Jan 25, 2011 | Category: Guardian.co.uk, Travel, Events, History
I used to paint toy soldiers when I was a kid and loved the craft of bringing them to life... but this is something else, this is role playing on a whole other level. It's a lifestyle.
What I didn't know about these extreme hobbyists is that they travel the country and take part in battles almost every summer weekend. This is one of the few winter events so it's extra muddy, extra cold and attracts the toughest and the hardest. I also didn't realise that they're competing out there. It's not all about history, it's about sport and endurance and camaraderie.
Chris Crookes was an absolute legend on the day. He's a royalist pikeman, but was injured and so became my chaperone and guide. He took care of me on the battlefield and kept me out of danger, while still getting us close enough for the best shots.
Music was a big question on this one. I had to find something from the 17th century that wasn't too light and dancy. "Beggar Boy" by Jeremy Barlow and the broadside band was the perfect fit, simple, no-frills, but moody and distinctive. Thanks Jeremy for letting me use your track.