May 2014

R3pts 4

Courtesy of Phil Stone/Richard III Society

29th May

At last, the results of the judicial review have been announced: Richard III will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral next year - unless of course the Plantagenet Alliance and its hard-core pro-York supporters somehow manage to wangle an appeal and drag the process out for even longer because, as some allege, the wishes of the people in this matter have not been properly taken into account.

I sincerely hope that this won't happen. As one of 'the people', I felt that a judicial review of the original Leicester burial decision adequately addressed the issue and our rights to be heard - and I simply don't buy that there is such widespread outrage about the lack of a wider public enquiry to justify spending any more time or public money. Indeed, I think quite the reverse is true: that the vast majority of people either don't know or don't care where the last Plantagenet king is laid to rest. After all, the Alliance's campaign for a York burial made national news, and the rival petitions for Leicester and York received even more local publicity in Yorkshire and the Midlands - areas containing the major cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield with a combined population of around 3 million, not including all the other towns and villages, and York and Leicester themselves. So plenty of people knew about them; yet nationally, the number who troubled to sign one or other of the petitions was only between 60 and 70,000, with a

roughly equal split between the two contenders. The inescapable conclusion is that people to whom Richard III's burial place really matters are a very tiny minority of the population - a perspective it's easy to lose sight of when you're a total anorak about something (and I use that as a term of affection, not abuse; I'm very proud to be a history anorak!). So the furore which immediately kicked off in the press and social media was predictable, if depressing, and couched in all the emotive, inaccurate and in some cases offensive language which have characterised too much of the debate since the discovery of his remains. Naturally, I had to stick my oar in with a blog on http://helenraerants.wordpress.com/ if you'd like to read more of my take on the subject!

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21st May

The Frei Compagnie's summer event season continued on Saturday 17th with our traditional annual appearance at the village gala in Sherburn-in-Elmet. We usually have a perishing cold and/or rainy day there - in fact last year it rained so heavily that I pooped out of the event, and Hubcap found the roads flooding by the time he reached Saxton! But it was a different story this year, as you can see from the pic on the right of our latest recruit, Pete Chesman, in the armoury tent: bright blue skies and brilliant hot sunshine all day. Just as well, really, because it was the maiden outing for the pristine new tent recently acquired by our other Pete, 'One-Man-Event' Lawton - a very impressive ridge-pole pavilion with a large internal display area to show off his magnificent collection of weaponry and medical equipment (see below left and right, with Howard Atkin posing to show the scale, and Pete himself in the middle in full Fauconberg rig).

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As usual, a good time was had by all, and the have-a-go archery was characteristically busy - we took £96 in two hours! Then we finished with a bang for our arena show/weapons demonstration, courtesy of narrator Des Thomas, gun crew Hannah, Steve and Pete, and of course the big guns (see below). So now we're all set for our next appearance at Wistow Scarecrow Festival on Saturday 7th June - let's hope the weather is as good, and that we'll see you there.

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