The Street Banners
The Society organises the production and display of medieval banners that brighten the streets of Tewkesbury every summer. Each is based on the arms of a person who was involved in the Battle. They are made from cotton ‘duck’ and then hand-painted using modern acrylic paints.
During the winter months they are part of a rolling programme of refurbishment, to keep them looking fresh. Another one of our aims is, through on going research, to increase the number every year. In 2016 there were 150 on display. Each year many of the town’s traders then rent one or two of them, which we hang outside their premises from mid June to mid September. Whilst deliberately kept at a level easily affordable by even the smallest of the traders the rental income funds the banner project itself and also helps support the Society’s wider work.
All the work on the banners, from painting at our weekly sessions, on a Monday afternoon in Elizabeth Wyatt House, Barton Road, to erection (a good job for those who enjoy ladders!), marketing and rental collection is carried out by a team of volunteers. If you fancy wielding a paintbrush, or helping in any other aspect of the banners project, why not contact us via our contacts page.
Battlefield Maintenance and Interpretation
Key to meeting our aims is protecting the Battlefield itself and promoting interpretation on site. Our regular walks mean that we are constantly monitoring the condition of the various surviving elements of the Battlefield and every Spring we carry out a full clear-up, removing litter and cutting back the scrub which can impede access.
We also work closely with the owners of the Battle sites – mainly the Borough Council and Tewkesbury School – to advise on more major work. Current projects include refurbishment of the information plinth on the Bloody Meadow, recreating the Bloody Meadow sign that used to hang on the fence in years past, and the creation of interpretation panels at key points around the Battlefield. We are also working on a new issue of the Council’s Battlefield Trail leaflet. Ultimately, we hope one day to create a visitors centre on the Gaston Field – but that’s another project!
The Town Museum
We work in partnership with the Trustees of the Town Museum to maintain the Museum’s displays related to the Battle. This includes not only the historic material but also the Battlefield model created in the 1970s to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle. Featuring some 2000 individual figures (many of them originating in the Airfix Robin Hood and Sherriff of Nottingham sets), the model was reduced in size to fit its current home, but still provides a stunning 3-D impression of how the Battle could have looked. Find out more at the museum’s website.
A key role for the Society is in raising awareness of the Battle amongst members of the local community in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire who might otherwise be unaware of the heritage on their doorstep. Consequently, we take our mobile display to a range of local events, usually manned by Society members in Medieval Costume. Recent events have included the Malvern Fringe Festival, Worcester Three Battles Festival, Evesham ‘Wartime in the Vale’ event, Tewkesbury Christmas Lights Fayre and, of course, Tewkesbury’s own Medieval Festival.
In addition, we organise a variety of outings to allow Society members to broaden their own knowledge of the medieval period whilst enjoying each other’s company. Past trips have included the Mary Rose in Portsmouth, castles at Chepstow and Kenilworth (part of our annual Spring ‘castles and churches’ events), a ‘What If’ evening with other local history groups, and a social outing to the Worcester Re-enactors ‘Time Travellers Ball’.
Battlefield Society T-Shirts are available, they carry the Society’s Logo on the chest and on the back a list of towns the opposing armies ‘visited’ prior to the Battle of Tewkesbury Available in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large(Re-enactor!), cost £12-50p each, plus £2.50 p&p. To order please send your address, numbers & sizes required and a cheque payable to The Tewkesbury Battlefield Society to:
The Tewkesbury Battlefield Society
PO Box 147
Glos GL20 9AP
Please allow 28 days for processing your order and delivery.