What do you do?
We organise our own events, large and small. From an informal craft workshop at someone’s home, through regular Revels, to grand feasts and international gatherings. Our key focus is having fun whilst recreating arts, crafts and other skills of our period.
As shown by the selection of links and regular meetings, we also cover three ‘martial’ activities – armoured combat, rapier fencing, and archery.
We have contacts within the British Isles who practice equestrian skills.
We also mount a considerable range of arts and sciences, including expert and highly skilled practitioners of costuming, calligraphy, illuminations, brewing, period cooking, weaving, music, singing, and dancing.
Locally, we also arrange (non-costumed) visits to London museums and art galleries, castles and other historical sites.
How old do I have to be to join?
Do I have to pay to join?
However, we run events where a cost is involved, primarily in the hire of the hall or venue. These are detailed under information for that event.
Typically this is about £6 for a local Revel or for a fighter practice, and anywhere from £15-£30 for a major weekend event.
SCA membership is the next level of involvement with the Society. While we do not have a strict “pay to play” membership policy, there are numerous benefits and advantages to be had, all for about 53p a week, or about £28 a year.
To join or renew membership of the SCA officially, visit https://membership.sca.org/
Is it easy to join in without any period clothing?
How much period clothing do you require
The emphasis on our group is to enjoy the experience on offer, and with most things, what you get out of taking part is what you’re putting in. Some of our more experienced members have built up wardrobes of clothing; others are having a ball with just one outfit. We have several skilled members who will be willing to help you on your next project.
Do you visit castles in costume?
What other events can you go to?
Bear in mind that each re-enactment event will have its own rules covering participation and the authentic quality of clothing should you wish to attend in-period.
The SCA requires ‘an attempt at pre-17th century clothing’ rather than than a specific depiction or authenticity that will pass muster at other events.
There are plenty of historical re-enactment events across the country. We recommend www.livinghistory.co.uk and www.skirmishmagazine.co.uk as your first ports of call for such events. We also put some of these events on our group calendar. There is a lively trader scene in the UK, catering to all periods and tastes which provides an extra incentive to visit.
As yet, SCA Thamesreach has not attended other events as an official group.
I am already a member of another group/Can you join other Living History/Re-enactment groups?
There are plenty of cultural/social overlaps and similarities between the SCA and re-enactment. We welcome other enthusiasts to join us and there is no bar to joining any other of the myriad of groups out there. We already have members from several companies and periods.
The cross-fertilisation of ideas and experience will benefit everyone, particularly as we do not work as a public display group. Bear in mind though, that each group has their own operating rules on authenticity standards and combat drills.
Can I wear my glasses?
I am a woman: can I fight?
There is no gender barrier for any Society activity. You must be 18 or over to fight, and over 14 to fence.
I don’t want to fight, what can I do?/ How do I learn a skill?
Is your fighting style authentic? Why do you use rattan and not metal weaponry?
It is a full-contact, full speed, unrehearsed combat style.
In the Middle Ages, some practice manuals, and King Renee of Anjou’s Book of the Tourney call for use of wooden imitation weapons. Rattan is a safe, affordable substitute, whose weight mimics the weight of original swords and other weapons.
The SCA style reflects this growth, and concessions to modern sensibilities, evolving over the last 40 years into what we do: for instance, some open-faced helms have protective grilles for SCA use.
Rapier combat (distinct from armoured combat) does use metal blades. While it began with Olympic fencing equipment and styles, SCA rapier combat now aims to recreate the weapons and combat styles of Capofero, Di Grassi and other renaissance rapier masters.
It is swordplay “in the round”, ie. there is no piste. Protective gear is worn and can be provided to beginners.
What are the rules for carrying blades?
Are you LARP?
There is no over-arching story theme; there are no pointy ears or rules to represent magic. There are no goals or quests.
The only umpires are during combat in order to ensure safety. What skills and experience you earn in the SCA is by learning and doing.
We have an internal hierarchy that is reflective of levels of activity, those organising it, and recognition of services and skills provided. There is a selection at higher levels by combat, but this is part of generating the pomp and splendour of a court system.
Organisational roles are filled by mutual consent and voting where more than one candidate is willing to assume such a role.
We have members who LARP and we welcome LARP players to join us, but you won’t find elves or vampires in our group.
Why do you have two names?
What do all these titles mean? What should I call you?
Do you do public displays?
However, SCA groups do occasional public demonstrations at historical sites: for example, the annual Winchester Pilgrimage has a public audience for part of the activities.
Where can I find reliable source materials for my clothing, armour, etc?
Some of our favourite museums are listed in the Visitors section, under Recreation.
Several of our members are professional or amateur experts in various fields, so do not hesitate to ask.