THERE are few better places to have a drink than at the Chalke Valley History Festival, and who better to share a pint with than one of the stalwarts of the festival, Paul Bavill? Anybody who has been to Chalke Valley will recognise Paul, as he is a mainstay of the living history element of the festival.
Yes, Paul is one of those reenactor fellows, and every time you see him, he is wearing something quite different – whether it’s a paratrooper’s uniform from the Second World War, the garb of a bodysnatcher, or the dandy togs of a gentleman duellist.
Paul, who along with his mates Kyle and Rory, is part of the Foreign Field Living History Group, and I wanted to ask him what drew him to reenactment. I must confess that when I was first encountered reenactors, I found the whole practice a little odd – surely spending your weekends dressing up as a Tommy in the trenches was not something for grown-ups? However, as you will hear, Paul has convinced me otherwise, not least because the process of reenactment teaches us a LOT about the past.
Paul and I were drinking Goram IPA supplied by the excellent Gardner and Beedle, who are running one hell of a drinks tent on the site. Listen out for cameo appearances by a certain James Holland and the best lensman in town, Martin Cook…
(NB, I’m aware that there is a slight glitch near the beginning of the recording. Apologies.)