“Once more unto the heat, dear friends, once more;” rang the watchcry of the weekend as The Society attended the first part of the independence celebrations (or more fittingly should you so wish, any according antonym) at the American Museum in Britain situated on the outskirts of Bath which was Bathed (I refuse to apologise for that) in some of the hottest days of the year.
Working alongside old friends and confréres the weekend was awash with wildly varying talks and displays; to be had amongst others there were demonstrations of light infantry tactics and artillery with open camps and entertaining duels full of witty repartee.
It was another chance for our junior officer and orator Mr Mills to engage and edify in equal measure and he did not disappoint; the feedback was highly complimentary from both the public and our peers.
The rations were bountiful and by our own admission far above our station. We ate extraordinarily well owing to the efforts of members messers Knight and Atkins. In equal measures the evening social was truly whetted (pun very much intended) by copious amounts of ale and mead, as is only to be expected! Outside of public hours this afforded a chance for discussions to be had regards future cooperative endeavours which we will hope to expand on in the off-season.
It was with sadness (and great honour) that members attended the internment of the ashes of Colin Adams of the Crown Forces. Colin was a good friend of The Society and we can’t think of a more fitting place for him to rest.
The Museum is undergoing some extensive remodelling to the surrounding landscaping with the intention to improve accessibility but remains open and we encourage you to visit; moreover the works are incorporating a great amount of interesting native (to America) species and is due to be finished by September.
And so the season started with a bang – several if we’re honest! All well received across 6 smaller drill and firing displays over the two days. To the fore was that age old British curiosity; a penchant for discussing the weather. The miseries foretold of by our meteorological doomsayers were by all accounts unfounded as the gods smiled upon us and delivered us a very pleasant, mostly sunny weekend.
The public, in part drawn out by the balmy weather were in high spirits and turned out ‘en masse’; a swathe of be costumed revellers, abound for family fun in the sunny Barbican area of Plymouth.
Working alongside friends new and old we were pleased to receive such positive feedback from the public and our peers finding the conversation and questions engaging.
Our displays, fronted by Mr Midshipman Mills and delivered with aplomb and gusto involved musketry and demonstration of the carriage-mounted swivel; a replica of Captain Cook’s. For a brief interlude immediately following this it would be safe to say nobody was hassled by any maddened gulls!
At our encampment there were regular talks delivered by Mr Radford of the thankless and often gory subject of surgery of the period which enthralled and drew ample crowds with piqued interests and more than a question or two of the gruesome nature of human butchery.
We would like to extend a big thank you once again to the events team at Plymouth City Council, the team at One Plymouth, the hospitality of the local traders and the well wishers of our weekend audience.
We include with kind permission photos by Calvin Bedford and One Plymouth in addition to our own.
A small contingent of members were invited by The Bath Preservation Trust to enhance the display of the recently rejuvenated No.1 Royal Crescent (currently celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Crescent).
The portrayals included gentleman at leisure, returning loyalist officer and retired gentleman of the 35th – much engagement was to be had with members of the public being treated to join in standard army drill – a society mainstay which; as always, was well received!