My interest in all things historic can be laid firmly at the door of my father. It was at an early age that i absorbed his delight in the past, and soon his passion became mine.
There are many examples of how he helped nurture my interests but one above all stands out from the rest. The day in question started out like any other but as breakfast finished my Dad handed me a crash helmet and led me outside. There standing rather shabbily against the wall of the house was the most ridiculous form of transport, the blue and white Honda 90cc. Even new it would have looked desperate and the years had not improved its appeal.
Interestingly though, the thought of going for a ride with my Dad filled my heart with joy the lack of refinement in our vehicle made not the slightest difference. As the machine roared in to action and we set off at a riveting 30 mile an hour i hung on for dear life. My enjoyment however, would only increase as i realised the destination my father had planned. I had heard my parents talking about the re-enactment that would take place at Bosworth but never dreamt that i would be lucky enough to actually attend. The journey did not take long and soon we had dismounted from our steed and were walking amongst the crowd. First came the the birds of prey as they swooped just above the heads of the onlookers. Their grace and speed amazed this young boy who instantly decided the peregrine falcon was his favourite. Then came the archery display, where targets felt the power of the English bow. For a finale the archers fired above the crowd and we gained some idea how the enemy must have felt as the dark shafts threatened to fall amongst their ranks.
As the rain clouds gathered above twelve nights walked into the arena before us. The air was filled sound of battle as individual knights competed to be the last man standing. The dark knight entered the arena with the commenter declaring he was the most evil of all the men present. he brought with him his own devilishly invented weapons. One by one he dispatched his enemy and when the last man faced him he unravelled his latest invention. Ball and chain with a difference, the chain was no less than five feet long. He swung it about his head intend on his opponents destruction and delighted in the gasps. As the now champion of the crowd looked certain lose, the dark aimed a blow at the unfortunate knights head. Then quite unexpectedly the champion ducked the chain flying harmlessly over his head. gasps turned to cheers as the dark knights evil invention wrapped itself around his own neck. He fell to the floor and the onlookers cheered his demise. As if dark knight had called out one last curse the heavens opened and torrential rain followed. My father and i raced to our own mount and soon we roared away from crowds. we missed much of the re-enactment but the little boy who clung to his Dad would not be denied his happiness. The cold rain stung exposed flesh and by the time home was reached not one inch of cloth was left dry. I climbed down from the mount, legs stiff, and soaked to the skin but the smile did not falter and the memories still bring happiness to the same boy.