I am an artist, costume maker and re-enactor. I went to Sandroyd School , then Bedales School. After that I went to Putney School of Art, Wimbledon School of Art and graduated from Kingston University.
I have been going to Science Fiction conventions since 1987 and have been a Medieval Re-enactor since 1992.
I have previously been a member of the Far Isles Medieval Society, the Sealed Knot and the Medieval Siege Society.
I am currently a member of the Paladins of Chivalry.
I have been entering costume in competition since 1987 and was made a Master Costumer at the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow by winning the Best In Class award as a Journeyman.
I have been exhibiting and selling artwork at Science Fiction conventions since 1987 and also exhibit at local art shows.
On Wednesday 23 October the Paladins did an event at Westminster Abbey. This was part of the Anniversary celebrations for the rebuilding of the Abbey by Henry III (I happen to be descended from Henry's brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall).
We arrived at the Abbey at about 9.00 and changed in the Education Centre in Dean's Yard. Those based in Croyden came by minibus. I decided not to bring armour or weapons and came by Tube.
We then set up displays in the main cloister and in the Chapter House.
I spent most of the time in the Chapter House talking about the arms and armour displays, helping people try things on and keeping an eye on the weapons. There were quite a lot of tourists and I had to call on my (somewhat rusty) knowledge of French on several occasions, including trying to persuade a very determined small French boy from continually taking hand axes and wandering off with them.
We also did three displays of dancing (to live music on medieval instruments) in the Chapter House.
Here we are in the chapter House
After we finished and took down and packed up the displays, we were treated to a tour of the Abbey, ( in our medieval kit) including the shrine of St Edward, the Confessor, the tombs of the Plantagenet kings, Henry VII's chapel, Elizabeth I's tomb and the tombs of Margaret Beaufort, Mary, Queen of Scots and Margaret, Countess of Lennox.
Here we are in the Choir of Henry VII's chapel.
(With thanks to Clare Goodall for sending me photos)
It all went very well. Some people stayed for an opportunity to take pictures in the Abbey church (which is only allowed at set times), but , by then, I decided it was better to try to avoid the worst of the Rush Hour and made my way back to the Tube at St James's Park.
I got the impression the Abbey staff were also very pleased with the way it all went and that they might want us to do events there again.