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Queen Mary entering KG DOCKOur outdoor visit to Minstead Church in 2011 image Will TempleWarrior who after service on the front in WWI became a Southampton Police Horse. Image by kind permission Bitterne Local History SocietySouthampton CenotaphJohn Melody Town Crier at Tudor Revels 2012 image Arthur Jeffery

Tudor Revels  [2012] by Marian Hubble

At Michaelmas the Old Town came alive with Tudor Revels. Our own historian Dr. Cheryl Butler organised a series of events recognising the town’s rich Tudor past .and this celebration brought the story to life.

The Tudor House was open free of charge for the weekend and hosted talks on Tudor matters. Visitors crowded in to hear about the Italians in Southampton, Sir Richard Lyster, the ghastly maladies that were endemic in Tudor times and to take a look at Anne Boleyn being undressed.

The costume theme was taken up by a number of ladies decked out in authentically styled costumes; they added vivid colour to the gathering.  For those persons not in costume, opportunities to dress up were available in the Tudor House and the Wine Merchant’s house in French Street. 

The latter was also the venue for hands on Tudor games and pastimes, a workshop given by the Mary Rose Trust.

There were story telling sessions with the town minstrel and his apprentice and walks led by Jangles the Jester. Other walks were designed for those who wished to go it alone.

The square was lined with stalls .All manner of crafts and trades were represented. The sawyer was there and the fisherman. The Potter came and the lace maker and weaver too. The master at arms  and the scribe and the barber surgeon also came along. And in the corner of the square was the mouse trap maker. Bitterne Park Sixth Form scholars also had an impressive stall.

Being Michaelmas, St. Michael’s church held its own market in the Square.

During the day singers were invited to rehearse for the Tudor Latin Mass which took place in the church in the late afternoon. Every seat was taken for this unique occasion. There was more music in the evening. Singers and lutenists joined together and gave a concert to yet another full house.

The festivities continued on the Sunday. The procession of St. Ledger left St. Michael’s and progressed to the sites of the other four churches in the Old Town.

The Sarah Siddons Fan Club enacted several Tudor events in the church. Meanwhile, over at the Dolphin hotel, the Renaissance Footnotes dancers and musicians were encouraging enthusiasts to extend their  own dance repertoire. Their performance late in the evening was impressive.

The local hostelries joined in the spirit of the occasion. The Duke of Wellington provided a Tudor menu. The game pie was excellent.

 The Town Crier provided a vital link between the events of the two days. His melodious tones kept everyone informed.

More than 3,000 visitors came to the Old Town. The weather smiled on us .It was a hugely enjoyable celebration.

Tudor Revels Southampton 2012 Image Arthur Jeffery Tudor Revels  Southampton 2012. Image Arthur JefferyTudor Revels Southampton 2012. Image Arthur Jeffery Tudor Revels Southampton 2012. Image Arthur Jeffery

Outdoor visit to Minstead Church image courtesy Will Temple Outdoor visit on a Guy Arab open top busTug tender Calshot in preservation