If you’re interested in getting involved in Reenactment, your first step (after deciding on a time period) is to contact any of the groups in the Discover Groups section.
Note* that some groups are businesses and not necessarily open to joining.
Q. What is reenactment and living history?
A. Reenactment and living history tend to be classed as the same thing, though some might disagree. It can be argued that they are effectively two sides of the same coin and go hand in hand – or should be. Historical reenactment and living history is an educational activity in which mainly amateur hobbyists and history enthusiasts put on historical outfits and often perform crafts and show lost skills to recreate aspects of a historical period in history for public engagement through a display of historical life, usually at a historic site where the public visiting are exposed to a very broad scope of crafts skills and staged battles to effectively make history come to life and educate through that ‘live-action’ medium.
Q. Why is it important to be historically accurate?
A. You will find that being historical accuracy gives your portrayal depth, you will find that being able to talk about items you have that are replicas of finds allows you to easily talk about the original item where it was found, where it is now, similar examples in artwork for other areas without having to be overly vague or generic.
Q. I can’t afford to buy all the kit at once, can I still join in?
A. Lots of groups have loaner kit, so you don’t have to rush out and buy anything straight away. That means you can try out a few things and figure out what is right for you, rather than rush it and possibly make costly mistakes.
Q. How do I find historical clothing, when I want to buy it?
A. This website has a database of traders that can supply items and clothing, but it’s always best to know what you are looking for. If you are new to the hobby and have joined a group you should check with someone who has been taking part for a while to make sure that you are getting something that is suitable. Also, a big part of the hobby for some people is making your own kit and a lot of groups can help you with patterns.
Q. How do I find a group near me?
A. Some groups have a specific base where they meet up and train often (this is listed on their page on this website) but the members of most groups are spread out across the country. So, simply enquire with any group that takes your fancy and it is quite likely that they have members in your area that you can meet up with.
Q. Can I be in more than one group?
A. Some groups have different priorities (education, historical accuracy, practical fighting, theatrical performances, fun etc) so it’s a great idea to try out a few different groups and time periods. Be aware though that as with any hobby, sometimes groups divide, people fall out or want different things and factions split off and form or join other groups creating a little bit of inter-group politics. It’s best to find a group based in your time period of preference first and foremost and to get to know everyone you come across, then form your own opinions. Don’t let anyone put you off joining a group based on their own personal experience.
Q. Do you get hurt when you fight at reenactments?
A. We wouldn’t say reenactment was a dangerous hobby, many precautions are taken and training is provided for the combat parts with reenactment fighting generally not being competitive, but occasional accidents do happen and it is very rare to hear of anything happing other than bruised or occasional broken fingers it may sound odd but most new people aren’t the ones hurt they usually do the hurting. Group membership usually includes insurance.
Q. How expensive is reenactment?
A. Pretty expensive, but cheaper than going to the pub every weekend, some might say money better spent and spent with a new purpose, your weekend and evening goals will change and you will have something new to look forward to and save for.
Our advice would be to invest in good kit where you can you won’t regret it.