If you like the idea coming along or maybe even joining up, that's great! You will probably have questions so hopefully these will address your main concerns. If there's something we've missed or you just want to enquire about something, make sure to contact us!
Q. Are the battles dangerous?
A. It certainly can be. However safety is one of out biggest priorities and we definitely try to avoid accidents as much as possible. We do yearly training events and refresher drills at every event so our members are always refreshed and up to date on the rules of safety. If there is a newbie in the ranks, we always look out for each other.
Q. Do I need to buy the kit before I can get involved?
A. No! We have lots of spare kit and equipment that you can borrow. It's helpful if we know that you are coming in advance so we can make sure that you have everything that you'll need.
Q. Do I need a licence to fire a musket?
A. By law a gunpowder licence is required to fire at our events. However that doesn't mean you can't play! You can join the ranks with a dummy musket - it won't actually fire anything, but you still get to experience of being in the midst of a 17th century battle. Just make sure to shout bang!
Q. Do I need to develop a 'character' and stay in character all weekend?
A. Re-enactment events generally follow a script and during the re-enactment and we act as a unit rather than as an individual as our focus is on producing an exciting display for our visitors. Mind you, there is nothing to stop you having a back story if you want one!
Q. How do I know if I’ve ‘died’?
A. As we are generally performing public displays rather than having individual contests, we’d much rather have you up, about and taking part in the re-enactment than being ‘dead’. If the script calls for casualties, you’ll be told in advance so can either run away or give yourself an Oscar-worthy death scene. Besides, historically, a large number of civil war fatalities were due to illness and infection away from the battlefield so running away wouldn’t be too anachronistic!
Q. If women didn’t fight in the civil war, what do they do during the battle?
A. Although women were officially banned from taking part in battles during the actual civil war, it is no longer the seventeenth century! As long as you are prepared to wear a male costume, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from taking part. Some of the regiment’s finest soldiers are women ‘in disguise’.
Q. How will I know what to do?
A. We will give you lots of training and practice the morning of your first event so you are confident with the commands and role that you play on the battlefield. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it! Remember that we were all new once and there are plenty of people to look out for you. If the battle isn’t your cup of tea and you are more interested in the living history, we can pair you up with re-enactors who are interested in similar areas so you can learn from them and develop your own interests.
Q. What if I don’t know anything about the English Civil War?
A. Most of us didn’t either before we joined ECWS! This is a social hobby; if talking to the public about the war isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of us that love it. And if you do want to learn more about the period, there are plenty of us who can help you out with that too.
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