I recently went to the Festival of History which was held at Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire. This was an immense multi-period re-enactment event organised by English Heritage who are an organisation that promote and conserve historical sites, buildings and monuments and also play a role in educating so that the past is understood.
At this event there was everything there from the Romans, through the Vikings, Normans, Civil War through to the First and Second World Wars. There were re-enactments, living history villages and of course stalls selling period goods and crafts.
Regulars to Bobkats House will remember that I practice Western Martial Arts or Historical Martial Arts and so I was very happy to find a proper armourer there. He had a small hearth and an anvil set up and was working away in front of a fascinated crowd. While I watched he made a torc bangle and then later a dagger. There is something about a practical man that is good with his hands, especially one that wears an apron! LOL! It turns out that he was from the Czech Republic, a country with a rich history in armoury and his company was Kovex-Ars.
I don't know if it's because I do a desk job but I have a lot of respect for truly skilled craftsmen. I must admit, that I get a lot of satisfaction from doing something practical rather than going to meetings, and being emboiled in organisational politics myself. It is far more easy to be 'in the moment' when you are making something or doing something similar. You focus entirely on the task at hand and when you are done there are very tangible results. You can see what you have achieved. I think that is something I miss in my everday work. My tools are a computer, diary, pen and paper. Other than at appraisal time, it cna be hard to judge how well you are doing.
Anyway, I had my camera with me that day so I couldn't resist taking some pics of the armourer working, and of his stall. I will be posting some more pics from the Festival soon including some of WWI planes that had a staged dog-fight and a battle between the Vikings and Normans. Not something you see every day!