Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Kenilworth Castle: Time Travellers Go... Rogues and Villains

We always make the most of our English Heritage passes by making frequent visits to our local Kenilworth Castle throughout the year. During the summer holidays, English Heritage sites run a series of Time Travellers Go... events for children. Each week there is a different theme, and the children have a Time Travllers passport which they collect stickers/stamps in each time the visit. Once they have collected two stickers, they get a medal, once they have collected four stickers, they can fill in their details and post off to English Heritage who send them a reward.

This was our second trip, so each of the Small People got their medals. This week the theme is "Rogues and Villains". We arrived after lunch thanks to a delayed morning start, and having to wait for the next available bus out of our village. Robin Hood was already in full sword-fighting swing in the Chapel Ruins, so the Small Person went and joined in. She was extremely enthusiastic, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few adults sporting injuries, despite the swords being made from foam!

We followed straight from there to meet the Highway men (or highway man and woman), who expalined the concept of an ambush. The Small Person volunteered herself (before knowing what she was volunteering for!) and took on the role of part of a coach :) So the Coach had to make it's way from the rocky outlook, through the monkey forrest, through the village/town an over the bridge without being ambushed by highway men. After a while they introduced the soliders who were there to prevent highway robbery by themselves ambushing the highway men. The children could choose if they wanted to be soldiers or highway men, plot amongst themselves and then select a spot for the ambush. The Small Person chose to be a crook every time (and they won)! Not quite sure what that says about my daughter...

The highway ambushes carried on for a full half an hour, through the short but frequent rain showers, and the Small Person wasn't the slightest bit bothered - she was having far too much fun. The Smaller Person, stuck in his pushchair, took great pleasure in shouting out "Ali" every time the human coach whistled by. He was starting to get fed up by the time it was over though, so he was released to join Robin Hood's band of outlaws, to fight against the grown ups.

Lady Marion

Lady Marion found Sir Zacky very difficult to keep under control, and she labelled him mad. I would agree with that assessment :) First Robin instructed his archers (the older children), then he instructed the next group, but I didn't quite catch what they were supposed to be doing as I was trying to chase the Small Person back into the arena! I do remember they had imaginary swords though, and the audience were the sound effects team: "Sching" as they drew their swords, "shonk" as they holstered (is that the right word? Probably not.) them. Then came The Small People's team who were the littlest. They were the outlawed knights who had traded sides to fight with Robin. They had to gallop up on their horses with foam swords and fight the evil grown ups. They each got a  Knights school certificate. Zack just thought it was great to be running around free with a weapon!

That was the last event, so we started to head back up into Kenilworth Town. We were going to go to the cafe for an hour until Mr Bogert finished work and collected us (saves on bus fare!), but then it starting raining again, so we took refuge in the gift shop until it stopped. Half an hour later, we left the gift shop with lollipops, a new bag of marbles for the Small Person, and big, brightly coloured bouncy ball for the Smaller Person. There really wasn't time for the cafe, so we made a quick stop into the library. The Small Person chose a book with stories from Egypt, and I got the Smaller Person his very first library card. He got a book about animal noises (he likes those - especially "Mooo!" and "RAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!"). I checked out a couple of crochet books which have some lovely projects in. Will any of them get made? I might just Oooo and Ahhhh at them a bit, if I get time to make anything, I'll be sure to post my efforts, but for the time being it's back to "The Politics of English" for my uni work!

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