to do everything?
Not at all. Whilst we encourage people to have a go at everything we offer, if you decide that something isn't for you then this hobby has many other avenues that can be explored. . Similarly, say you don’t have an interest in sewing but do fancy some woodwork then we will help you with that as well.
Sounds good but it also sounds expensive.
We have a selection of kit that we can lend out to new people to use including clothes, weapons, and footwear. If you decide that re-enactment is for you, then we have the skills and knowledge to guide you along the journey of getting your own kit. Whilst there is obviously a cost to you getting your own kit together, no one expects you to do this immediately. At our craft sessions, we can help you make your kit yourself (which saves money), and by spreading purchases out over time this hobby isn’t as expensive as it might seem on the surface.
Ok, so what would joining let me do?
We typically have two weekly sessions. One midweek session focused on crafting, and one weekend session that is combat focused. We also do some stand-alone sessions which allow us to do some of the messier outdoor crafts that we might not be able to do indoors (such as making and painting shields). In these sessions, we teach you the skills you will need to make your own clothing and equipment and partake in combat.
We also make trips to re-enactment markets such as The Original Reenactors Market (TORM) and the Cambridge Living History Fair. These are prime opportunities to get some first-hand experience of the re-enactment world. We also take part in events around the country. These are the highlight of the hobby for many of us. They offer us a chance to meet up with other groups, interact with the public and immerse ourselves in a full living history set up with crafts and camping (more comparable to glamping more than regular camping). Often a show will have a combat slot where we recreate either a hypothetical event from the past, a tournament of competing knightly households or re-enacting an actual historical battle such as the Battle of Hastings.
We already have a few shows lined up over the next year that you can take part in:
• May 2022 -Murton Hall Medieval Village: Here we’ll be portraying the inhabitants of a medieval settlement circa 1200 CE. We’ll be staying in a re-constructed early medieval village and there’ll be a variety of crafts on display. There will also be several acting opportunities too, based around the local lord visiting the village.
• June 2022 - The Battle of 1000 Spears: This is a fictitious battle set in Viking Age Britain where we will be playing as either Anglo Saxons or the invading Viking Danes. This is a new show that is running for the first time, so details are a bit thin but is likely to also be on the larger side. Given this is outside of the time period we usually portray we may need to make some modifications to our equipment as well.
• August 2022 - The Battle of Evesham: The 1265 battle which decided the Second Barons War, in which we will be portraying the retinue of Henry de Montfort. This is a large-scale battle with hundreds of people taking part.
• October 2022 - The Battle of Hastings: This is an annual event every October and is the largest medieval re-enactment in the country with hundreds of reenactors on the field. The site of the event is in the shadow of Battle Abbey on the site where the historical battle was fought.
There will also be training weekends where we get together with other groups and take part in larger scale combat training as well as getting practice in for displays in living history.
How do I join?
We have student memberships and Alumni/Non-student memberships available. The first 4 sessions are free and then you will be required to join the student Society. To partake in combat past the first four sessions you will need to join the external society we work with, Stronghold Reenactment, for the cost of £25 for a year’s membership. The bulk of this money is spent on covering insurance that is necessary to take part in events. The rest is spent on organising transport, and the maintenance and purchase of kit.
Where do I find out more?
We will be hosting an online meet and greet before our first session on Thursday the 30th of September. It is also highly advised that you join our Discord Server, which is used to host online discussions, get announcements about events as well as also acting as a place for us to share digital resources.
We also have a Facebook Page and a new Instagram account that we can be contacted through.
We also have an email listed on this page and if you search for SU-Reenactment on Outlook you will also find us.
Link for Discord Server
What is Discord? It is an online service that is great for organising communities around. It is functionally similar to Microsoft Teams and is free to download for Desktop, IOS and Android.
Who is the committee?
President: Evan Whelan (They/Them)
Secretary: Daniel Knight (He/Him)
Treasurer: Anna Travella (She/Her)
Wellbeing and Inclusivity Officer: Evan Whelan (They/Them)