This is your event. We are coming to tell your story. Together, we research your house and find out who was living there at that time, and bring it to life. Every event we do is different and tailored to your requirements. We are not a collection of showcase skills and crafts that come and do displays in different rooms. We will incorporate activities into the event where they are relevant and in an appropriate location. We are dedicated to interpretating social and domestic life, from the bottom of society up to the middle gentry. As you get higher in society, everything gets larger and more expensive to recreate accurately. We prefer to portray the everyday life of 'normal folk', as accurately as we can. From the research, we will populate your house with the family, servants and other members of the community, in order to tell a small part of its history. We can introduce any themes that you wish to emphasise, such as recreation, the role of women, marriage, death, the poor... and tie them into an average day or a specific event. Our handouts during the event are created for it and can include children's activities or recipies that relate to the day's theme. Depending on the theme and situations, we can introduce some public involvement, such as being a member of the jury in a court or having a go at threshing. At some venues we have worked on a collection of events. At St Nicholas' Priory, we started one with a re-enactment during the day, but moved on to an evening seminar, advancing the daytime theme into a more adult discussion. There isn't a set menu of things we can offer you. There are past events we can show you as examples, but each event is centred around your requirements and site. You maybe brimming over with ideas or happy to allow us to suggest some scenarios to you. Either way, we're keen to hear from you.
We are a registered charity with a constitution specifically emphasising our educational commitment. Although all our members are volunteers, we all take a professional approach on providing the best service we can, educating and entertaining your visitors, and respecting the building and contents.
The 'Workshop' in our title refers to the workshops we hold to ensure our members are well informed on all aspects of the period, making clothes and artefacts and how to keep our performance to the public at its best.
In the background
As we tailor each event to your requirements, a lot of research and preparation goes in to each. We have many repeat venues each year. Even those require continuous work, as we often progress the year we are interpreting, year on year, so a story builds up. We find repeat visitors are very responsive to this and many remember the situations we had set up with the characters and will speicifically ask questions about what has happened since.
With repeat events we can also change the emphasis or background topic each year, so there is always something new for your repeat visitors as well.
For the event, we create our own specific handout. The contents can be customised should you wish to include anything in particular.
For St Nicholas' Priory, we created a number of events over a number of years. They covered the early dissolution and then a range of events covering 1602 to 1604; the wedding of Nicholas Hurst to his funeral. The events cover different dates and different themes. The handouts include information about the event and often include little extras such as recipes, activities for children or additional background on the time.
Although we don't do any advertising ourselves, we can be available before hand for press releases, radio or TV publicity. We can provide you with any assistance we can to publicise the event.
Not all venues have a traceable history and we are able to help you in creating a sceanrio to fit your setting and requirements. If it is a field event, we also have a small marquee that we can dress as a room and transport the visitors to a local Inn, a coffee house or just a room in a house, and tell a story of your choice.
If you don't have a suitable historic setting, we can also bring 'The Scene' to your venue. This is where we have a small set and can dress your visitors in period costume and dress set their seating for a period photograph. The whole process includes an array of props which we talk about, and the photos will be available later to download free from our website. With no poduction costs, we purely ask you to pay for us to be there with no further costs to the visitors.
As well as historic interpretation, we also provide services to the TV and film industry. This covers the full range from purely historic advise through to full set dressing with speaking part characters.
Below you will find some of the comments left by visitors and clients.
"We thought we'd pop in for a quick look on Saturday morning, and stayed for the weekend."
Visitor with two girls, to a member after the event. Blakesley Hall, Birmingham.
"The atmosphere was totally brought to life and enhanced our experience, due to the realistic and kindly nature of the HRW folk. A huge well done"
Visitor from Nottingham. Bolsover Castle.
"History Re-enactment Workshop combine their excellent level of authenticity with thorough knowledge and crucially, an ability to help visitors see past eras through the eyes of those who lived through them. They remain our default choice for top quality Tudor to early Georgian civilian living history."
Howard Giles, Eventplan.
"The kitchen was the best. Amazing sights and smells, such an atmosphere. We've been to Tudor days at Lincoln Castle but this is a better re-enactment - lovely real characters. A shame it wasn't better advertised or you might have had more visitors."
Visitor from Lincoln, Alison Zhu. Gainsborough Old Hall
We are a registered charity, and all of our fees go directly back in to running the group. Our members do not receive any pay for attending and expenses only cover direct event costs. They don't even cover personal travel expenses. Each event has to cover it's own costs and contribute to the Workshop's overheads and developments.
The Worshop owns most of the equipment, especially the larger items. We can furnish a small empty cottage, and bring life to a larger house. These are added to and replaced when damaged over the years. Certain events call for specialist equipment to be commissioned and purchased. A single event can't always cover this cost, so it has to be covered generally. One of our greatest liabilities is the rental for the secure storage.
Our next greatest liability is our insurance. We hold enough Public Liability Insurance for any event we have attended to date.
The Workshop can subsidise the training Workshops we hold to train our members, especially when outside specialists are invited to assist us.
The cost of every event is tailored to the event; we have no set charge list. It is built around the following:
A proportion of the groups overheads, incl. storage and insurance.
The number of people required.
The number of days. (Two days is not double the cost of one.) Can you provide accommodation? (Facilities for camp beds, not hotels.)
The amount of equipment required and whether this requires the additional expense of hiring a van.
In role food and preparation. Peasants with cheese and bread through to preparing and serving dinner for the gentry.
Any new specialist equipment required. A single event wouldn't normally cover the full cost, unless it was very unique.
Additional consumables required.
Additional activities for the visitiors to join in and take away something.
As a starting point, we have a current price range of £300 - £3000. The bottom end would be say a day of 'The Scene' and the top end would be a weekend fully occupying a small manor house. We are quite happy to work to your budget and provide you with the best service we can. Please just contact us and we can discuss your needs.