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The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Return to Upnor Castle 
18th-Jun-2008 11:26 am
Norfolke Trayned Bandes
My, it's been a long time since I last posted properly...

Went to a muster at Upnor Castle at the weekend. Just like last year's, this one was a great little event, actually Civil War-based, recreating the Royalist rebellion in 1648, rather than Anglo-Dutch Wars (so no yelling "Let op! Drempels!" this year!

  • Getting to sleep in a castle tower - a bit of a worry at first as space was limited and there was a risk of having to pitch and strike tents each morning before the public arrived (modern plastic tents not looking very authentic and all). Still had to get our gear out each morning but that was much easier.
  • Slight pain having to trudge up hill (in hobnail boots!) back to car if there was anything I needed (e.g. discovering castle bogs were out of paper on Sunday morning - damned close run thing there). Ended up donating roll to poor chap who staggered in as I was leaving. He returned it later saying "Thank you very much for the loo roll. In fact, most of our regiment thanks you." :-)
  • Got issued more gunpowder than you can shake a stick at (over 40 shots worth per day) - much more than we could fire off during drill and the musters so we were allowed to go fire it off over the river bastions, as last year. So much so that I had to pause a few times as my barrel was getting too hot! Even had a go on Simon's and Mike's flintlocks, the latter actually being a Napoleonic period one. Very nice indeed. (says to self: DO NOT NEED ANOTHER MUSKET!)
  • One moment of excitement when I had a hang fire. I was just reaching to close the pan when it went off. Felt the hot flash on my face and had to quickly check my eyebrows were still there!
  • Hilarious and rather surreal parleys during the skirmishes. Tried and failed to snigger and grin too much at the "dialogue". Quite like someone's comment that wouldn't it be a laugh if the parley actually succeeded just once and one side surrendered or yielded the field!
  • Late night circle of port and cheese up in the supposedly haunted clock tower. Alas, the ghost didn't show but we did make a space for him in the circle
  • Absolutely mad but lovely Jack Russell named Molly who got terribly excited every time as soon as she smelled lit match or heard musket commands and wanted to run off to play with the musketeer(s)
  • Oddly, large group of Americans in one of the pubs' beer gardens, occasionally causing eyes to roll with questions like "Where's your longbow?"
  • Not Americans but a guy in the pub did say to me "I didn't know the Gurkhas were in the Civil War?" I did like Kate's reply that I was a bit tall for a Gurkha. Someone else was also heard to make a comment as we were heading back to cars on Sunday about Morris dancing which resulted in some muttering and gritting of teeth :-)
18th-Jun-2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
How much does a musket typically cost?
18th-Jun-2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
According to Derbyshire Arms' site, £359 and up. I bought my matchlock second-hand (but barely used which was why it was up for for sale) for £150.

Also need to factor (ISTR) £60 for the shotgun certificate and black powder explosives license and £130 or so for an extra-tall gun cabinet (muskets are typically much longer than a standard shotgun).
18th-Jun-2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
that's bad ass. i LOVE history... but I suck at memorizing facts- so its not a good major for me.


Glad you had fun though. I've always wanted to sleep in a castle. I'd feel like a princess. HOLLA!
18th-Jun-2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Heh. Not exactly Royal accomodations though: sleeping bag and mat on a stone floor with about half a dozen other people!

Caveat: I am not a trained historian, just an interested amateur, but history strikes me as being at least as much about understanding the chain of decisions, consequences, causes and effects etc as it is about remembering dates and names: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" and all that...
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