Attending a re-enactment of the 18th century with the IBWCP is a walk in the past, the incredible array of historically correct costumes bathe one in a cheerful visit to the 1775 in a small town in a province of America in the British Empire.
Here I found myself at the end of the authoritative explanation of American cartography by a man dressed in the uniform resembling that of a British Officer Red Coat but he was indeed a representation of an American Officer. His very uniform commanded a respect and air of authority often denied in the modern armies of today.
He explained to me ( a visiting Englishman) how the maps were so decisive in 1775 to the emerging American troops.
He paused and gathered a vintage glass bottle corked in the fashion of that period containing an amber liquid, with a flourish two small glasses of similar vintage appeared, I took one and he slowly began to pour what I had imagined was a glass of good old Bourbon and he insisted despite my warning to fill the glass to the top, explaining that “wars had been fought over this liquid”. On sipping the drink I realised it was a glass of sweet tea, and very pleasant it was too, and downed two glasses and chuckled , no hangover.
The day was full of surprises, from the bread and food cooked in the manner of the time in a dutch oven, and I would add eaten in the same way! The costumes ranged from the richest clothes to the beggars and colonial fighters, all authentic in every way.
Musket volleys were fired, a large field gun blasted away, even a re-enactment of an execution was completed.
This was as close to the real world, the world our ancestors inhabited as you can get. I could see how our modern world is so divorced from reality of a real life. Our world full of gadgets and the soft life. This world was one of walking everywhere unless you were rich enough to own a horse.
Just collecting water was hard work with heavy wooden buckets.
I would encourage all of you readers to come and visit the real world of our ancestors and “walk in the past” for just a short while, feel the grass beneath your feet, smell the black powder as it fills the air with its blue smoke.
Meet a Native American, see how they built their shelters and made their weapons, the food they gathered.
So put down the 21 century for just a little time and learn first hand how you once lived.