A Light-hearted Look at a ‘Typical’ Sealed Knot Weekend. (This may be useful in indicating to potential new members what to expect from their first muster).
12 noon to early hours of Saturday morning – Arrive at SK campsite, find out from camp guard where the Western Association are camped. Find Stamford’s camping area within the Association. This gets harder as night progresses, no street lighting in the middle of a field!
The next two to three hours after arriving, spend time – Deciding where to camp / put caravan. Talking to members of the regiment you haven’t seen for months. Moving your tent / caravan to a better spot. Talking to friends from other regiments you haven’t seen for months. Once your tent / caravan are all ticketty-boo find out where the water point / toilets / elsan disposal point / beertent / sutlers / traders are (not necessarily in that order!).
If not past midnight / 1am – Go to beertent (or fall into bed).
Generally between about 10-11am – (Having breakfasted at a reasonable hour) Drill, this may be just pike or musket within the regiment or a whole association drill which will include everyone. Find out from CO or association commander the timings for the afternoon and whether the association is doing the pre-battle display.
If the Western Association is not doing the pre-battle display:
12.30 – 2.15pm – Free time – lunch, beertent, visit traders’ row and spend money on kit and other stuff you can’t really afford.
2.20 – Prepare for form-up
2.30pm – March off to battle standards flying, drummers drumming. 17th century soldiers chanting ‘England’s freedom, soldiers’ rights, no popery, one King, King Jesus!’
3pm – Battle starts – excitement as the pike make first contact with enemy pike, explosions from the cannon, crack of musket fire, smoke, and gallop of the cavalry. All seems confusion, but for the commentators explaining what’s happening to the audience.
5pm –Battle draws to a close. Armies form up to march off
5.30pm – Back at campsite to a well earned cup of tea or cold beer. Dissect the battle, vow to do better tomorrow. Discussion about the evening’s events.
6.30pm –Wash, change, feeding time
7.30pm – Head for beertent, which will probably have some kind of entertainment either a live band or disco. Or having nominated the drivers go out to a local hostelry
Late – And so to bed!
If the Western Association is doing the pre-battle display:
12.30 – 1pm – Hurried lunch or visit to beertent
1.05pm – Scurry back to camp, prepare for form-up
1.15pm – March off to battle field, perform various aspects of pike, musket or artillery drill in front of the audience.
2.15 – 2.30pm – Quick break, not enough time to go back to campsite, but may be enough to use the facilities
2.30 – 3pm – Familiar sounds of approaching armies. This can be quite awe inspiring – hear the thump, thump, thump of drums, the shouts of officers and NCOs and suddenly a whole army appears over the brow of a hill or from a wood.
AM – Generally there will be more free time as there won’t be drill and the association may not be required for the pre-battle display. If you are leaving straight after the battle now is a good time to take down your tent or pack up the caravan awning. Do all you can to enable you to have a quick get away later.
PM – The battle timings will probably remain the same.
5.30pm – Hurry to change, finish packing and leave. Or if you are lucky enough to be staying until the next morning relax and watch others do the work!
Bank Holiday Musters
If it is a Bank Holiday weekend you may have a free day on Saturday in which to explore the locality. The battles are then held Sunday and Monday. Or it may be that battles are held Saturday, Sunday and Monday.