Joining the army can be a little daunting, we know. We were all new members once and so here’s a handy jargon buster and some FAQ’s that will hopefully answer some of the things you wanted to know.
We start using these terms as second nature after a while of being in this hobby and sometimes we forget that others don’t know what we’re on about! Here’s a table of things you might hear on and off the battlefield
On the field
Off the field
Here’s a list of questions we often get asked by those thinking of joining up, or those who are about to come to their first event.
Do I need to have my own camping stuff?
Ideally yes, the absolute basics you’ll need are your own tent, a sleeping bag, a roll mat or air bed and a chair or blanket to sit on. If you think you’re going to have a problem bringing any of these, please let us know in advance and we’ll be able to help you out.
Do I need my own 17th Century kit or weapons?
No, we can provide everything you’ll need 17th Century wise. All you need to do is ensure you’ve given someone (probably Kate or Linda) your basic height, chest and waist measurements and your shoe size and Linda our Kit co-ordinator will make sure you have all the clothes you need. Our Musket and Pike officers will make sure we have a pike and helmet or dummy musket for you to borrow.
Do I need to be able to drive?
Nope, let us know where you’re coming from and to and we’ll try and either arrange a lift or arrange to pick you up and take you back to the local station.
Where are the events?
They differ every year and are all over the UK. You’ll get lots of information when you sign up though so you’ll know in advance what events are happening where each year. Some events are the same every year such as our event at Nantwich every January, our event at Basing House, Hampshire every Easter and our parades at Ripple and Edgehill every October.
How do I know where I’m going?
Each event has a ‘Warning Order’ which is a document containing all the details. These are circulated in print form in the society’s magazine (which you’ll receive if you join up for the whole year) and are circulated electronically. The majority of the time, these are circulated via email by our Internal Communications manager Nick and before the first event we’ll make sure you get a copy so you have all the information about the local area, directions to the event etc.
What if I can’t make the whole weekend?
That’s absolutely fine! If you’re not able to make the whole weekend but are wanting to come along for just part of it, there’s no problem. It will be lovely to see you for however long you’ve got!
Do I have to come to every single event?
Much as we’d all love to make every event, other aspects of life get in the way and that’s totally understandable. Please come along to as many or as few events as you can throughout the year, there really is no pressure. Our internal communications such as our Facebook group and our Newsletter will let you know which ones the regiment aim to be at in large numbers (usually the August Bank Holiday major event and Anniversary events) which are the ones we’d most like to see you at but if that doesn’t work for you, it’s not a problem.
Across the whole society there are events up and down the country and as you’re joining the wider Sealed Knot Society by joining up to us, you’re able to go to whichever take your fancy. Event lists are printed on the back of the society magazine that comes out regularly through the year so you’ll know what’s coming up.
If I’ve really enjoyed my first event and want to come back, what do I do?
We’ll ask you to fill out one more form (sorry!) to sign you up for the rest of the year. Unfortunately we’ll ask for a bit more money too but this money goes to providing the insurance and facilities needed to put on the event.
What facilities are on site?
Basically, think festival style for the camping and facilities available, we’d be lying if we said it was anything more than basic but don’t let that put you off, it’s not as bad as it sounds written down!
At smaller events, there is usually just a water point and some portaloos, sometimes with one or two food traders but this isn’t guaranteed, please check in advance on the Warning Order or ask someone else in the regiment.
At larger events there will be the portaloos and water point(s) along with a beer tent and food traders.
Local shops, garages, pubs, cash machines etc depend on the proximity of the event to local towns. Some events are in towns or cities and therefore amenities are easily within walking distance. Events at stately homes and farms tend not to be close to towns and therefore facilities are a drive away. If you don’t drive there’s usually someone popping out at points through the weekend and you can always ask for a lift, just pay the driver back with a drink!
Can I bring my own food and drink?
Of course, if you have a suitable camping stove and cookware you are not obliged to eat from the food vans. We do enjoy a few drinks in this hobby and often sit around camp with them so please feel free to bring your own. Our only ask is that you don’t take your own drink into the Beer Tent. It’s not the done thing, the same way taking your own cans to the pub is frowned upon.
How quickly am I expected to buy my own stuff after joining?
Whenever you’re able to, there is no pressure on this; please don’t feel you have to be fully kitted out by your second event! The kit isn’t the cheapest we understand so start slowly and build up. Linda our kit co-ordinator will always be happy to provide the bits you don’t have yet. We do advise asking members of the regiment before making purchases, especially online, just so you’re getting the right things and not wasting money on something that turns out to be unsuitable. We’re all ready and willing to help you out so please don’t be afraid to ask.
I’m not sure I fancy fighting for the King, is that a problem?
Current opinions about the Monarchy don’t really come into play in this hobby. We fight for the King for an hour or so a day and sometimes jest with our friends in Parliamentarian regiments but nothing more than a bit of fun. Once we’re off the battlefield everyone is friends and the monarchy isn’t mentioned much.
If you really don’t fancy taking to the field as a soldier of the King, we would recommend joining our friends in the Earl of Manchester’s regiment where you’ll find an equally warm welcome and be able to fight for Parliament. We’re always going to need an enemy to fight so we’d rather direct you to them than lose you from the hobby.
I had the best weekend ever! How do I tell my friends all about it?
We’re on social media so please share and like our pages and posts! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We need to keep membership numbers up to keep the society going so please tell your friends and spread the word about us so we can continue to bring in new members.
I’m not from Yorkshire, is that an issue?!
Much as our regiment is proud and very vocal about it’s ancestral and modern Yorkshire heritage, we welcome people from all over with open arms, honest!