Sunday, 20 September 2015

Madhouse diaries : Visiting a multi-era reenactment camp

This weekend it's the "journées du patrimoine" (heritage days) so there are loads of free events going on and places to visit. We opted for the  multi-era reenactment camp in a local park.

Pierre was instantly mesmerised by a suit of armour, trying to work out if there was somebody inside it !

He soon got to try being Mike the Knight (or Pierre the Knight !) himself, as one of the medieval reenactors gave him a huge sword to hold.

Juliette tried it for size too ...

And he said she could try on the armour. She thought this was heavy and it was just the suit that goes under the actual armour !

Halt, who goes there ?!

On to more peaceful pursuits, such as lacemaking ...

And calligraphy

We were very impressed with the huge hand-operated bellows that were keeping the blacksmith's fire burning.

As it was a multi-era camp, there were some surreal moments, such as watching a Roman soldier talking to some Vikings.

We stood and watched  a duel going on, as cannons boomed and gunshots reverberated around the woodland ! 

It still seemed quite peaceful though, with the cooking pots bubbling away over the woodfires and craftsmen showing off their skills.

Then we heard shouts and saw a group of Vikings marching towards us.

As they got closer, Pierre and Juliette were horrified to see that the Viking chief had a wolfskin, complete with head, on his helmet and shoulders !

Ahh so that's what was making all that noise !

But that was nothing compared to the bigger one a bit further on, that had some of the grown-ups as well as Pierre and Juliette sticking their fingers in their ears !

After the Vikings, Romans and Napoleonic soldiers (amongst others), we moved into the more modern area, focusing on the two world wars.

One of the army trucks had got totally bogged down in the mud so another of the military vehicles had to come and haul it out ... which seemed to be a source of glee for all the participants (and spectators) !

Luckily the fake blood didn't look too realistic - especially when we walked past a table covered in opened cans of tomato puree !

The trenches did look realistic though - although they sensibly used woodsmoke rather than mustard gas to test out their gas masks !

Everybody seemed to having lots of fun, really getting into character.

Walking past a couple of fake corpses (with a hand sticking out) was a poignant reminder that the real war wasn't just a load of larks though.

We saw lots of the military vehicles that we'd seen at the Operation Dynamo commemorations at the start of the summer.

I couldn't help but snigger when we saw what the GI's rations included though !

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Dragons and Fairy Dust


  1. It looks like you all had a fab day out experiencing what life was like throughout the different eras of war. It's amazing how much protection has changed from the suits of armour to the bullet proof vests they wear today. It's great the kids got a hands on experience with some of the different items from throughout history. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.

    1. Fingers crossed the weather holds for some more outdoor adventures before the winter !

  2. How lovely, history through the ages. Great to have a history lesson without them realising they are learning.
    Yes war was never glorious no matter what time it was, and a timely reminder with it being the anniversary of the battle of Britain. #countrykids

    1. You know you're doing something right when they think they're playing but it's actually educational ! lol

  3. I love events like these. Great it was multi era so you saw a bit of everything. Thanks for linking to out and about

    1. It made it a bit surreal when the different groups were talking to each other !

  4. What a fantastic experience! I'd love to visit a reenactment camp. I've been to one many years ago, when Sasha was very little, and we lived nearby the Blenheim park, it was great fun

    1. If only we lived closer, we could have so many great days out together :)