The Tab Meets … Re-Enactment Society

The Tab tries their hand at some old school fighting

The Liverpool Re-enactment Society is one of the few living history societies in Universities throughout the UK.

“We’re a rare breed. There’s only a few societies around the country like us.”

The most I knew about re-enactment was from my viewing of Role Models – wierdos in crazy outfits fighting with sticks… but its so much more than that.

Everybody was welcoming and willing to show us their way around the battle field. Or at least the guild dance studio, which is where practise is held. Only the toughest and strongest make it to the tours around the country (think rugby tours, but with more ale, battle drums and chainmail.)

“Banquets are basically just a chance to eat and get pissed”

Re-enact Soc play as the Royalist Regiment from Cornwall

The session started with a drill where the the group lined up with their weapons and marched. Sounds simple enough? It involved walking, drumming and holding heavy objects….

Verity is in charge of droppin’ the beats

When the boring bit was over, The Tab learnt how to fight.

What a bunch of pikeys…

First off were the pikes. They only practice with half pikes but a full size one is 18ft, that’s over three times the size of The Tab’s Cristina who could barely lift the half pike.

Here’s how it should be done:


The re-enactment society even have their own version of smack talk shouting:

“This is the horse that killed your family, This is the horse that called you fat”

Aiming to prod the enemy anywhere between the shoulder and knees, the pike is seen as the most dangerous weapon as you can keep your distance whilst causing harm…

Lunging for his life … The Tab’s Sam Spencer

The Tab were told of various injuries including: split lips, bruises, dislocated shoulders, missing teeth and broken ribs.

The worst thing they’d seen in action is a man having a heart attack – “he was a big bloke”

Next up, was the musket…

The society encourages people to supply their own muskets for battle. Although they have a limited supply, you’ll need to fork out for the best ones: £350 for a new one, and Nick’s beloved musket endearingly named Betty was £150.

True Love

Nick’s the longest serving member, and has been with re-enactment soc for three years.

The hobby doesn’t really cater to a student budget, but a musket can be fired after filling it with “Three Godly Thrusts” of powder.

It’s so badass you even need a license… to kill.

Cristina wasn’t trusted with a real gun…

Disappointly, you don’t often get to shoot the musket, instead you have to ram the butt of it into your opponent, without getting hit yourself… unlike the pike, you’re a lot closer so you can see the fear in the enemy’s eyes.

The Tab’s Sam tried his go at it only to be taken on by two experienced musketeers:

Finally, The Tab’s personal favourite – Swordplay.

Not really sharp, but enough to cause some serious damage, Sam was reduced to giddy adolescence…

Overcompensating for something?

Using a glove for protection, you  have a one-on-one duel feinting, blocking and swinging at your heart’s content.

Elliot and Phil clashing swords

The Tab tried their best to work their magic on these swords making history:


En garde

Accused of fighting like “a girl”, The Tab noticed that there weren’t actually that many, girls that is.

They usually are guarded or drum, but “Woman can fight on the front line but they must dress like a man” to keep it as ‘historically accurate’ as possible.

The Tab managed to set the record straight

A lot of the members loved the society so much they still come back after graduating.

The Tab can see how with Sam getting a little bit too into his fighting, complete with sound effects…


The Re-Enactment society seems like the perfect place to get your anger out, and relive history.

You can pick your role, eat loads of pies at banquets and dress up.

This society really doesn’t take itself seriously and showed The Tab a medievally good time (just kidding, they only re-enact C17th battles).

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