The Sealed Knot At The Village Show

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Last Sunday, September 6th, we drove eight miles out to the village of Sutton-on-Trent, where the locals were putting on their village festival.  But this was a village show with a difference, because it was visited by a regiment of the Sealed Knot.

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The Sealed Knot is the oldest re-enactment society in the UK and the single biggest re-enactment society in Europe. It aims to honour those who died in the many battles of the English Civil War (1642-49) and to educate people about those battles and the life of people during that period. Events are staged throughout the country all year. The name, The Sealed Knot, comes from that of a secret association that aimed to have the monarchy restored during the Interregnum/Commonwealth – the period between 1653 and 1659, when the country was governed by a Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. The present society, however, has no political affiliation.

Their events vary in size: a major battle lasts for two or three days, and can see thousands of combatants taking to the field. On this occasion The Sealed Knot did not come to stage a battle. It was a fairly small group, visiting only to demonstrate a few weapon skills and battle formations. They did have their 17th century muskets and pikes, but no cannons this time. Some photos later…

The show was held on Saturday and Sunday and both days were well attended. A variety of stalls and exhibits were arranged around the outer edge of a village field, including local produce, farm machinery and vintage cars and motor cycles. There were also several refreshment stalls.

In the central area, known as ‘The Hollow’ (because it’s a step down from the outer edge) displays were put on at various intervals by The Sealed Knot, Dako’s Flying Angels (a group of gymnastic lads) and the Whitwell Brass Band. There was also someone doing keep-fit with younger children and others hosting a doughnut eating competition. On Saturday, there had been a dog show. The threshing machine, standing right at back of the field was also demonstrated:

In another corner of the L-shaped field, was the small encampment of The Sealed Knot:

The Sealed Knot displayed their skills twice during the day. Here are a few photos:

And to finish with, here are a few photos of the many vintage cars and motorbikes exhibited:

All in all we had a really fun and interesting time. It was sunny and warm, and the ice creams we had really made my day!

79 thoughts on “The Sealed Knot At The Village Show

    1. I might give you one, if I were incredibly rich and owned a few! They were all wonderful and in such good condition. I couldn’t get Nick (husband) away from them. It was a really fun day, Chioma. Village shows are usually good – as long as the weather’s nice. 🙂

      1. Men never grow up when it comes to cars … or motorbikes. We just have to smile tolerantly and let them get on with it. The vintage ones are rather brilliant, though.

      1. Wow! Nice! I’ve always wanted to have an ice cream from an ice cream van, but sadly we don’t have them here… maybe when I’ll be in UK, I can have one… any particular flavour you’d recommend?

      2. There are many different flavours, like choc-mint and raspberry ripple, but I’m old fashioned and still prefer the simple vanilla. Many people have a chocolate flake stuck in it, but I stick to the ice cream on its own. If you ever go to Italy, they have a vast range of flavours there! Italy is the tops for ice cream. But I was still boring old me when we were there, and stuck to vanilla. There’s something so summery about walking around licking an ice cream cone (or cornet, as we used to call them). 🙂

    1. Thanks, Bekki. 🙂 It was such a lovely day, and everyone was in such a happy mood – amazing what a bit of sunshine does. For a small village, they’d put on a good show, although the horticultural offerings weren’t the best I’ve seen. The vintage cars and buses were great and the Sealed Knot did the best they could with such a small company. It’s just so nice to get out and about, isn’t it?
      I’m at a hotel near Gatwick now as we fly to Malta at eight in the morning, and this way at least we get some sleep. As you see, it’s ‘have laptop will travel’. It’s just my small one, but it does the job. 🙂

      1. Village events are so wonderful and it’s always good to support them. Mind vintage cars and sealed knot sounds huge compared with our little village fetes. Have a fabulous time in Malta 🙂

    1. Hi Jack. Thank you for those kind words. 🙂 As for the book tent, I don’t think you would have stayed in there too long! There were a few fiction books, but most were pretty dated, and a few non-fiction. But most seemed to be children’s storybooks and cookery books. Nothing ‘to shout home about’, as e say over here. It was just a nice, colourful and happy day out.
      I’m writing this from a hotel near Gatwick. We fly to Malta for a week tomorrow, and I hope to do a couple of posts about the island later on. 🙂

      1. Well, even without the book tent, the rest of the event looked awesome and I learned something new: the existence of The Sealed Knot. Fascinating. Enjoy your trip to Malta. Can’t wait to see/read the posts. 🙂

    1. Yes, it was a really nice, sunny day, for a change, so we were very lucky. It all had such a festive feel, too, and having The Sealed Knot there in their costumes brought history to life. Thanks, Heath. Hope all is well with you, too. As you probably noticed on the comment above, we fly out to Malta in the morning. I think we’re almost guaranteed nice weather there! 🙂

      1. Thank you, Heath. Malta is definitely awesome – especially for a history lover. There’s so much to see here, and there’s also the islands of Gozo and Comino to visit. One year, we went off to Sicily for the day to satisfy my geological cravings. Mount Etna is awesome, too. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Irina. There have been so many reenactments to visit this year – or perhaps it’s just that we’ve been particularly looking out for them. They are a lot of fun and, as you say, such a good way to learn about how things were done in the past. I’ll be sorry when they all finish for the winter months. Right now, we’ve eventually arrived at our hotel in Malta and been out and about and unpacked. It’s so hot after what we’ve been used to this year at home. Lovely… 🙂

      1. It’s Monday night now, and we’ve had a lovely day in Valletta (the capital). I’ll post about it as soon as I have time. It’s so hot, I just want to ‘zonk’ tonight. Thank you, Irina. 🙂

      2. When you posted this, I was in the Emergency with my husband. He’s still there and I’m waiting for the results of the arterial scan in his right leg. Keeping fingers crossed. Hope you can cool down in the sea.

      3. Oh, Irina, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve only just got to this comment, and I hope your husband is alright! What a worrying time for you both. Hugs and much love to you, and I hope the results of the scan were good ones.

      4. Thanks for caring, Millie. It turned out the pain in his leg was due to the infected big toe, so he’s still in hospital receiving antibiotics intravenously. He might come home tomorrow. Hugs xxx 🙂

      5. I’m so glad the pain wasn’t caused by anything worse. I have to admit, when you mentioned arterial pain, my thoughts went to thrombosis – although I knew that was to do with veins. I’m sure you’ll both be so relieved when he’s home. Hospitals are wonderful, but home’s the place to be. Love and hugs to you both. ❤

      6. Hope al is well at home now, Irina. Scares like that are not at all nice. It’s Sunday now and we got back from Malta last night. So I’ve been busy all day with washing, ironing shopping …! The heat stayed the same all week! We were told by locals that September is the hottest month there, although the climate graphs don’t say that. October is supposed to be a lovely month for visiting Malta, so we’ve booked for that next year. Love to you both. 🙂

      7. Thanks, Millie. Things are under control. Sasha has a bit of age-related arteriosclerosis and needs to be monitored every 4 months…Sorry about that heat in Malta. Just as well you booked for October next year. Love to you and your husband. 🙂

      8. Age really isn’t fair, is it? I’m so glad the condition is being monitored, and presumably being treated. (Or perhaps it’s one of those things they can do nothing about and just want to keep check on how things progress). Whichever, it’s good to know he’s home and that awful time is over. Keep well, both of you. Much love. 🙂

  1. I too love re-enactments Millie. Especially significant historical events. Wonderful post Millie. I always learn to much from your historical posts!

    1. You would have enjoyed this event, Belinda, and the joust we went to the week before – which I’ll post about sometime, once we get back from Malta. I sometimes think I live too much in the past, but I can’t help where my interests lie, now can I? 😀

    1. From one sunny island to another, Prospero, greetings. (I’m in Malta for the next week.)
      I suppose you could describe ale as ‘vintage’ – at least the idea/usage of it, if not the more recent brews!
      There was certainly one tent where the booze flowed freely. Unfortunately, I saw no Oliver Cromwell slurpee – unless we interpret that as ale – which members of the Sealed Knot seemed very happy to down between shows. Perhaps their ‘Sealed Knot cola’ was off that day. 🙂

      1. Malta, how exciting! Perhaps they have Ollie Cromwell slurpees there (though I’m not sure how to ask for it in Malti). Certainly you will find the peppery taste of Falcon cola in the best establishments.

        Enjoy your trip. Try to avoid copious amounts of unregulated Maltese ale.

      2. I’ve heard that Maltese falcon pie is absolutely delicious, but I’ll be sure to ask about peppery Falcon cola …aa well as Ollie Cromwell slurpees. One never knows, does one…? As for unregulated Maltese ale…it would sound extremely tempting if I happened to like ale of any nationality. Ugh…:(

      3. Yet another thing we have in common: an instinctive dislike of ale, regardless of provenance.

        (the other is having a poor command of Malti)

      4. Yes, the least people living in foreign countries can do is have the good sense to speak English.

      5. My sentiments exactly. 🙂 But then, I’m English…I can speak a little French and a little Spanish…oh, and about five words of Welsh. No wonder we English are so bad at languages when our own is spoken worldwide… well mostly. Perhaps not in central China… or central Russia…. or deepest, darkest Africa! 😀

  2. What a day, Millie. 🙂 Ice creams, re-enactment and vintage cars and bikes. The cars and bike look great. Re-enactments would be fun to watch…hope I’m able to see it some day. 🙂

    1. I’m hooked on these historical events, and I’m sure you would be. too. Perhaps you’ll get to visit one day. 🙂 These groups present them so authentically. The rest of the show was really interesting, too.:)

  3. It was worth a visit for sure! I feel like such a scene can only be found in a story book, but to experience it in real life is definitely unforgettable!!! Just by looking at the beautiful photos you posted here, I know you had an amazing trip! Awesome post! Thanks a lot for sharing with us Millie! 😉 ❤

    1. Thanks so much, Khloe. I’m really late replying due to being on holiday this week. Sometimes we’re late getting back to the hotel, and there’s so little time left at night to do a great deal. The Sealed Knot did put on a good show though. I’m glad you enjoyed looking at the photos! 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on Belinda Crane and commented:
    For all of you history buffs out there, here is a bit of an hors d’oeuvre from Millie Thom’s style of posts. She is an author of historical fiction novels and has a passion for everything historical! I feel as though I have just seen a documentary when I read her posts. Passion for something really does come out in people’s writing.

    1. Thank you again for re-blogging this, Belinda! It’s true, I do love all things historical. (I could say that’s because I’m a bit of a relic myself, but perhaps shouldn’t!). Re-enactments are very inspiring – and those people also put so much passion into what they do.I think what you said about people’s writing is so true. Passions show well in the way people express thoughts. 🙂

      1. We have much to learn about our future by looking at our history. It’s a pleasure for me to re-blog your posts Millie as you are such an inspirational person to have met in our little blogging world. Thank you for all of your support Millie. I do look forward to your comments because you make me think outside the box regarding my writing. Bee x

      2. I think we all learn so much from each other – and about each other – through our posts, Bee. (What a lovely name). I love to share ideas and thoughts with fellow bloggers, and your writing is inspirational, too. I like the way you explore characters and throw them into a variety of situations. I also like you broaden your stories with interesting and sometimes humorous little sub-plots. That you love to experiment with your writing to me is the sign of a good writer and I’m sure you’ll do really well with your first book. I read one of your stories before we went off to Gozo this morning, and hope to catch up with others as soon as I can. Thank you for following me the other day, too. I noticed that just before we left for Gatwick Airport.
        I also agree with everything you say about history. I never tire of finding out bout new historical events. ❤

      3. Everything you have said is so true Millie! I actually never stopped following you, but I worked out I needed to be a little bit wiser with how I was managing my blogging. Since I began, I’ve been following anyone that follows me and I have also followed people myself. In essence, it made me a ghost follower of some people. I’ve created lists for people that include people such as yourself, but I literally had to start from scratch in identifying who I should be following. It’s impossible to keep up with 1200 people’s blogs. By just following people, I’m actually doing people a disservice. If you have 100 people following you but only 3 people ever read your posts, that isn’t a true indication of who your followers are. It should be about the content of your posts, not how many people are following you. It’s been another huge learning curve for me.

      4. I know exactly what you’re saying here, Bee. It’s so hard when we start blogging to know what these people called ‘followers’ will be like. When I started, I had a lot of authors – and ‘would be’ authors – follow me without even reading any of my posts (which were far too few and far between, I admit). But when I looked at their blogs, I soon realised that all their posts just advertised their books. Now, I can’t put into words how much I hate blogs like that. For me, blogs I follow have to give me content. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about books, or writing, but it must be interesting – and informative – to me. I ‘un-followed’ many of those very quickly. That probably wasn’t in my best interests but, hey, I was a novice at all this stuff. I now have lovely followers, whom I love to talk to (mostly – a few I really don’t connect with) and enjoy blogging because of it. Unfortunately, it hasn’t got me a huge following. But at least I’m happy with the following I’ve got. Blogland is a funny but wonderful place. 😀

      5. I’ve learnt so much since I’ve been blogging. It really isn’t about the number. It’s the discussions within comments that count!

      6. I agree completely. Having followers, and following others ourselves, is little use if we don’t interact. The comments are so important to us all. The like button might be good for the stats, but somehow a ‘like’ means so little without a comment – and the discussions that ensue.

  5. I love this post! So full of amazing photos! The history made so interesting and beautiful through these pictures is amazing! I learn allot and also have fun. The Sealed knot is so interesting and what a fantastic experience to be able to see all of this and experience it!! Thanks Millie!

      1. Thank you … I am trying to improve. It’s just that one of my daughters is an excellent photographer, and I’ve a long way to go before I match her. She has a rather expensive camera, too, which always helps! 🙂

      2. She’s now 37 and has been taking photos since she was about seven! She does several of the photography challenges on WP and did Photography 101 when she started her blog. She learned a lot of new techniques by doing that. Her lovely camera is her pride and joy. 🙂

      3. Yes, she does love to draw and paint, too. She has some wonderful landscape pictures – full size ones, I mean. She just hasn’t had time to paint recently.

      4. Haha. Thank you for the compliment, Lynn, but I can’t paint like my two daughters. They’re both very ‘arty’. I write instead. 🙂 I’ll be so happy once I get this third book of my trilogy finished. I’ll probably manage a little more time on my blog then.:)

  6. In reply to your reply (sorry but lost your reply in my notifications and hence, commenting separately):
    Vanilla is one my favourites as well but my first choice is chocolate (always!) So I’ll go with Choco-mint 🙂
    Talking of cones, I had no idea that cornet was a proper word. We do get cones here (some really amazing ones) and we call them corneto(s), without even realising that it actually means cones.

    1. They’ve been called cornets for years in Britain, but many younger people are becoming used to the word ‘cone’. Cornettos here are a brand-name pre-wrapped cone – not one nice and freshly made. I’ve never been fond of Cornettos, but I think your word is just an alternative name for a cornet/cone where you are. I’ve always loved ice cream. I suppose I should go and live in Italy. The number of varieties on sale is a bit mind-blowing there! 🙂

      1. Oh yea, here also we have a brand-name for the pre-wrapped ones… The fresh ones are called cones only… 🙂
        We have a lot of British influence here, and I guess it’s quite explainable given the history… hehe!
        If you’ll go and live in Italy then I’m sure you’ll be extremely happy, at least in the ice cream department. If I were to go to live in Italy, then it’ll be for Pasta!!! I love, love, love Italian pastas… so much so that I eat pasta more than Indian food (and my mom hates me for that because she can’t cook pasta! lol!)

      2. I love Italian food, too, and loved all pasta dishes in Italy. As for British influence in India, it’s the same in Malta. The British were in Malta for 200 years (until independence in 1964) so it stands to reason that the second language on the Maltese Islands would be English. Even the Germans, Polish and French etc. use English when talking to local people. It’s become the International language, I suppose.
        (Eat your mom’s cooking, and be nice to her! Perhaps she’ll learn how to cook pasta for you if you do.) 😀

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