Faced with dwindling public awareness, the Sealed Knot, Britain’s largest historic battle re-enactment society, has decided to expand its repertoire from the battles of the English Civil War to more recent conflicts that have taken place in pub car parks across the land.
‘Edgehill and Naseby don’t mean much to the younger generation,’ said Sealed Knot president John Rawton. ‘So from now on, our musterings will take place at Wetherspoons pubs where notable scraps have taken place in the previous months.’
They will start at Coventry this Saturday, to piece together the infantry skirmish that took place at the Cap in Hand on 29 May. As Rawton observed, conflicting accounts in the historical sources make this action no less complex to re-enact than the cavalry manoeuvres at Marston Moor.
‘Most researchers originally believed that Dave Gray had told all his mates he’d done Kelly Mattison up the wrong-un,’ said Rawton, ‘and that’s why Kelly’s brother Chris came in and fronted him. Recent evidence, though, suggests that Dave had been winding Chris up about something else and Kelly hadn’t even done nothing especially not with Dave anyway because he’s a right minger.’
According to most versions, Dave managed to pin Chris against the wall, then Chris’s mates got Dave in a headlock and took him into the outside bit with the picnic tables. Somehow Dave got free and ran back in to have another go at Chris, this time joined by big gay Rob, little Rob and Swifty. The police arrived soon after. How the window got broken is still disputed among scholars.
‘Hopefully by re-staging the battle in authentic 21st century costumes – and I’ve a job lot of England World Cup shirts going begging if anyone’s interested – we can reconnect people with their recent history,’ Rawton said. ‘Plus our presence often leads to another round of aggro, giving people the chance to restage the battles they actually took part in.’
After the unsuccessful launch of their ‘Wetherspoon Musters’ project, The Sealed Knot are now no longer even insisting that the conflicts they re-enact have to involve actual physical violence. Explains an increasingly desperate John Rawton, ‘Look, we’ll even come round your house and re-enact any big arguments you’ve had. No job too small…basically if it involves any kind of agression, and was in the past, we’ll dress up and re-enact it.’
The Sealed Knot’s change in direction follows a heated annual general meeting which saw tempers flaring and a certain amount of pushing and shoving. The AGM is being re-enacted next Saturday.
Golgo13 (hat tip to Oxbridge)