Ah, Sunday afternoon: what better way to spend it than by dressing up in 17th century military garb and running around a park pretending to be soldiers in the English Civil War?
Battle reenactment has always been big in Sheffield with Norfolk Heritage Park regularly used to recreate major musters between the Roundheads and Cavaliers.
Now, as part of Tuesday Retro’s ongoing A-Z of hobbies enjoyed in our region, we bring you E is for English Civil War reenactment.
It’s a pastime where men and women – by weekday, respectable professionals leading respectable lives – throw off the chains of convention and spend the day firing cannons, shooting muskets and riding to certain death while calling for Oliver Cromwell’s head on a platter.
And while some people may scoff at such antics, one thing’s for sure: when a reenactment takes place, it doesn’t half draw a crowd. And, as these pictures prove, it always has done.
“Why do it?” asks Paul Drabble, a photographer of Ecclesfield who takes part in such living history events. “Because it’s a huge amount of fun.
“If you like fancy dress, then this is something similar. Plus, I’ve been interested in history since I was a kid, so this combines both those things. Let’s be honest, it’s better than staying in, watching TV with your life, isn’t it?
“Some people may raise their eyebrows but it’s just classic English eccentricity. And it gets you to some great places. I remember I once camped inside Scarborough Castle, which was lovely.”
The main aim of The English Civil War Society – the country’s biggest such group – is to stimulate interest in this turbulent period of British history.
The group promises to entertain and instruct its own members and onlookers alike by striving for historical authenticity in clothing, artefacts, methods, weapons and tactics.