BEST DRESSED: Valerie Parsons, known as Edith Sedgwick at Stegby, and Andy Boll, known as Captain Ramon Fernandez Sancho Garcia de Cordob.
BEST DRESSED: Valerie Parsons, known as Edith Sedgwick at Stegby, and Andy Boll, known as Captain Ramon Fernandez Sancho Garcia de Cordob. Elyse Wurm

'This is my tribe, this really is a family'

VIKINGS didn't really wear helmets and Henry VIII didn't write Greensleeves.

If it weren't for medieval re-enactment groups like the Canton of Stegby in Warwick, these myths might never have been busted. But the group is eager to give show-goers a true glance back in time this weekend when they put on a fashion parade at the Warwick Show.

Founding member Jessica Goodlet, known as Olivia dei Medici in Stegby, said times were vastly different in the Middle Ages, with communication taking months and custard served with chicken.

But some techniques were more complex than some would think, including the making of clothing.

"You can look at modern garments and you can reconstruct how they were throughout history," she said.

Each group member creates a Middle Ages persona for themselves and dressing up in garb to assume their persona gives them somewhere to belong.

"It's a great equaliser because everyone is there to do what you are, have fun," she said.

Canton of Stegby is part of a network of groups operating around the world, who even have a king and queen who preside over the kingdom.

The Warwick group holds multiple events each year, including a grand feast, sword fighting championship and archery tournament.

Founding member Donna Page, known as Gabriella Borromei, said members were bound by a passion for learning and history.

At weekly meetings, they revive recipes and tasks completed in the Middle Ages era.

This week, they recreated a form of perfumed ball called a pomander.

"We're losing those skills. The young people don't have the desire so we inspire people to do things with your hands," she said.

Gathering together also offers people who Mrs Page said were a "little different" somewhere to connect and enjoy some peace and quiet.

"This is my tribe, this really is a family," she said.

"We can go away for for days and not hear about the world outside, they don't have that disturbance."

View the parade at the Warwick Showgrounds, Kevin Thumpkin Agricultural Pavilion, at 11am on Friday and 2pm on Saturday.



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