Sunday, 13 July 2014

Hereford History Day

As it's the centenary of the start of the First World War, the History Day this year was heavily weighted in that direction, though the Sealed Knot were also there, and the medieval jester, and an array of vintage vehicles. There was also a brass band from Tenbury and some archaeologists washing finds from a Roman dig in Reddich - they had some rather nice decorated Samian ware with them.
Next to them was the falconer Ben Long, with the most adorable American kestrel chick, only three weeks old and still half fluff. He was also demonstrating with a couple of adult birds.
I passed by the microphone outside the band tent just in time to see a Winston Churchill look-alike deliver the Battle of Britain speech, to enthusiastic applause.
It was also nice to bump into a friend and have a cup of tea with her at the cafe. It was just a pity that they'd arranged their tables around the bike rack, so she had to park her bike further off along the hedge - fortunately it had it's own stand.
Usually I go along as part of Drudion, a bunch of unsavoury Welsh mercenaries, but this year I went as a member of the public. Still, I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to dress up, so I decided to throw something vaguely Edwardian together and go along to cheer our brave boys as they marched away to the Front in the Great War.
I've wanted a solar topee for years, too, and this seemed like a good excuse to wear it - I was asked whether I'd just come back from Egypt by one lady, resplendent in black and purple period dress.

Further into town there were wandering Stuart era minstrels, and a group of women campaigning for Votes for Women, with their purple, green and white sashes. By the Cathedral there was a group of medieval musicians - they were encouraging members of the public to dance when I passed.

The centre of Hereford was packed, with the usual Saturday market stalls. As I was in a holiday mood, I went along to Waterstones to see what they had in the way of graphic novels, and picked up something quite appropriate - Sally Heathcote, Suffragette, by Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot. I've been looking out for a copy for some time, and I've already learned quite a bit about Manchester's history from the story so far (though now she's moved to London, where the movement had its headquarters).

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