The Ashton Court major muster - advertised as the Siege of Bristol - took place over the Late May Bank Holiday weekend, 27th/28th May, 2018

This had the potential of a great weekend and overall yes it was. But for the odd splash of rain at night and one morning the weekend was warm and dry. The evenings were full of song and snacks and the Ingram’s provided a very nice fire tray.

The script for the weekend was to follow history with parliament holding Bristol in defiance of the besieging royalists. The Kings army attacked with the Cornish in the fore (Grenville’s) but parliament held. The stalemate needed to be broken and so Col. Henry Washington’s Dragoones (Prince Maurice’s) would be thrown forward to breach the wall and open the way for the cavalry and the rest of the army to pour into the city to defeat the enemy.

Day one started well. At first a small party of parliament sallied forth to be met first by the determined skirmish line of the Colonel’s Dragoones, quickly followed by the King’s main army. Parliament held for a time but eventually withdrew behind the walls of Bristol and the Royalist pressed to the walls. The Cornish had a go but failed to break through so like a freight train with the Cavalry on our heels we charged the gate, breached the defences and ended up in a heap on the floor. It is difficult to know what exactly happened but it would seem that some parliamentary troops had been instructed to hold the gates at all costs and to that end had secured the gates with some cross pikes. So instead of the gates opening they were pushed over and the Colonel’s Dragoones piled on top in a heap. Fortunately the Cavalry restrained from charging through the ‘opening’ as planned and although some limbs were temporarily trapped between pikes and the fencing, fortunately there were just a few more bruises than anticipated. The LG, who appeared at the breach as we recovered from the floor, was a bit ‘miffed’ that things had not quite gone to plan.

The debriefing from day one seemed to work, because day two went to script although not entirely without incident. I think that I initiated a slight disagreement between our brigade commander and the Oxford Army commander.  But I really did think that we were getting a bit close to parliament if we were to fire off. Anyway I decided at this point, with ‘discussions’ in full swing, that a further word from myself was not required so kept my mouth shut until a more suitable occasion. After all the ultimate decision on when it is safe to pull the trigger is with the one behind the musket not the one effing and blinding form the side-lines.

I had a great weekend.