First thing I want to say is this. It is nice to know that there are still some parts of the UK that see May Day as more than just a bank holiday.

As you can imagine the weather was typical for a bank holiday in the UK, solid rain all day. Sometimes light drizzle, sometimes full on cloudbursts and sometimes somewhere in between the two. It was an early start to the morning I had to haul my rump out of bed at 7am, to get to my dad’s to pack the car and then get to Headstone Manor for 9am, so everything could be set up for noon, yes it takes that long to rig up an archery range (well just over two hours with the two of us) could be a lot worse though. Due to the weather you had a lot of complaining about the lack of gazebos, and that was from the people who had paid to hire one out but could not have one because they were broken.

If any one from Harrow Council reads this, PLEASE FIX/REPLACE THE BROKEN GAZEBOS! If you do this the events you put on will be much more enjoyable for all if bad weather plagues the event!

Everything got set up and the medieval re-enactment group that were at the event asked us to borrow our archery range, because for some reason they couldn’t set their own one up. Wait you are re-enactors and you can’t set up your own range? Turns out they needed to borrow ours because they didn’t have any nets to set up behind their targets to catch any arrows that over shoot. Well given health and safety regulations that was a pretty damned crucial piece of kit to forget. Nice enough people, don’t get me wrong just seemingly a little disorganized and some of them were drunk, I’m guessing they had been drinking a lot the night before, you could smell the mead on some of them. Oh well each to their own and no one got hurt.

The displays the group put on were very good indeed, and they did drum up a lot of interest in the archery stand. Though this wasn’t always a good thing. There were times during that day that I did question the intelligence and common sense of people (in this instant the lack thereof). Now what you need to picture here is that the archery range we had set up had an exclusion zone around it, roped off with big obvious signs saying “Stop! Archery In Progress”. Archery is dangerous you are shooting sharp projectiles at a target at high velocity. This is obvious right? Well according to two young Eastern European mothers it was perfectly fine for them to sit on a nearby picnic bench and let their children, no more than two or three years old play in the exclusion zone. When my father asked them to remove their children from the exclusion zone they decided to mouth of at him in whichever language they spoke and stormed off. Bloody hell it would have been a different story if either toddler had been skewered by a rebounding arrow.

There was an incident even worse than this though. An Afro-carribean lady and her children came up to the stand to have a go at archery, and all was fine until they had finished their turns. She then saw fit to let her kids run rampant, not paying any head to the safety and warning signs. They ran up to the archery targets and played around them, this is not safe in any way shape or form, everyone who has an iota of common sense will realize this. Not this woman, when my father and I stopped the archery and asked her to remove her children from the range all we got was expletives and back chat, and her telling us that her kids were fine and to stop making a scene. Jeebus Cripes if a single one of those arrows had gone near her children it would have been a different story. It’s stupid people like this that make me ashamed to be human and share the world with them at times..

All was not doom and gloom, we made a considerable amount given the weather conditions for the Harrow Museum/Headstone Manor and I hope those proceeds are put to good use preserving the wonderful example of medieval architecture that Headstone Manor and it’s out buildings are.

We will be back at Harrow in Leaf in August for the two day event there. I hope the Harrow Beekeepers will be there with their honey, I am going to buy a lot of it and make up a batch of mead (funds depending as it’s £5 a jar! But totally worth the cost!)

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