Blackwell's is inclusive of all - all ages, genders and abilities. We have a wide age range of members with an assortment of interests. They come from all walks of life, ranging from students, civil servants, carpenters, teachers and even serving and former service personnel.
What to expect at your first muster.
An experience that is hard to describe. Suffice to say that we offer escapism, excitement and something for all. We are very much a family orientated regiment but also a safe and welcoming environment for those who choose to come on their own.
When you arrive at your first muster, you will be welcomed at the guard tent by the organising regiment. Tell them that you are a new recruit for Blackwell’s, (KA). They will then ask you to complete an information card and direct you in the general direction of where Blackwell’s are camped.
We will then support you to complete your temporary membership forms but this usually happens after you have been introduced to lots of people, we have helped you put your tent up and supplied you with a large drink. Then comes the fun part, you get to dress up in ‘funny clothes’. It will feel strange to start with but you will then be surprised how comfy and warm they are and you will end up not wanting to change back to your ‘normal’ clothes.
You may already have an idea of a role in which you would like to ‘try your hand’ (pike, musket, artillery or camp followers ,who have an important part to play in supporting the troops on the field too), but there is no pressure. You can watch or participate in drill where you can handle the weapons, hear the commands and generally copy the person in front of you until you get the hang of it.
Your first time on a battle field will be a little scary, you will have forgotten all that you learnt at drill, there are a lot more people around you even maybe some horses running around and it will be noisy, but don’t worry you will be looked after by an experienced ‘buddy’.
After the battle we can relax and enjoy the evening ahead. There is usually a camp fire where people will gather and socialise. There may be a beer tent where there will be a band playing or you can visit a pub and sample the local beers. The choice is yours.
Day two and we do it all again. It won’t feel so scary and the noise will seem to have some purpose to it. You will see a little more of the battle going on around you and notice just how much people are enjoying themselves. To round off the day, another evening of socialising, singing and talking of the weekend’s events.
Well, that’s your first muster over. A weekend where you have left the stresses of normal life behind and have discovered a hobby that will hopefully become part of your life.
So why not come and join us and give this great hobby a try.
Yours in the cause
Blackwell’s membership secretary and water carrier