The Earl Loudoun's Regiment of Foote, which belongs to the Armie of Covenant, is a member of the English Civil War Society, which is a nationwide organisation dedicated to the re-enactment of the life and times of 17th Century Britain. Since the regiment was founded in the late-1970s we have organised and been involved in many different types of event, from the one- or two- person School Visit to the spectacular Major Battle Re-enactment involving over 1500 participants. We can organise all sizes and shapes of event between these two extremes, depending on what you, the sponsor, wish us to provide, and the size and shape of the area in which the event is to take place. Events may take place over one, two, or possibly more, days and can involve Infantry, Artillery, cavalry and civilians. All fully clothed and equipped as inhabitants of the seventeenth century.
THE SCHOOL VISIT
One or two individuals, dressed in full 17th - century clothing and fully equipped for a particular arm of the military (pike, musket, officer or artillery) will visit a school by pre-arrangement with the staff and give a brief presentation to those classes for whom the visit was organised or possibly to the whole school, depending on size. The talk usually lasts about half an hour and can be finished off with the firing of a musket if a suitable clear area outside is available and if the weather permits. Afterwards the pupils may handle the weapons and the presenter will endeavour to answer any questions they have. (This phase can last some time as the queries and comments usually fly thick and fast).
The aim of a Living History is to portray a small military encampment of the 1640s in as accurate a manner as possible. There will be an Officer's tent, furnished and equipped in a manner suited to a gentleman officer, a Sutlery or cook tent with its attendant staff, which will spend the day preparing the soldiers' and the officer's food, and several small soldiers' tents, each of which houses two men and will contain their bedding and personal equipment. Military equipment will be on display, either in use by the men as they carry out their duties, or racked for safekeeping. Members of the camp act as guides for the public, answering questions and demonstrating the use of their weapons when not drilling or otherwise "on duty". The Living History carries on throughout the day, from the moment the public are first allowed in until the event closes its gates in the evening, but may be suspended for the duration of the drill display or skirmish, both of which are often combined with the Living History. In a suitable environment, a Living History can be put on inside a building, if it is of the right age and interior. Various scenarios will be on display from the routine feeding of troops to trials and punishments.
The Drill Display
The Drill Display requires an arena large enough to allow the safe discharge of muskets and cannon; minimum size is some 30 - 40 metres square, surrounded by a double barrier with a gap between the two ropes of 3 metres. In this area the regiment will display the postures and drill of the various arms of the infantry; the pike, the musket, the drums, the colour, and demonstrate artillery drill with the regimental cannon, Leah. The entire display takes 15 - 20 minutes. If the artillery is actually to be fired then additional space may be needed to ensure safety for the public. Also it should be noted that areas enclosed by buildings may prevent the firing of artillery due to the damage to windows and the fabric of the buildings.
Space requirements for the Skirmish are similar to those for the Drill Display, with the proviso that the re-enactors will need access to the arena from a side away from the public and not accessible to them. It is helpful when planning a skirmish if there is "scenery" or a backdrop of some sort available, to add to the interest of the spectacle, but it is not essential. The Living History camp may be used as a focus, but this may require closing it to the public during and immediately after the skirmish. A skirmish will involve musketeers maneuvering and firing, a bombardment from the cannon, pikemen fighting at close quarters, perhaps some sword fighting between officers, and much overacting and spectacular "deaths" from budding thespians. The script for the skirmish will take into account the history of the area during the Civil War and ensure that local interest is served. This can lead to some intriguing situations; at a Major event in Hull we had to play the part of Scots veterans from the Swedish service that declared for Parliament!
The Weekend Event
This can involve a combination of all three of the previous events, and usually has at least two. A typical timetable would consist of a drill display at around 11 o'clock followed by a skirmish at about three on both Saturday and Sunday, or perhaps two drill displays daily; the Living History campsite can be running throughout the day but if so, it must be near to or on the same site as any other events to allow time for the re-enactors to get from the camp to the display area.
PROVISION of FACILITIES
What is required to put on a successful event for both the participants, the sponsor and most importantly the public audience.
The service of our members, their arms, equipment and costume. · Our cannon, Leah, an artillery piece based in Scotland. · Our own transport. · A commentator for drill displays and skirmishes, and guides for the Living History camp (School parties should be accompanied by teaching staff.) · A script. · A Site Visit (probably more than one) will be made by a regimental representative to ensure that the size of event will suit the area available and that any script will make full use of the size and shape of the site, the lie of the land, and so on. · Local history will be considered in the composition of the script to give local interest to the skirmish. · Liaison with the police, fire dept., HSE and Trading Standards concerning the use, provision and storage of Black Powder and firearms. · We will set up the public arena (barriers etc), given the equipment, and we will also set up the Living History encampment and organise our own campsite. At the end of the event we will strike the camps, collect any rubbish from our areas and take it to the rubbish collection point, and ensure that any fires have been doused and the turfs replaced. · We can provide publicity material if requested, but this consists mainly of photos and will include recruiting material! · We have our own public liability insurance but this covers only actions of ECWS members within the public area and during displays. · We will conduct a Risk Assessment of site for our own procedures and insurance; a copy of this will be made available to the sponsor if it is requested.
THE SPONSOR is usually asked to Provide:
Space for the event; an area 30 - 40 metres square should be sufficient, though the bigger the better; see below for requirements as regards barriers, marshals etc. · A modem campsite large enough for the number of participants wanted. The modem campsite should have toilets and water, and should also be secure. The campsite should be adjacent or as near as possible to the display area. If the campsite is separated from the display area then some form of Security may be required, as it will be deserted while the event is open to the public. · If the display involves a Living History element then firewood will be required and preferably permission obtained for a fire pit to be dug (it will be filled in and turfs replaced afterwards); if a fire pit is not possible then we can use a firebox but this is not so satisfactory. If the Living History site is to be used as part of any skirmish then it must be possible to extend the rope barrier to include the Living History site. · A PA system (preferably with wandering mike) for the commentator. · Two barriers, 3-4 metres apart with secure posts and taut ropes/tapes approximately 1 metre off the ground must be erected around all perimeters of the display area to prevent public access during the displays. We can set the barriers up, but the sponsor should supply the ropes/tape and posts. · In the Living History encampment, some areas which could be hazardous to children (such as the cook tent and fire pit) will also need to be separated from the public in some way and the sponsor may be asked for ropes and pins to demarcate such an area. · Marshallers/Stewards to patrol the rope barriers during displays. The sponsor will also need to consider stewarding during the drill display/skirmish, people to take entry fees, look after public queries not related to the event, and so on. · First Aid for the event (usually St. Andrew's ambulance or local Army Cadets/TA) - this would have to be provided for the public anyway, and one team is usually sufficient to serve both re-enactors and public. · Arrangements for rubbish collection; we will clear our campsites but a skip or collection point must be set up to which we can take our rubbish for later collection; the sponsor will have to arrange for this to take place after the event. · Some kind of scenery / set dressing would add to the interest of the display - this can be discussed and does not have to be elaborate. · Publicity! As stated earlier, we can provide photographs, posters and so on, but the sponsor has to decide on the type and amount of publicity, and sort out advertising. · Signposts (AA or RAC) depending on the size of event can be helpful.
The facilities required for the various types of event are as follows; 1. School Visit; · Secure Parking in an isolated part of the grounds (for storage of weapons and powder) · A spacious classroom or lecture area. · Should firing a musket be arranged as part of the visit, an area outside and well away from the pupils, but providing them with a good view, is needed. 2. Living History · Enough space for the size of camp required, adjacent to any display area and accessible to vehicles for the initial setup (and eventual strike). · Firewood; preferably of an "authentic" type, i.e. not pallets! · Facility for a fire pit or firebox with at least a metre of clear space around it, with a rope barrier to separate it from the public area. · Facility for a "flow" of public through the camp, i.e. provision for a one-way system with entry and exit, would be nice; the public never keep to it, but it does help to minimise blockages. · Secure car parking nearby for re-enactors' vehicles. 3. Drill Display · An arena at least 30 - 40 metres square, roped off with a double barrier 3 metres wide. · Marshallers to ensure that the public do not infringe on the space between the barriers. · The arena must remain closed to the public after the drill display until it has been "swept" by the re-enactors to ensure no unexploded charges remain; keeping the public clear until we have "swept the field" will be the responsibility of the Marshallers. · It is preferable for access for the re-enactors to be on a side away from the public, but not essential. · If houses surround the arena, it may not be possible to fire Leah. 4. Skirmish · An arena at least 30 - 40 metres square, roped off with a double barrier 3 metres wide. · Marshallers to ensure that the public do not infringe on the space between the barriers. · The arena must remain closed to the public after the skirmish until it has been "swept" by the re-enactors to ensure no unexploded charges remain; keeping the public clear until we have "swept the field" will be the responsibility of the Marshallers. · The participants in the skirmish will require access to the display area from a side inaccessible to the public. · Some form of set dressing or backdrop would be nice to have; this can be discussed while the script is being written. · If houses surround the arena, it may not be possible to fire Leah. 5. Weekend event. · A secure modern campsite large enough for the size of the event, preferably adjacent to the display area Living History site, or at least nearby, and accessible to cars and caravans. · Modern toilet facilities. · A supply of water. · A rubbish collection point. · Secure car parking nearby. · Permission for campfires would be nice to have, but is not essential; if fires are permissible (they will be filled in and turfed over when we leave) a supply of firewood (not necessarily authentic!) would be nice.
Whilst not mandatory, it is suggested that any surrounding property owners and users be advised of the event. Muskets and artillery are LOUD! and can cause concern for those not previously aware of their use. Leah has been known to set off car alarms in nearby car parks! Whilst many of these considerations are essential due to practicalities or legal requirements most problems with any given site can usually be overcome; very few prove insurmountable. Please contact us if you foresee any problems, and we will discuss each on its merits and see what solutions we can offer.
The Fees charged by The Earl of Loudoun's for the staging of an event are variable dependent on the type, size and duration of the event and the equipment required. Whilst the English Civil War Society and The Earl of Loudoun's Regiment of Foote are both non profit making organisations, we do have to charge fees sufficient to cover our expenses for the event itself, to provide funds to the running of the Society and Regiment, to maintain equipment and to enable us to improve our presentations by purchasing additional equipment. We are always keen to stage events and thus are anxious to tailor them to the budget available to the Sponsor. Upon initial contact we can generally give a "ball park" quote, but it is not until we have followed through with a site visit and had additional conversation with the Sponsor that we will give a firm figure. Detailed below are the principle contributors to an event's expenses to ECWS, these provide the basic model of cost. Some of these are mandatory, such as insurance; others are either flexible or optional. As a Sponsor, we would urge that you think about any specific requests you have for the event and let us know either at or before the Site Visit.
Insurance: Public liability cover for the event using ECWS's own insurers. Transport: The cost of moving equipment to and from the event site. Consumables: Food and Drink for the re-enactors during the event. Black Powder: Gunpowder used by musketeers (and some special effects). Administration: The general cost of organising an event. This includes the cost of Black Powder storage licences required by the Trading Standards Authority.
Additional Costs dependent upon requirements: Transport of Artillery: The cost of moving the Artillery to and from the event site. Transport of Living History Camp: The cost of moving LH equipment to and from the event site. Additional Black Powder for Artillery: Gunpowder used by Artillery. Provision and stabling for Cavalry: For Large events. Provision of non-military equipment the-enactors.