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Quite a gentle start to our 2020 events at Tretower Court. The weather was glorious and it brought out just the right amount of visitors to keep us busy. It seemed a long time since we met up as the December event took place very early in that month, so it was good to catch up on each others news. The flood water had come up again making it look as though Tretower had a moat, but it didn't get in the way of folks making their way over to the Castle. It did make a perfect backdrop for a photo of Sian  on the wall overlooking the spot where she usually does archery !

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 We had a great time at Tretower for the Christmas weekend. The house was packed with people of all ages who had come to see us (of course !) plus Father Christmas and the various stall holders at the Christmas Fayre. Steffan was the accompaniment for carol singing on the Saturday and Lucy came along with her group to sing madrigals on the Sunday. All very Christmassy. We were so busy that I didn't get to speak to Santa until almost 4pm on Sunday. Rose did a great job making wreaths and  decorating logs. Sian and I had a fine time cooking over the fire. Everyone else did what they usually do.....a great job welcoming visitors, answering their questions and and giving them some history of the house and family who lived there.  

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Tretower doesn't have a moat, but it did today (Nov 16th) after heavy rain in the mountains. We had a great day surrounded by props left behind by a film unit who will be back for more work on the " Discovery of Witches" series. We had a roaring fire to warm us and Graham's stew and Sian was able to produce her lovely Welsh cakes. The musketeers did their displays in the orchard (their usual spot being like a boating lake) in front of a very appreciative audience including one young lad who tested their knowledge with some very interesting questions.

  

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Sunday Sept 15th at Ruperra. The weather was glorious and the set up in the farm courtyard, a very pleasant spot. We had a lovely time in spite of the fact that the farm dog stole and ate our dinner. We'd takena packet of sausage rolls, which he removed from our bag, shredded the packaging and scoffed the lot. However, we were well looked after by members of the Ruperra Castle Trust. They and other visitors were very appreciative of what we did. The muskets behaved themselves beautifully too.

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Lovely photograph taken by Richard Page. It looks very peaceful, but there's an arrow just leaving the bow. Well done Richard for capturing the moment. 

 

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 What a scorcher at Tretower on the Bank Holiday weekend. We were pleased to welcome Mistress Kate to her first foray into our Living History world and welcomed musicians Mistress Gillian and Master Robert again. Mistress Molly had her first try at archery with surprising success ( surprising to her, but not surprising to us as she followed Mistress Sian's instructions to the letter).Well done again to all who made it a tremendous weekend.   

 

  

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 You would think from the photo below that it was midwinter at Tretower last weekend, but it was July 20th/21st. We were asked to burn some rubbish, so we did ! Had a great 2 days meeting lots of visitors, many from Australia and New Zealand who were escaping their winter and visiting the Motherland as they called it. We've had a lot of enquiries from people wanting to join us in our Living History world. We hope that they'll enkoy themselves as much as we do when they become members. 

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Whitsun weekend saw more group members attending and it was great to see them all, including Master Robert and son Raff (pictured below with Master Jonathan and Mistresses Marion and Molly).The second picture features Andree and Mike with young Declan. They, and many others, had a busy and enjoyable weekend. All went according to plan except when the guns decided they'd done 5 displays and enough was enough. The audience loved the banter, coaxing and cajoling of the musketeers until, of course, the guns knew better than to resist any more and went off  with great bangs. 

    

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 Our dates for the May event have changed. Rather than the 3rd weekend, we've been asked to attend over the May Bank Holiday when we'll be in 17th century mode.

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  Easter weekend at Tretower was very enjoyable as usual. We not only welcomed Beryl and Ian again, but were also joined by Agnes and Samuel who helped swell our musical group with some beautiful renditions, although I had to pack the group off from the kitchen to play from afar as the public were asking us questions and we couldn't hear what they were asking. Once they settled in the long gallery, their music drifted throughout the house and was very pleasant indeed. Mistress Sian, with Masters Robert, Philip and Jonathan assisted many a young, and nor so young, archers. It was good to have Mistress Jennie and Friar Jeffrey with us again too. Thanks to everyone for  helping to make it a great event.

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  We welcomed 2 Living History guests today and they fitted in immediately. We had a very enjoyable day with some very appreciative visitors. We hope that Beryl and Ian will be able to join us at our other events. I'm sure they will as they fell in love with Tretower. You'll both be very welcome to join us at any time.  

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 A great start to our 2019 season at Tretower with a steady stream of visitors all day. The 'boys' did 2 musket displays and the guns behaved well, most of the time  although I gave a great build up to the final line up only to be met with synchronised miss fires ! Lots of amusement for the onlookers !! Steffan tried out his new 'contraption' on the  roasting spit and it did the job well. No fear of his lovely meat falling in the fire from now on.

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 Our November and December visits to Tretower went well as usual. In December we spent 2 days instead of one, greeting visitors, singing festive songs and enjoying ourselves. We had the run of the downstairs while a Christmas Fayre took place upstairs. The event proved very popular in spite of the atrocious weather on the Saturday. We never expected to be so busy. We're looking forward to our 2019 season and, in the meantime, wish you all a very happy Christmas and a happy and Healthy New Year.

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 At our October visit to Tretower we welcomed Master Ash and young Master Christopher. We hope that they will be joining us for many more events in future. We were exceptionally busy on Saturday welcoming 2 large groups as well as many casual visitors. Sunday was slightly quieter but still busy. The weather was glorious and it was good to see so many families picnicking........somewhat unexpected towards the end of October. Our weapon displays went very well. The guns behaved themselves perfectly which is more than can be said for some of the musketeers ! Many thanks to Victoria Smith for the photograph above.

 

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The picture above  by Mike Smith, taken at Gloucester History Festival, shows Master Robert complete with flag of the arms of the Freemen of the City of Gloucester. He's also complete with a beautiful buff leather baldrick. Unfortunately the baldrick has been lost and, if anyone knows its whereabouts please contact me marmill@marmill321.plus.com Thank you.                                             ***** 

We were delighted to be invited by Gloucester City Council to lead the large parade through the City, on Saturday, September 1st, to signal the start of the 2 week History Festival 2018.  We set up camp behind St Mary De Crypt Church and entertained the public while awaiting the call to muster for parade at 2pm. after which we retired to our camp where we were invited to salute His Worshipful the Mayor, Aldermen and other Dignitaries with musket and hand cannon fire. The 'boys' and Sian were only too happy to oblige ! Many thanks to Robert of Gloucester for his organisational skills.

  Sian and Steffan preparing for the parade.

 

 

                                                      Look out Mike. There are Romans behind you !

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Bank Holiday weekend was brilliant. We'd looked at the weather forecast and knew we'd be in our outdoor camp on Saturday, in the house on Sunday while it tipped down outside and outdoors again on Monday. Visitor numbers almost beat the record and kept us very busy. The firing demos went well. The only problem was we had too many volunteers to face a firing squad and I didn't have enough blindfolds. No worries.....those about to 'die' provided their own !! 

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5 of us were invited to a reception with HRH Prince of Wales at Tretower Court yesterday and what a wonderful time we had. The Prince made his way upstairs where he saw schoolchildren making Tudor roses and doing other crafts. Then he made his way to The Great Hall where he met Steffan who demonstrated a few of his musical instruments. Phil and Graham were in the Servery where they spoke about Living History and the Prince asked lots of questions. Hopefully they gave the right answers ! Sian and I were in the kitchen and he asked us about food preparation and we invited him to try some flat bread which Sian had just cooked. Yes, we had a fire although it was a scorcher of a morning weatherwise. We then made our way to the garden where there was a lovely buffet and opportunity for more photos and chat. HRH was late leaving for his next appointment as he seemed to be really enjoying himself. The Police outrider and the Royal chauffeur had to drop a big hint by starting up there engines !!

Pictures above reproduced with thanks to The Daily Mail. The third picture shows the reaction when Sian told the Prince the source  of her recipe which shall remain secret !!

 

 

  Sian and I waiting patiently in the buffet queue. Some important folks have already been served with their cups of tea !!

 

  The Prince taking his leave after thanking Steffan.

 

  Ladies of the Court after saying their farewells to the Royal visitor.

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