Naseby 370

Posted June 17, 2015 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

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This will be an attempt to sum up an event involving thousands of people spread over several zones on two days of military heritage commemoration and festival … in a few pictures.  It’ll be inadequate but it might give you a flavour of the biggest event we have ever hosted at Naseby.   It was not without its hiccups but most people seem to have been blown away by its passion, richness and sheer size.

Naseby 370 02(photographs copyright and courtesy of The Naseby Battlefields Project)

Sealed Knot camps spread around the village, with an exhibition site and Living History on Mill Hill, adjacent to the battlefield … and a dedicated field for reenacting the main fight.   There were events in the village on both days … march throughs recreating the celebrated events of the approach to battle – columns clattering through the village, hastily abandoned meals, commanders marshalling their troops.

Naseby 370 03(photographs copyright and courtesy of The Naseby Battlefields Project)

On Sunday morning the sun shone on a moving drumhead service commemorating the sacrifice on both sides in the struggle for Parliamentary liberties.   Later, at 3pm on Mill Hill, tea was served as part of a national network of events celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

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In the Mill Hill exhibition pavilions we were joined by The Northampton Battlefields Society, Helion Books, David Lanchester, Phoenix Gaming Club, The Battlefields Trust, The Friends of Kettering art Gallery and Museum, Kettering Civic, poet Clare Mulley, the artists of KDAS and photographer Sebastian Nevols.  Thanks to all of them for their support.   A broad mix of local groups,  heritage champions, families, artists and photographers

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As well as the wargames, we had model layouts of Northamptonshire’s key battles, Naseby and Northampton

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… and on Sunday, Naseby Project patron, Earl Spencer cleverly avoided the VIP network in order to come over to the exhibition area and meet the exhibitors and visitors (above, signing and dedicating a copy of his book on the regicides, The killers of the King, for an appreciative reader).

Naseby 370 09(some scenes from the drumhead service at Naseby Church on the Sunday morning)

Naseby 370 10(photographs copyright and courtesy of The Naseby Battlefields Project)

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Authentic displays and weapons drills for youngsters were complimented by live music and revelry for reenactors and guests from the village, trade and exhibitions on the Saturday night.

Well, that might just give an impression of this massive event.  Inevitably, as host of the exhibition and visitor zone on Mill Hill, I couldn’t get round and record all this myself, so I am really grateful to all the photographers who have shared their pictures vis social media.  This would not just be Naseby’s biggest event, but also its best documented.

You too can help defend this historic battlefield (and help the Naseby Project put on more events in the future): become a member … you donation will really count.   Your support will make a difference.

Naseby 370 12(preliminary display: defending the Baggage Trayne – image copyright and courtesy of the Naseby Battlefield Project)

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Some exhibitors at Naseby 370

Posted June 14, 2015 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

370 Sa 03

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Naseby Battlefield Project at Milton Keynes

Posted May 12, 2015 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

Campaign 2015 21

I took along the Naseby battlefield layout to help promote the upcoming Naseby 370 event.

This will be on display in the visitor area, along with the Battlefields Trust, The Pike & Shot Society, wargames from the Phoenix Group and lots of other family and enthusiast activities to support your day out.

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I have had the soldier collection that did the round of shows some while back refurbished … fitted with Fluttering Flags and rebased … the flags are intentionally generic with a flavour of 1645 (and should allow other battles to be modelled of course ) … Worth a look, nevertheless, I hope …

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We did not play through the battle as a wargame but moved the pieces during the course of each day as an instructional tableau adding hamster bedding to mark the firing (which – a pleasant surprise – immediately drew the attention of passing shoppers) …

Campaign 2015 15(the battle opens with Okey’s dragoons firing into the flank of the King’s cavalry)

Campaign 2015 16(the King’s army advances across Broadmoor to take on the New Model Army)

Campaign 2015 17(Parliament’s red-coated infantry await their baptism of fire)

Campaign 2015 28(Naseby: mid-afternoon)

Campaign 2015 29(the King’s reserve does not commit and Cromwell’s cavalry reserves are able to enclose the infantry fighting on Closter Hill)

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Well, a great show and 2 splendid day’s out explaining Northamptonshire’s military heritage to the shoppers of Milton Keynes.

Thank you, everyone who stopped, for your interest in our project and I hope you enjoyed the exhibits.

Please come along to the big event in June: Naseby 370

Newark’s Big Weekend …

Posted May 5, 2015 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

NCWC event 01

May Bank Holiday saw a spectacular event in Newark: Fortress Newark saw the town invaded by hundreds (over a thousand I understand) Civil War soldiers, commemorating the sieges and welcoming into existence the new National Civil War Centre.

It was a huge event and I only have a little camera (but maybe I can give a flavour of the spectacle) …

NCWC event 02(living history at Newark Castle)

NCWC event 03(some of the besiegers at the castle)

NCWC event 04(youngsters watching how traditional smithing works)

There were drill demos and more stalls in the town square

NCWC event 05(Civil War soldiers demonstrate drills in Newark’s historic town square)

NCWC event 06(youngsters learn traditional soldiers games)

And on the fringes of the town, at the Queen’s Sconce, there was a full-on battle fought out …

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NCWC event 10(Newark: the King’s army mustering behind the lines)

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NCWC event 11(the King’s guns bear down on Newark)

NCWC event 09(the army of Parliament at the Queen’s Sconce)

The National Civil War Centre …

Although I had been up some time back for some advice from the Museum team in Newark (who have been very supportive of the work we are doing at Naseby), this was my first look inside the newly opened Civil War Gallery.

Reassuringly, it was very busy.

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NCWC event 13(given it has to be full of interpretation and buttons to push, there were plenty of proper Museum exhibits)

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NCWC event 14(there are some more flags to go up, I’m told)

Well, what a splendid day … so much to see – a really big show to establish Newark’s Civil War heritage!

Don’t forget to come to Naseby next month

Naseby 370 … 13th and 14th June 2015

Posted April 28, 2015 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

2014-15 Yearbook 42

ECW History … Live!

Posted July 24, 2014 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

History Live! 14 29(all smiles on the Battlefields Trust stand at History Live! 2014)

I was able to have 2 days assisting the Battlefields Trust at History Live again this year, and although mostly manning and explaining my Battle of  Northampton display*, added a few more pictures to my collection …

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Give or take the violent electrical storms (which, mercifully, mostly struck overnight) it was a warm, at times, sweltering weekend and the public turned out in numbers, especially on the Sunday …

History Live! 14 31(History Live! 2014: a beautiful summer Sunday in Northamptonshire)

The event brings history to life, especially military history, and has plenty to get youngsters involved, from impromptu theatre …

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… to the very busy wargames tent (historical wargames to join in presented by the Phoenix club of Rushden)

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… History for all the family and a lively and compelling event from English Heritage

*for a more general report on the event, see Ancients on the Move/History Live!

Cropredy Bridge 1644 (2)

Posted July 14, 2014 by yesthatphil
Categories: Uncategorized

CoW 2014 03a(Not Quite an Abbey Road: WD’s Friday Specials cross the vicious 361 at Hay’s Bridge)

Fresh from genning up a couple of weeks back with the Battlefields Trust, I was back at Cropredy with WD, supplying the interpretation while JB directed the tour.

The walking tour had missed Hay’s Bridge due to the traffic (and low effort reward ratio, as much of the view is overgrown and the viewpoints negligible) … but WDers are made of stern stuff and grittily performed all necessary manoeuvres to park, stop ‘U’-turn etc. at this key point.

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It gives me the chance to add a few pictures of Hay’s Bridge today.

Waller’s plan included taking the  bridge in order to cut the King’s army in two – then destroy the tail left on the Wardington side of the bridge in detail.

Hazzlerigg’s troopers made it to the bridge but encountered stiff resistance and were sent reeling back towards Cropredy and were counter-attacked by a detachment of Lifeguards from beyond the river (precisely what was meant to be prevented by taking the bridge!)

CoW 2014 Cropredy visit(looking back from the bridge at Wardington fields dropping down towards us at the river – full of powder smoke in 1644 from the action at the crossing)

CoW 2014 Cropredy visit 02(looking back towards Cropredy Bridge from Wardington field: photo)

The soldiers amongst us were fascinated by this bungled attempt to cut off and encircle a marching force and are already thinking of innovative ways to devise the wargame … I think we were all disappointed by the dearth of archaeological work done at this battlefield and it will certainly be useful to look at some reconstructed field patterns.

CoW 2014 04(the Cherwell today at Hay’s Bridge)

We had met up at the Brasenose Arms for lunch, and to reduce our convoy to the minimum number of cars necessary.

After viewing the main area of the battlefield by car from both bridges, the Wardington Ash, and from walking towards the middle,  we returned to the pub to debrief and make our way to Knuston.    A briefer visit than the walking tours, but valuable and worthwhile nonetheless.

(a general report on CoW2014)