If you’re ever watched one of our battles and thought “that looks fun” then read on…
It may seem intimidating to just join a new group and turn up to an event without knowing anyone – but everyone has their first ‘muster’ and The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote takes pride in making everyone feel welcome, regardless of their background and role.
It means that whether you take to the field or just want to sample life on the campsite first, you can be assured of a warm welcome and a helping hand.
One of our newest members, Amber, has written a great pirce about her first muster and introducing her friend, Luke, to the world of re-enactment. Luke also recorded an amazing video of their weekend! So take it away, Amber…
During the summer, once I had finished university, I looked up The Sealed Knot and The Earl of Manchester’s in particular. I decided that I would love to go and see one of the battles and so asked on their Facebook page if there were any events coming up that were easy to get to from Manchester. Luckily, there was one coming up at the beginning of August in Chester.
When the time came around, I went to watch the battle. It was a lovely hot day and the battle was great. I had a look around living history and saw some old faces from when I was a member as a child. I was so excited that I had a chat to a few people about the possibility of joining up. I didn’t have to commit to anything there and then, I simply gave some details and was sent an email with some information about ‘The Knot’ which was really useful.
After that I decided that I wanted to get a temporary membership for one of the last musters of the year, Cleethorpes, along with my friend Luke. It was no trouble at all to sign up for a temporary membership for one event and was really easy borrowing kit as most people have spares. Even though I had been in the Sealed Knot before, it had been 7-8 years since my last muster and I was only around the age of 11. Therefore this would be a whole new experience, especially for Luke as he had never been to or seen any of the events before.
We found a few people from our regiment and set up camp. The next day we got together and had a big group breakfast. Again, even though there wasn’t a large amount of us, there was still a huge sense of community which made both me and Luke feel really welcome. Everyone was really friendly, we got speaking to many people, not necessarily just in Manchesters but everyone around us, people we camped by, people that ran the food vans, the bands that played in the beer tent and night.
Around midday It was time for the battle. I was drumming and Luke joined the pike block. It seemed crazy to be on the battlefield in the thick of it, rather than standing on the side lines to watch. It was really exciting to have the musket block firing next to me, the pike blocks in competition with each other and cannons going off either side of the field. There was so much to take in. The smell of gun powder took me right back to my childhood in the sealed knot and I was surprised how easy it was to get right back into it. Everyone looked out for each other, ensuring we were all safe and hydrated in the heat.
Once the battle was over, we marched around the battlefield and back to the living history camp. There was quite a sense of pride to be marching along with an army in front of the public. I remember Luke telling me the battle on the second day was even better than the first and he had really enjoyed it, as did I. The whole weekend went far too quickly and I wanted to stay for longer.
Throughout the weekend, Luke had also been recording small clips on his camera from leaving the train station in Manchester, all the way through to arriving home again on the Sunday evening. I felt that this was such a great way to remember our weekend.
My first muster with the Sealed Knot was absolutely amazing and would 100% recommend to anyone. Since then I have applied for my annual membership and can’t wait for my first muster of the year!
We’d love for you to follow Amber and Luke’s footsteps and be a part of our regiment. For more information about joining, please visit our website or get in touch with our team direct. And if you’re got further questions, check out our website’s handy FAQ.