History all set to come alive in Etal village

Living history actors will be holding a Flodden weekend at Etal
Living history actors will be holding a Flodden weekend at Etal

Heritage will come alive at Etal over the weekend of September 1/2 as the village plays host to a group of re-enactors whose interest and skills lie in the time of the battle of Flodden.

The group will be setting up a Living History camp in the village’s walled garden and will be showcasing traditional costumes, cookery and grooming. There will also be displays of weaponry and drill techniques used at the time of Flodden and a mixture of historical traders and crafts.

The forthcoming 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden has generated a lot of interest both locally and nationally in the tactics of the armies of the time, and the way in which an army moved around in the landscape. The various accounts of the battle suggest that up to 25,000 people died at Flodden. The army did not solely comprise soldiery, but included women, children and camp followers, all engaged in tasks which kept an army on the move. Clothing, farriery and cooking were as important to the army in those days as tactical manoeuvring.

The Living History event is to be precursor to next year’s commemoration plans and will be the first event for the specially formed re-enactment group, Armet, based on the military life of the early sixteenth century. As part of the show there will be a children’s competition to design the group’s standard which will be proudly displayed at Living History events throughout 2013 to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. Information will be provided on how to become a re-enactor should any history enthusiasts wish to get involved in recreating the past.

On Sunday, September 2 heritage will meet horticulture as the event combines with the annual Etal horticultural show featuring the traditional and much loved competitive exhibition of flowers, vegetables, handicrafts and artwork. The fabulous steel pans band Steel Quake will entertain the crowds while they browse the stalls or watch the companion dog show. The re-enactors will also take to the main arena to perform a live skirmish hopefully including some audience participation! Anyone hoping to enter exhibits into the show should contact hmoffitsvq@btinternet.com for a schedule - keen photographers should note that next year’s photography exhibit will carry the theme of ‘Commemorating Flodden’ so perhaps this year’s show is the place to start.

The event runs from 11am to 4pm. Entrance is £3 for adults and £1 for children, car-parking is free.