Kate Allan

The online diary of Kate Allan, author

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Canvas, port, firearms & follies

Sorry for the blabsence* but I had the last minute opportunity to go and camp with some Napoleonic re-enactors - specifically representatives of the 3rd Foot East Kent Light Infantry (Regimental nickname 'The Buffs' as they were the first regiment to have buff coloured facings. See I was paying attention!), the 71st Highlanders and the 60th Foot (Royal American regiment).

I had to skulk around a bit because I was in jeans and a t-shirt as I don't have a costume but it was a wonderful and I learned lots from listening to people talking, seeing and feeling the weapons, clothes and other bits and pieces, and the practical experiences. e.g. camping out under canvas and sitting around with a lot of Napoleonic soldiers drinking port into the early hours. It was also interesting listening to the different types of sounds made by different types of weapons. I could hear the difference between e.g. a pistol and a musket, but I was told that you can tell what the firearm is by its sound when you are familiar with them. Something I hadn't considered before, and an example of the kind of information that actually could be pivotal in a scene and thus come in handy in a novel.

Ideas, ideas...

The camp was at Painshill Park near Cobham in Surrey. A beautiful 18th century landscaped 'pleasure garden' complete with curiosities such as gothic tower, turkish tent and grotto - all made as follies. The many vistas are created and contrived but Painshill is certainly worth a visit if you are in that part of the world.

* blog absence


  • At 11:15 pm, Blogger Alex Bordessa said…

    We were with the 33rd Foot Napolenics whilst at Bolsover, and I made sure I took some pictures for you! They'll be on my blogspot in the next couple of days. Will you be doing the full re-enactment thing and getting some kit? Male and/or female? I do both (Late Roman soldier, then changing into female kit whilst in living history camp)

    I know Painshill Park because a friend of mine was the archaeologist there back in the 1980s, and it was impressive even then when it was being restored. I liked the grotto in particular.

  • At 12:36 am, Blogger Kate Allan said…

    I am thinking about getting a circa 1810 lady's day dress most likely as first stab.

    Therefore I could hopefully swan about and get out of the soldiering which looked like hard work.

  • At 1:13 am, Anonymous Olga said…

    Kate, the event sounds wonderful and the place beautiful! Alex, can't wait to see the pics.

  • At 7:50 am, Blogger Michelle Styles said…

    Kate I am tagging you for If I could be...
    see: http://michellestyles.blogspot.com/2005/05/tagged-if-i-could-be.html

  • At 5:45 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said…

    Michelle - I've already been tagged for that one by Tess!


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