As a Ricardian, it’s one of my annual pleasures to go to Tewkesbury each year for the Medieval Festival. Year upon year it seems to get bigger and bigger with more stalls, more re-enactors, more varied entertainment than ever.
I think the success of Tewkesbury highlights the dwindling demise of the Bosworth event as this year it was sadly lacking. There were precious few stalls and even re-enactor numbers were down on last year. Largely, the reason for this is surely the admission price for us, the paying public and also the fee the stall-holders have to pay. Talking to one chap whilst browsing his stall, I was horrified to learn it was costing him £250 just to be there! He’d have to go a long way to earn that on what he was selling especially when fuel was taken into account, and all this before he made any profit at all!
There is no admission fee at Tewkesbury if you walk into the site and a £5 charge to park the car. There is no set price for the programme as there is an opportunity to offload loose change into the collection bucket. Perhaps the difference is Bosworth is run by the County Council while Tewkesbury has a Festival Committee to organise it.
The Tewkesbury result is a great celebration for we Ricardians because we can shout and holler “A York! A York!” until we are hoarse! This year we were able to do it at Bosworth too as they staged the “alternative result” of the battle and Richard won!
These photographs show the paucity of numbers at Bosworth on the Saturday afternoon of the Festival, the Yorkist victory and the view over the battlefield from Dadlington towards Stoke Golding church. It’s easy to see why the villagers of Stoke Golding climbed the church tower to view the battle – they had a grandstand view!
I’m actually considering giving Bosworth a miss next year. However, it’s great meeting up with fellow Ricardians and visiting the Society stall, which has pole position in the stall stakes – it’s right in front of the entrance through to the battlefield, so absolutely no-one can miss it!
Tewkesbury, though is another matter. I would not miss it for the world and look forward to each July and my week spent in glorious Pershore. The highlight of that week is always the Medieval Festival and I heartily recommend it to you all!