At the weekend, Newcastle’s regiment headed out for their final event of 2015 at Edgehill in Warwickshire. The event was held at Kineton Sports and Social Club, in the village of Kineton, just on the edge of the original battlefield.
Having braved the rain on Saturday, glorious Autumn sunshine accompanied us on the memorial march on Sunday morning and held through to the battle in the afternoon.
Our regiment started arriving on Friday afternoon and into the evening and had a good time catching up in the clubhouse, before preparing for the weekend’s events the following two days. On the Friday evening we welcomed Thai into our regiment who had found out about us through one of our members and decided to give it a go. It was a great opportunity to get to know him and tell him about what to expect over the weekend as he had never done anything like this before.
We were up bright and early on Saturday to find it was a little on the damp side but not to be deterred we got Thai kitted up in his 17th Century clothes and the Newcastle’s Blog Fairy went off to fetch our other new member for the weekend Laurence, who was staying in nearby Banbury. Once back at the campsite, Laurence was also kitted out in everything he’d need for the weekend and after spending some time getting to know the regiment it was time to do some drill, to allow Laurence and Thai to get to grips with what they were doing.
Both of them were going in the pike block and pikeman Kieran showed them what they had to do and explained how the orders worked and everything else they would need to know before they and the rest of the regiment formed up ready to take to the battle field.
As the event was only small, there weren’t a huge amount of people from the regiment there, so our pikeman joined in with a couple of other regiments to form a block big enough to take to the field.
Our CO Dave also decided that since there were plenty of officers there that day, he would go back to being a rank and file soldier for the weekend and headed off to join the rest of the Tercio Musketeers and was our sole Musketeer for the weekend!
Even after the most monumental rainstorm coming down half way through the battle leading to soggy clothes and slippy pike pushes,everyone came off the field happy and our two new recruits seemed to really enjoy themselves. We headed to the clubhouse to dry off and watch the rugby before more of our members joined us for the evening after being busy during the day and we went on to have a fantastic night in the club house chatting, sampling the beer festival ales and dancing to the band that was on in one of the rooms.
Sunday morning was a cold but brighter start and the regiment was up and getting ready for the morning’s parade. Other members of the regiment were arriving to join us for the day and although Laurence was only able to join us for the one day, new member Thai was getting ready for is first parade and looking forward to being able to experience something else as well as the battle.
The original Edgehill battlefield is now land owned by MOD Kineton, an army Munitions base and we are very kindly allowed to go on once a year to take part in a memorial service and lay wreaths at the monument that is one the site. The march was glorious in the Autumn sunshine and the service was an opportunity to reflect on all those who’s lives are and have been touched in some way by war.
Once back from the parade and having munched some lunch, it was time for the Sunday’s battle which was in far better conditions weather wise than the previous day. We had 9 men of our own and teamed up with Hawkin’s, Tillier’s, Vaughan’s, River’s and Rupert’s to make a block of 21.
Dave joined the ranksof the tercio’s musket block for the battle and had a good battle without rain causing issues with black powder this time.
The Pikeman came off the field very pleased with how they did and pleased to have been able to work together so well with people from so many regiments to put up a fantastic effort against the parliamentarian block.
Overall, it was a really good weekend that all members of the regiment were saying they really enjoyed. We had a good time despite the weather on Saturday and both of our new recruits said that they had thoroughly enjoyed their weekend with us, with a view to joining us for more events next year, so that was fantastic. Thai said this about his weekend with us:
“Off the field, the genial regimental atmosphere is a joy to partake in and most becoming to new recruits. On the field, things seem chaotic, fearsome, dangerous and painful – all in all an excellent and invigorating experience!”
It seems strange that the season has come to an end and we’re all going to miss it over the winter, but luckily there is the annual event at Nantwich at the end of January, where we incidentally don’t camp(!!), to tide us over until the 2016 season begins properly again in April.
We have various other things going on over the next few months though, including sewing weekends, our annual Feaste and other social occasions going on to ensure that we can all keep up with each other over the winter season. There’s always something going on for the Newcastle’s Family!
As ever, if you think that you’d like to get involved with this when we start all over again in April, please head to the Joining Us page to find out how to go about joining us for a weekend.
Images courtesy of Beth Parker and Icnic Images.