We got some of our fabulous re-enactors to answer some questions for us! We asked some questions very nicely (they have big swords!) and they were kind enough to answer. Here are some of their answers to some of those hairy questions!
What do visitors to your encampment never fail to ask you?
Do you really sleep in the tent overnight? Do you really eat what you’re cooking (beast on spit)? Where did you buy that? What did they eat?
Is it a real…fire, food, are the swords sharp, is that a plastic pig?
Is that armour heavy? Is that a real fire? Is that a real animal on the spit?
Are they Greyhounds? or What sort of dogs are they? Why are you here? What did Greyhounds do in medieval times? Did they race? Are these dogs safe to pat? Did medieval people keep Greyhounds as pets? Is it hard to walk in those dresses? What are the dogs’ names and ages?
What do you want the public to know about you?
That we’re very ordinary people…who love to hit each other with swords and cook over an open fire.
Can the public join your group?
Absolutely! If you’re interested in joining them, just ask at the Festival!
Is re-enacting an expensive hobby?
Yes and no. Compared to golf or sailing, probably not, but compared to knitting, definitely. The great thing is that members can start off relatively cheaply and then add to their wardrobe and kit each year at a rate they can afford.
Is it a time consuming hobby?
Can be very, but really you’d put as much time as you would any hobby. At least one afternoon a week.
Not really, again it depends on your level of interest. Combatant Training is weekly for both garrisons and you are expected to commit to this as you are required to be a safe and competent fighter.
It can be as time consuming (or not) as members want it to be – some of us spend much of the year making clothing and kit, and researching, and others simply put their clothing on for the festival or another show, and they’re ready to go!
What do you get out of re-enactment?
A way of life. Camaraderie. Satisfaction. Constantly learn and develop skills.
Being part of a large Australia wide group (and there are some garrisons overseas) , enables you to learn about history and learn many skills as you can draw on so much accumulated research, knowledge and experience.
We really love interacting with the public and providing them with information about our time period and about the role longdogs played during that time period. We get asked literally thousands of questions over the course of the Abbey and other smaller events, and its always fun to watch people’s reactions to what they learn. And of course, its always fun to dress up and pretend to be a Lady!
Who are your arch rivals in re-enactment?
The wicked Varangian Guard! Death to those evil wretches.
No we keep killing them off there is no group that does what we do so we don’t have rivals but many friends.
The NVG is a mighty war machine, we train hard and we fight hard – our biggest challenge is at events like Abbey Festival when the two garrisons fight each other.
None and I hope it will remain that way. We are a friendly group and get on with all the other groups we have come across.
What makes your group famous?
Beast on a spit. The name Blackwolf and the Bedouin Tent.
Our costumes and our cannons
With over two decades of aggression under our belt, we are known for taking our combat seriously and for also playing hard (after hours of course!)
Our hounds are awesome! They love pats, cuddles, posing for photos, and they’re very photogenic.
The re-enactors at the Festival are all lovely, feel free to have a chat with them about what they’re doing, what time they’re representing, how to join, and anything else you might want to know.
Please be mindful of Encampment Etiquette though!