Sunday, 24 May 2015

A long way from Paris..

Horsham is about as close to the picture of a traditional market town as you can get whilst remaining afloat due to being in the commuter belt, so for every Greggs there is still an Italian delicatessen and Iceland is balanced out by a Waitrose... but what would these middle-Englanders think of a French incusion?

                                                       Horsham museum and Art gallery.

We arrived about 8.30 although those driving may have circled for some time trying to find the elsusive free car park but the punch and Judy and display areas were soon put out and arrayed with a miniature museum of our own.

Horsham museum was hosting a Waterloo themed exhibition and we were helping to bring people in, not long after everyone was assembled we formed up and marched into town, first to the market square where bemused or intrigued shoppers and cafe patrons were treated to us going through the twelve firing steps and abit of question and answers.. then another march and a similar display where ever a crowd seemed likely to pause.
this was repeated in the afternoon.

In the meantime there were visitors to chat to, or coerce into the museum.. including a Corsican man putting on a Waterloo exhibition back home who could hardly believe that English people would dress up as Frenchmen, a latino shop owner gave us cheap coffee for being 'French' and for every glib comment about bloody Frogs there was a 'Vive le France! which quite surprsed me. I also chatted with a young chap who does medieval reenactment whom I tried to recruit, who knows maybe we will see him again!

                          "When I was in the army anyone turning up on parade without the exact kit would have got it from the Sergeant, oh yes! They'd be put on a charge. I don't see why reenactment is any different.. Crushing is too good for people with non-regulation facial hair".

As well as Professeur flapjaques Punch and Judy and some drumming lessons for kids Paul had a simple wargame set up in the museum to re-fight the battle of Waterloo that people could drop in and out of, this time ending in something of a draw with the British confined to the strongpoints but holding out, and no sign of the Prussians.. 

It was a good, fairly relaxed day, the opposite of a Wollaton where numerous groups must collude and organise and drill, just a dozen of us loosely following a plan sketched out with the Museum people.

  The 45eme has been in Horsham several times before, usually as part of the French market they regularly have but this year it was for the exhibition and because we are at Dover again next week...

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